Yoga Teacher Training: Everything you could possibly want to know

ultimate guide to yoga teacher training

After spending countless hours studying yoga teacher trainings when looking for my training on a variety of different types of yoga, at different price points and different locations around the world, I’m ready to share everything I found out and geek out with you on some numbers.  

To write this article, I analyzed many different teacher trainings along with their prices and durations.

This article aims to cover four main topics:

  1. Commonly asked questions about teacher trainings
  2. The prices and duration of teacher trainings
  3. How much yoga teachers earn
  4. A 10 step checklist to becoming a yoga teacher

Commonly asked questions about teacher trainings

For anyone looking to start a yoga teacher training, there are many questions to be asked in order to find out if this is the correct path for you and if so, how to choose the right training. Let’s dive in to the commonly asked question that I hope will help you decide.

How much experience before yoga teacher training?

Depending on the teacher training, some courses do not require any experience, while some require several years of a committed yoga practice. In most cases, the course will have a mixed group of students with varying levels of experience. To be sure, speak to the teacher and ask for their guidance.

My teacher training allowed all levels of students to join. And so when I did my course I had already been practicing Ashtanga yoga for 5 years, while some of my fellow classmates had only been practicing yoga for a few months.

What this meant was that physically my body was more used to the asana side of the training and I was more aware of the philosophy and anatomy sections we were taught, when compared to my less experienced practitioners.

If I were to choose again, I would look for a teacher training course that has students of a similar experience as that way the teachings are more or less equal given that our experience is roughly the same.

How do I prepare for yoga teacher training?

Most yoga teacher trainings provide students with homework, so that they are able to familiarise themselves with the teaching materials. I would recommend spending time studying the resources and also trying to form a consistent asana practice to get your mind and body ready for the course.

Once you have signed up for your teacher training, the course will provide you with a list of what they would like to do to prepare for the course. Try your best to go over all the materials as this way you will arrive for the course more prepared.

Which yoga teacher training should I do?

There are a variety of yoga teacher trainings as there are a variety of different yoga types. Choose a course that focuses on the type of yoga you are practicing. Then, look out for a course taught by a teacher you respect at a time of the year and at a price that suits you and your budget.

For example, there are courses that focus on Ashtanga yoga, or Hatha yoga, or restorative yoga, or meditation. First, determine the type of yoga you would like to train on and from there the next questions to ask are:

  • What cost is ok with your budget?
  • When is it?
  • Where is it?
  • Who is the main teacher?

How do I know if I am ready for yoga teacher training?

Are you ready to teach yoga? If yes then you are ready to do a teacher training. If you are not ready to teach yoga, a teacher training can also be an opportunity to dive deeper into your practice. You will learn about your body, anatomy, yoga philosophy and you will gain some great experiences.

Depending on the teacher training you choose and the requirements they have set, you will gain something from your trainings, whether you decide to teach yoga or not.

Is yoga teacher training worth it?

A yoga teacher training can be rather expensive most of the time. And so it is worth it, if this is something you really want to do. If you want to become a yoga teacher then it is definitely worth it. If you want to deepen your practice, then you could try a yoga intensive instead.

A teacher training is a gateway to becoming a yoga teacher. On the other hand, if you want to deepen your yoga practice, then perhaps think about doing a yoga intensive or a yoga retreat instead.

How does yoga teacher training work?

The most common type of a yoga teacher training is a 200 hour training. This is either done full time in one month or it is spread over several weekends in a year. The general schedule involves morning asana practice, followed by philosophy and anatomy in the afternoons.

Each yoga teacher training is different and so it is worth checking with the course you are interested in and finding out how they have organised the course.

Can I be a yoga teacher if I’m not flexible?

You can be a yoga teacher if you want to teach yoga. And that’s really it! If you are not flexible, then you will learn to verbally instruct your students and guide them in to the poses, as you may have difficulty demonstrating the poses.

There are yoga teachers that are flexible and have a beautiful practice, but are not very good teachers. They may not have a calming presence or the may not be able at communicating with their students. And so being flexible is just one part of being a yoga teacher. As long as you can compensate with something you are indeed good at, then you can be a yoga teacher even if you are not flexible.

What do you learn in yoga teacher training?

A yoga teacher training teaches you to teach yoga. And so you will learn a variety of yoga poses, you will learn to adjust fellow students in poses, some anatomy and some yoga philosophy. Depending on the course you may learn some meditation practices and pranayama.

It really does depend on the type of yoga you choose to focus on and also what the teacher of the course focuses on more. For example there are some courses that focus more on hands-on adjustments while other focus more on philosophy.

Can a beginner do yoga teacher training?

Some teacher trainings allow beginners to join. To be realistic though, as to become a good yoga teacher you need years of personal practice and study, if you are a complete beginner, see the training as a chance to dive into yoga deeper than any other beginner, rather than a teaching qualification.

What is it like to be a yoga teacher?

Being a yoga teacher is a very rewarding and very challenging. Most yoga teachers followed their love for yoga and that brought them to then teach it. Turning your hobby into a job can be challenging as now there is money, rent, logistics, students expectations to also consider.

I love teaching yoga, as I love sharing my practice with others. However, what I still find challenging is the behind-the-scenes things that go into running a yoga studio. For example, dealing with the payments, negative feedback (as amazing as you are, there will be someone who doesn’t think you are) and studio management.

What are the things to consider before becoming a full-time yoga teacher?

Being a full-time yoga teacher does not mean working a 9-5 job anymore. It means teaching enough classes to have a satisfying income. It can be challenging to be a full-time yoga teacher, especially given the rise in yoga teachers everywhere nowadays.

It depends on whether you want to open your own studio or is you teach in one or several yoga studios. Ask what the salary is for each yoga class and then calculate how much you feel you want to earn each month. And then see if it is worth becoming a full-time yoga teacher.

Is a 200 hour yoga teacher training course enough to become a yoga teacher?

A 200 hour yoga teacher training is the most common type of training nowadays. On the one hand it is enough to be able to teach yoga, on the the other hand it should be seen more as a stepping stone in to the world of yoga teaching. Even with the 200 hour more training is needed to become better.

Depending on your practice and what you would like to know more about or what interests you, after your 200 hour training it is important to continue to further your education with seminar and workshops. Try to never stop learning and never stop evolving.

How long did it take you to become a yoga teacher?

I took me one month to do my 200 hour teacher training, so in reality it took me one month to become a yoga teacher. Since then I have done countless in-depth trainings and so I will say that it has taken me 10 years to become a more experienced and good yoga teacher.

Do you need to be good at yoga to teach?

In order to teach yoga you need to have a consistent personal yoga practice. This helps familiarise your body and mind with the practice. You need to be comfortable with communicating with others and you need to be interested in other people’s practice and helping them evolve and progress.

And so you don’t need to be flexible to become a yoga teacher. You need to be prepared to become a role model for your students and guide them along the practice.

Can you do yoga teacher training online?

You can do a yoga teacher training online. Is it the same a normal teacher training? Definitely not. You gain so much from being in the same space your teacher, receiving hands on adjustments, being able to spend time with them and your fellow classmates.

Nowadays there are countless teacher trainings offered online. If you do not have the option of having a studio near you or being able to travel to another studio that offers a training, then perhaps it is worth while doing the course. Not in order to become a teacher, but to go deeper into the practice.

It is much harder to learn the teaching subtleties from an online course, and so if you want to become a good yoga teacher, aim for the true, hands-on experience.

200 hour vs 500 hour yoga teacher training

A 200 hour teacher training can be seen as a stepping stone, while adding another 300 hours and resulting in a 500 hours training can enrich your knowledge and experiences and help develop and deepen your understanding of the practice. Doing the extra 300 hours is well worth considering.

A 500 hour training involves more courses and helps students explore deeper aspects of the yoga practice, such as anatomy, adjustments, history or philosophy. Additionally, the extra 300 hours provides you with more time to develop teaching skills.  

What is Yoga Alliance?

The Yoga Alliance is USA based, while the Yoga Alliance Professionals is the British equivalent. Both are private companies that set standards for YTT programmes and recognise courses which comply with their standards. You can be a teacher without joining either of them.

By joining them you can write RYT 200 or RYT 500 after your name, to signify the level of training you have.

The prices and duration of teacher trainings

The price of a training course can range anywhere from $1,400 to $5,000. However it is important to point out that the price of the course does not always go hand in hand with quality.

How much is 200 hour yoga training?

In order to be able to answer this question, what I did was search online for the yoga teacher trainings that review sites seem to be recommending. I will point out that I have never attended these, nor do I know personally anyone who has.

The point of this breakdown is to provide you with an estimate of what yoga teachers training around the world cost. Use this information to help you see how much the prices and duration do indeed vary.

Yoga Dichaearly bird $2499
standard $2699
21 days Tulum, Mexico
Himalayan Yoga AcademyFrom $140026 daysNepal
Yoga Sutra Shala$4,400 to $4,94026 daysSpain
Ananda School of Yoga and Meditation$285628 daysNevada City
Byron Yoga CentreFrom $480020 plus 12 daysByron Bay, Australia
The Sanctuary at Two Rivers$999-$299921 daysCosta Rica
Kripalu Yoga School$2,70024 daysMassachusetts
Zuna Yogafrom $3,95021 DaysBali, Indonesia
Yoga Works$4,80028 daysworldwide
Oil yogaearly bird $2,630 standard
27 daysParis
Vinyasa yoga school$159530 daysLaxman Jhula, India
Yoga teacher training prices

Is yoga teacher training worth the money?

whether a yoga teacher training is worth the money depends on whether you want to become a yoga teacher. As it is necessary to do a yoga teacher training, you then need to look into the different options and find a training that has a teacher you respect and is within your budget.

From the table above you may have noticed that yoga teacher trainings vary a lot in terms of pricing. It of course dos not mean that the more expensive it is, the better it is.

It all depends on the type of yoga taught, the teachers on the course, the time of year, the location and the price. So look in to all those factors and hopefully you will find an option that matches all your criteria.

Why is yoga teacher training so expensive?

Teacher trainings are expensive for a variety of reasons. It is full time and trying work for the main teachers, it is intense and full on work for 30 days, the organising that takes place before the training takes part is also a major factor as is the value of the certification.

How much yoga teachers earn

If you are still interested in becoming a yoga teacher, now lets have a look and see how much you will be able to earn as a yoga teacher.

How much do yoga teachers make? What is their average monthly/yearly income?

So on average, in the US, yoga teachers may earn the following wages:

New teacher$35-45 per class
Experienced teachers$50-$75 per class
Private class$75-$200+ per session

This, of course, may vary, however from my research it seems like this is the going rate.

Given that the minimum wage in the US is $7.25 per hour, you can see that yoga teachers are able to earn a lot more than the minimum wage.

However, let’s now look at this a bit differently.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average US salary is:

  • 25 to 34 years: $776 weekly/$40,352 annually
  • 35 to 44 years: $976 weekly/$50,752 annually
  • 45 to 54 years: $975 weekly/$50,700 annually
  • 55 to 64 years: $966 weekly/$50,232 annually

So now lets assume that the average amount for a new yoga teacher is $35 per class and for an experienced teacher it is $62.5

So these are the number of classes that yoga teachers have to work per week to match the average US salary.

New teacherExperienced teacher
25 to 34 years$776 weekly19 classes/week
4 classes/day
12 classes/week
2 classes/day
35 to 44 years$976 weekly25 classes/week
5 classes/day
16 classes/week
3 classes/day
45 to 54 years$975 weekly24 classes/week
5 classes/day
16 classes/week
3 classes/day
55 to 64 years$966 weekly24 classes/week
5 classes/day
15 classes/week
3 classes/day

For anyone who has ever taught yoga, you may have noticed that teaching 3 yoga classes a day can be extremely tiring. So imagine that for a beginner yoga teacher, they have to teach 5 yoga classes a day (assuming a 5-day working week) in order to match the average US salary.

Seeing these figures, it is no wonder so many yoga teachers get burned out.

Can you make a living as a yoga teacher?

You can make a living from being a yoga teacher. However, you may have to teach many classes each day in order to make the average US salary for your age group. It is advisable to teach yoga part-time till you gain more experience as then you will be able to charge more per class.

At the end of the day, when you choose to teach yoga, you are choosing to turn your passion into a job. It may be hard at first till you gain some experience, but if it is something you love and are passionate about, you will be able to make enough money and make a living as a yoga teacher.

The 10-step checklist to becoming a yoga teacher

1. Do Your Research

Research everything there is to know about the style of yoga you want to train in, the accreditation this course will offer as well as the cost and the location. Some yoga teacher trainings are all-inclusive, meaning that the price includes accommodation and meals. Make sure you know exactly what the price covers.

2. Find a Teacher You Respect and Resonate With

This is actually the most important thing there is about choosing a teacher training. I am speaking from experience with this factor. When I chose my teacher training I chose a beautiful location in Goa, India which seemed picturesque and a great place to stay for 30 days.

In hindsight, I wish I had chosen to train with a teacher I already knew, whether to form a workshop or even from online. This is something say to everyone who asks me about teacher training.

3. Consider the cost and location

As discussed above, yoga teacher training can vary in prices and can seem like a very big investment, considering it can sometimes be only 21 days. Additionally, if the training takes part on the other side of the world, you will need to factor in the flight to the cost.

4. It’s about following your dream

being a yoga teacher is not a job that is ever forced on us. Like we grew up and were told we have to become a yoga teacher. For everyone, it was a conscious decision, that came from turning a hobby to a job. And so your teacher training is all about following your dream. It will not be the last training you will do so see it as the beginning of your yoga teaching journey.

5. Take Time for yourself

Especially if you choose to do a course that is somewhere exotic and far away, this month is a great chance for you to recharge and take the much time needed for ourselves. It is an investment for your future so try to embrace every moment of it as one month may seem like a long time. however, it will go by just-like-that.

6. Duration

Some training take part over 21-30 days while others may offer 12 days and 12 days and others may offer several weekends throughout the year.

If you can travel abroad, it is worth choosing training that does last 21-30 days, as that way you get the chance to fully emerge yourself in the experience. Of course, if your local studio offers the weekend option and yo find it challenging to leave your life for one month then definitely consider that option.

7. Become an apprentice

Some yoga teacher training allows their alumni to be assistants in the next training. This could be a great opportunity to gain some valuable experience and meet many new people. Alternatively, ask your yoga teacher if could be an assistant as you would like to gain some more teaching experience.

8. Enjoy the community

When you start your teacher training you will become part of a community made up of your classmates. This is a wonderful community to be part of, as the training can at times be challenging, and so having a friendly face to talk to can make the world of difference.

Additionally, your classmates will be the first people you will get to actually teach. And vice versa. This will help create a lovely bond for you all that will hopefully stay in place for years to come.

9. Pack the essentials

I would recommend bringing your yoga mat, naturally. However aside from that and all the yoga clothes you will need, I recommend bringing two things:

  1. A camera, as you will want to take photos not only for the memories but also of certain aspects from the course, For example, I took photos from all my hands-on adjustment classes and I still use them as a reference. Here is a great and highly rated camera that is mirrorless, meaning it is compact enough to travel with easily.
  2. Two notebooks. One for taking notes during the classes and one for writing down your thoughts and experiences. This course could be a once in a lifetime experience and so it is worth recoding all your experiences, the good the bad and the ugly, for your further self to be able to hold on to and look back on. A month may seem like a long time, however in the grand scheme of things, it becomes a blink and you’ll miss is experience, so try to treasure it the best you can.

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