There are tons of Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) programs offering a variety of curriculums. They are not only a means to become a professional yoga teacher but can provide you with an opportunity to enhance your knowledge about yoga.
Choosing a YTT program can be a journey in itself because not all programs are the same. Without proper guidance, you may get lost in the sea of YTT advertisements and end up getting discouraged and mislead.
You need to be extremely careful and critical while selecting an appropriate program so that you can get the maximum benefit out of it.
If you are one of those, who has set out on the path to explore this avenue, we have listed 7 tips to consider while choosing your YTT program.
Pick a yoga style you want to study
Generally, a typical YTT course will always be around hatha yoga since it is the most ancient yoga form and source of all yoga styles. So this goes without saying that most aspirants get trained in hatha yoga.
You might also have found a calling towards Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, or Kundalini Yoga during your journey before YTT. In such cases, you can also find training programs where the focus is more on the style of your choice.
Deciding on the yoga style you want to be trained in is crucial as it will pave a path for further personal development and growth.
Since you will be working on it for a long time, pick the one you are most at ease with and enjoy. For most of your teaching career, you’ll keep developing your knowledge and honing your teaching skills in the same yoga style.
Check Whether the YTT program is Yoga Alliance certified
For an organization to have a batch of Registered Yoga School or RYS from Yoga Alliance is similar to insurance. If a yoga school is registered with the Yoga Alliance, it is a surety that they have followed the guidelines of setting up an effective curriculum, the course will be the same all over the world, and the teachers will have the minimum requirement to teach the course.
This is not to say that yoga schools that are not certified by the Yoga Alliance are bad. Some of the best courses can be taught by schools that are in the way, shape, or form affiliated with the Yoga Alliance or any other third-party organization.
The RYS batch is merely a security blanket and a way to keep the training program uniform across schools that want to offer a YTT program.
Intensive or Standard – Which Format Suits You Better?
Deciding on the format completely depends on your capacity for information intake. If you know that information overload can make you feel overwhelmed, you should stay away from an intensive program.
An intensive YTT program takes around 2-6 weeks and it is one of the most commonly found formats. Although intensive programs are fast-paced, exhaustive, and challenging, they sometimes bring out the best in a student. You tend to learn more and identify your strengths, confidence, and limits.
However, if you cannot dedicate 6 weeks at a stretch, there are programs designed to teach the course in a span of a few months or a year. It will be easier for you to study the course materials at your own pace and progressively assess your growth.
How Well the Curriculum has Been Designed
Yoga Alliance has laid out the guidelines for the modules that need to be taught and the number of hours dedicated to each module. But how to design the curriculum that is best suited for their students depends on the school.
Some schools may want to emphasize the yoga philosophies and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, while others may believe in teaching human anatomy in greater detail. A few of the schools may largely want to focus on the practical rather than theory. You might also find schools offering practical teaching experience.
It all boils down to the balance of the curriculum design and your intention.
Do you want to enhance your knowledge or go into teaching practice right away? Choose a curriculum that best suits your interests.
Make Sure the Location of the YTT Program Suits Your Schedule
YTT programs are offered in locations outside the country or the home country. It is needless to say that if you decide to choose a retreat-style YTT program, the cost would also be more than a course within the home country.
It also depends on the time you can dedicate to the program. You would probably benefit from flying out if you understand that your daily life commitments will keep you away from your studies.
Some really good and budget-friendly destinations for YTT programs are India, Bali, and Costa Rica.
But you have found a suitable training program that ticks all the boxes on your checklist – budget, curriculum, reasonable time commitment- there is no need for you to burn a hole in your pocket.
You can also explore online training options, wherein you will get the benefit of a regular YTT program from the comfort of your home.
Make Sure the Teacher has Experience and Credibility for a YTT Program
Verify the credentials of the instructor educators you are interested in studying with. Take a look at their teaching experience, teacher training history, and even the institution of their training. When determining whether or not to work with them, this knowledge is extremely helpful.
Consider enrolling in some open courses taught by the instructors who will serve as your teacher training faculty. It is also highly recommended that you get in touch with past pupils of theirs to know more about the instructor.
A teacher having a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) or Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT) batch from Yoga Alliance is always advantageous because it certifies that the educator has fulfilled the required guidelines to teach.
Some incredibly intense feelings, emotions, and energies can be brought on by YTT. You should make sure your instructor of choice makes you feel secure and at ease and guides you throughout the program.
Explore the reviews and feedback about the program
A program’s reputation for quality can be guaranteed if it has a significant heritage.
Do a comprehensive background investigation on the business except when you already have a studio where you train that you are familiar with and can rely on. Learn as much as you can about the studio of your choosing by reading reviews, speaking to alumni, and asking around.
Use whatever available way that you like to contact them, including email and phone calls. Make sure you contact a head teacher.
Another interesting factor is class size. Your experience may be significantly impacted by the wide variations in the numbers.