1. How Long Does It Take to Become A Yoga Teacher?
Yoga Instructor Training can take from less than a month to more than a year. So, what is the optimum time to train? From my 20-year experience of training more than 500 yoga teachers I’ve found three months to be the ideal length of time for a Yoga Alliance certified 200-hour program. Anything shorter than that, sometimes called a Yoga Teacher Training Intensive usually demands a residential retreat with additional travel and board. It can also mean long, tiring days with little time in between to digest the theory and practice the asana teaching. It also means taking significant time from work. Programs longer than 3 months stretch out the gap between the training days too far to maintain continuity. The average yoga studio creates Yoga Instructor Training to fit around their profitable public classes so they will sometimes compress them into the quiet days and times. AYC constructs its training specifically to work around busy lives with work and family to contend with.
2. Can a Beginner Do Yoga Teacher Training?
At one time I would have said no, but my experience with beginners is that they come with open minds and few preconceptions about how yoga should be done. In 3 months, they have mastered enough to be able to confidently teach a basic yoga class, avoiding injuries and offering perceptive feedback on correct alignment. Many of my trainees, starting as beginners, have gone on to get rewarding jobs, teaching intelligently with confidence.
3. How Much Does Teacher Training Cost?
The cost of teacher training varies widely from the cheapest where all the classes are recorded videos to the more expensive programs with a variety of highly-trained experts in each field. Exclusively online programs tend to be less expensive as you are not getting the personalized one-on-one feedback from the instructor.
Like most things, you get what you pay for and less expensive may likely be cheap! Do your research. Look for the experience of the main instructors, the number of positive evaluations, how many are registered for each session and how long the program has been in existence? Are they preparing you for teaching most styles or just one type of yoga?
4. What Qualifications Do You Need to be a Yoga Instructor?
The ideal qualification to be a credible and successful yoga instructor is with a Yoga Alliance 200-hour certified program. When looking for a Yoga Teacher Instructor Program be absolutely sure it is recognized by the Yoga Alliance, a US based worldwide body that certifies programs at the 200-hour, 300-hour and 500-hour levels. You need this certification to get insurance – and to get work at studios, gyms and corporate yoga classes.
5. Can I use RRSPs or RESPs to pay for Yoga Teacher Instruction?
This is a bonus when the Yoga Instructor Program is offered at a federally-certified education institute. That is rare but means you can use your RRSP funds or RESP funds to pay for the course. AYC is an registered education institute and many have paid for the course with registered savings. As a registered educational facility, AYC trainings are not bound by current online-only yoga class restrictions and offer in person education to a small number of suitably distanced trainees.
6. Can Yoga Teachers Do All Yoga Poses?
Actually, no one can do all poses. No one has the perfect body dimensions and other factors to enable them to do every pose. It would be great if yoga teachers focused on the many health benefits of yoga other than flexibility to make yoga more relevant and attainable to ordinary people. For more information on the multiple benefits of yoga, please refer to my book, The New Yoga.
7. Online Yoga Teacher Training or In Person Yoga Instructor Training?
The most accessible teacher training programs offer a hybrid of online and in person with trainees able to do both. Doing a training completely online is possible but you will miss the collegiality and personalized feedback from coming in person. However, if you are concerned about the health risks of coming in person, then it’s nice to have the option of doing the program online. The AYC allows trainees to come in person or online, making that decision from week to week.
8. Do I need to go to India or Costa Rica or Bali for Teacher Training?
Be clear whether you are looking for a vacation or to become a serious yoga teacher? Do your training in the most cost-effective way at home and then take a vacation if you can afford it. Destination Yoga Instructor Training Programs may not be familiar with your local yoga culture and local yoga market. What I learned in classes with the world’s leading yoga family in Pune, India, although brilliant in many ways, would not transfer easily to North America had I not already been certified in North America.