Yoga is a complex practice with thousands of years of history and the ability to change lives.
Many of today’s Yoga Teacher Training Programs (YTT) promise that after just 200 hours of training – the equivalent to 10 to 12 weekends or even shorter 18 day intensives – students will be able to teach basic principles of alignment with confidence and clarity, be familiar with yoga philosophy, and be able to “read” a student’s body and make proper hands-on adjustments. Search Yoga Alliance (YA)-registered schools and you might see promises like understand pertinent aspects of the business of yoga, design intelligently sequenced classes, heal trauma and/or depression.
Broad statements like these have fueled a growing concern among experienced teachers that yoga is losing its integrity. So how does someone decide what program to choose and is it enough? The avid yoga student today doesn’t have it easy when it comes to picking a teacher training program. While there are many factors to consider, here are 3 key do’s and don’ts for choosing a Yoga Teacher Training Program.
Don’t: Base your decision on convenience – Choosing a teacher training program simply to save time may not really get you what you want.
Don’t: Base your decision on tuition – Yes, tuition matters but try not to make it the determining factor. You need and deserve a training program that can provide you with a quality instruction.
Do: Your research – Why is this program more expensive? How long has the school been in business? Is there a mentor program? Quality trainings usually have a higher tuition because of the in-depth training and experience of their trainers.
Don’t: Overlook the importance of anatomy in the training – This is a big one. While there are some interesting yoga-related topics that may be advertised and taught in a teacher training, don’t overlook how anatomy is taught in the program you are considering. Anatomy may not seem like the biggest deal when you are in the middle of trying to learn all the Sanskrit names for postures or figuring out how to sequence properly.
Do: Ask questions – how much importance do they put on anatomy? Safety? teaching modifications? A solid understanding of human anatomy will not only transform your own practice into one that is ideal for your specific body, it will also enable you to bring so much more consciousness to your teaching in public and private classes. Knowing your anatomy is going to pay off big time in the long run, so make sure it is really emphasized in your program
- Take classes at the studio you are considering
- Get to know the teachers
- Ask about the curriculum