As a Yoga teacher, I get asked all the time how to choose the right yoga teacher training course (YTTC)?
To find the right training course there are several factors that can influence you. I think the first question you should ask yourself is WHY
Why do I want to do a yoga teacher training course? Is it to deepen your own practice and knowledge, develop your understanding of asana, anatomy and philosophy? Or do you want to do a YTTC to surround yourself with like-minded people in a beautiful retreat or ashram? Do you want to teach yoga? Are you already a teacher and want to develop your skills or refresh your knowledge?
These are a few of the questions you should ask yourself before deciding on the type of YTTC you want to attend.
Once you know why you want to do a YTTC I think then it’s important to know who is teaching the YTTC. What is their background, lineage and which style do they teach? Is there more focus on anatomy/physiology or in the spiritual aspect?
YTTC´s take around 200 hours, which is often taught between 2 and 4 weeks. It is an intense time of waking up early and having long days of practice and theory. For many people doing a YTTC can be a life-changing experience and you might also go through some major emotional processes.
It is important to know that the teacher is able to make you feel comfortable and can give you personal attention when needed. See if you can get in touch with the teacher directly either by having a phone call or Skype meeting. Also, you may be able to speak with students who they have taught before.
It is good to know if there is support after the course since often many questions arise after completion during your practice or training. In my case, I still have questions and doubts arising that I share straight away with one of my teachers and it is great to see how they always reply in 24hrs. It also is great for my students to know I have that contact. I like my students to know that at any time when a question arises, they can ask me and if I don´t know, I can ask one of my teachers in order for them to get the answer they need!
Another important factor is the location. There are YTTC´s all over the world and you will find many in India, the home of Yoga. I did my first YTTC in India, but even being an experienced traveller (as well as a blond single traveller) I found travelling in India came with its own set of unique difficulties. I actually have (like many others) a love-hate relationship with India.
But, to find a good YTTC you don´t have to travel to India, there are many courses all over the world. If you plan to travel afterwards then it could make sense to travel farther away for your course, otherwise, I think it doesn´t really matter since you will probably only have just one a day or so free to enjoy the local area.
I did my first YTTC in an ashram in the North West of India. I chose to go to an ashram, where you shared rooms (without wifi), shared the same meals, practised karma yoga and where you were living in the same accommodation with the same people and not allowed to leave the except on your day off.
This took me out of my comfort zone, which, of course, was challenging at times.
Looking back, I am happy I did it that way because I think there is a part of being a yoga teacher that is about being able to live a sober lifestyle where you are content, with no attachments and without any judgments.
My first preference was ashtanga, because it fits my body, although I soon realized that if I wanted to earn my living from teaching yoga there were more students interested in hatha yoga. That is why I looked for a traditional Indian Hatha Yoga Course, but, I was lucky and they also taught us how to develop a vinyasa class and other aspects in yoga, for example, Yoga Nidra, mantra chanting and meditation.
To be able to become a teacher you need to have done a minimum of 200 hours, even then you can only learn a certain amount in this time. So, you will need to decide on which style you like and look at how much time they spend on certain aspects.
The price of the YTTC is, of course, an important factor, but keep in mind the potential extra costs. Besides the YTTC cost, you will also have travel costs and the more free time you have, the more you will have extra costs to entertain yourself. There are many YTTC´s with an early bird discount, keep an eye out for that!
Here at Prana Casa, we have offered for the last 5 years a YTTC with an Indian Yoga master Dr Venky Reddy and once again this year in March 2020 we are offering another chance to study with Dr Venky.
In 24 days, he will guide and develop you in order for you to become a confident and well-educated yoga teacher. The price is 2950€, but there is also an early bird discount of 10% until November 2019. All food is included, except for dinners, to give the students the freedom to at least chose once a day what they want to eat 😉 although we do promote simple and light food in the evenings.
I hope you find this information of use to you when you decide which YTTC is good for you.
However, above anything else remember this one thing, it will be a transformative experience, and that can only be good!