How to Choose a Yoga Teacher Training Program


Choosing a yoga teacher training program marks a significant moment in a yoga student’s life and practice (although, if you’ve arrived at this pitstop, you’ve likely been convinced that these two things are relatively interchangeable — one in the same). You are about to embark on a journey that will skyrocket your personal growth, both as a student, teacher, and general human being, and that is something to get stoked about. Navigating teacher training options can feel overwhelming. Know this above all: you will choose correctly. 😊 However, guidance from those who have walked the teacher training path is valuable in its own right, so consider mulling over the following considerations, graciously offered up by members of Practice Indie’s spring 2019 200-hour class, when going through your options:

  1. Logistics. Ask yourself some basics first. Think: Do the meeting times work with your schedule? Is the cost something you can afford and are willing to invest in? (Helpful hint: PI offers one full-ride scholarship per training! Check out our social media posts about the Seva Scholarship for more information.) Beyond actual studio time, it’s helpful to consider the outside time commitment of the training in question. For example, what is the policy if you need to miss a class, and what is the expectation for makeup work? How much homework is required, and will you reasonably be able to accomplish it? Getting clear about the specific requirements and expectations of the program will help you determine, at the most basic level, if it’s going to align with your life.
  2. Teaching style and culture. Before making any decisions about enrolling in a program, it can be helpful to take stock of how a studio’s teachers teach their classes, keeping in mind that the way your potential instructors teach their classes is the way they will teach you to teach your classes. (Whew.) In the same vein, getting curious about your potential instructors’ lineages and who they’ve studied with can offer meaningful insight. What are their credentials? If you can, take studio classes and reflect on this. In a larger sense, note the culture of the studio. Consider: What are the studio’s teaching values? What do the teachers deem important when structuring classes for students, and do these things resonate with you? 
  3. Representation. Check out the way a studio markets itself. Explore its website, social media presence, and photos of past training cohorts. Observe who comes to classes; who teaches in the space? Who is represented, and quite possibly, who is excluded? What are the implications of training in a space that may not be actively embodying the message that yoga truly is for everybody? Consider what this means for you.
  4. Opportunity pipeline. Think about what you want to derive from your training. If you’re intent on teaching or working in your studio post-training in some capacity, it may be helpful to inquire about practice teaching opportunities offered within the duration of the training, and then, whether the studio makes a practice of actually hiring its own teacher training graduates post-program. Outside of the context of that studio, is the space well-connected to other yoga spaces? Do the teachers act as resources for students in terms of networking? And if you’re not really looking to teach in a traditional sense, can you get an idea as to whether your potential teachers can resource you with what you’re seeking from the training?
  5. Be ready to shift. And on that note, know that your desires may likely change during your teacher training. Lots of things will. 😊 Settle into the idea that opening to this fact and allowing yourself to be vulnerable will make your experience even more enriching. No matter where you land, you can be sure that you’ll learn a lot more than how to sequence a yoga class. 

A quick snapshot of 4 of the 5:

Shared and written beautifully by Lauren Daeger, a graduate of our 200 hour teacher training program in 2019

Still interested in ours? Head over to our application page to get yours in, plus enjoy this awesome vid by aforementioned author and graduate, Lauren!

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