There are over 8,000 yoga teacher training courses internationally and most are really adult summer camps where you sing songs, eat lentils, and practice lots of yoga. Call me crazy, but I believe a yoga teacher training course should actually teach you how to teach and set you up to start earning a living the day you graduate. Do you agree?
Here is the problem. Most yoga courses have a 100% graduation rate (they literally sell certificates) and less than 3% of their graduates actually go on to teach. If you’re just entering the market as a prospective teacher, it can be very difficult to figure out which courses are just for fun and which will actually add value to your career.
To help you, here are five questions I’d suggest you ask yourself to better understand what you need so you can find a school that fulfills your requirements.
Question #1. Do you want to teach professionally?
If your main goal is to spend some “me time” focused on healthy living, yoga, and community, then there are thousands of great courses. If you want to teach professionally and actually earn money, you’ll need to really dig deep as most courses do not offer this.
Question #2. What kind of teaching credentials do you need?
Most yoga courses simply “register” with Yoga Alliance. This is a good start, but the best courses have multiple accreditations, international coverage, relationships with insurance providers, and independent reviewers. The top courses are now endorsed for university credit as well.
Question #3. What is more important to you, low cost or high value?
Cheap yoga courses are an expense and experience where you’ll spend a little money for some fun memories. Professional courses are an investment that will cost more, but you’ll learn and grow personally and professionally, and your tuition will return to you as income usually within 2-6 months.
Question #4. Are the training staff actually working professionals? Or just trainers?
Sadly, many yoga studios and teachers launch training programs just for revenue. Many training courses are led by teachers who only recently graduated themselves, have very little professional experience, or who are retired teachers who haven’t been in the game for a decade or more. If you want to teach professionally as a career, make sure your trainers are active as teaching professionals.
Question #5. Do you want to learn mind-body fitness? Or religion?
If you’re interested in religion or philosophy, that’s great—but 90% of your students are not, and 100% don’t want their yoga teacher to preach to them. Many yoga training school mix Hinduism and/or Buddhism into their trainings, and this is not a good use of time and attention for fitness-based teachers.