Many of you had questions, and I have answers. I have created a video to go along with this post so that you can receive a little bit more background knowledge before I dive into everything you should probably know before, during, and after your 200hr ytt (yoga teacher training).
I have just recently completed my 200hr ttc (teacher training course), for Hatha and Vinyasa yoga in Koh Phangan, Thailand. To ensure that I chose the right course from me, I went through quite a bit of research. Both online, and speaking with other teachers I knew.
One thing that I learned? As with anything, don’t rush the process. You will know which one is right for you. Keep your options open and look into what kind of intensity you need as a yoga student. Are you able to take a month off of work across the world to Thailand, or do you need to do it amongst a series of a few months and meet with your class every weekend? Which style do you want to focus on? Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin & Restorative, Hatha etc.? It’s definitely worth looking into taking your ttc in a style that you love to practice, as your passion for it will certainly shine through. However, it’s intelligent to keep your options open to all styles that interest you.
How to choose the right course for you
Look at all of your options! YTT is a big investment, and you want to make sure that the course you are selecting is good for your schedule, level of intensity you’re able to handle, style/ niche of yoga, location, and budget. I know it’s quite a few things to look into, but believe me, it matters. It’s also a good idea to check out the teachers that will be guiding you through the teacher training.
Book Yoga Retreats
I used Book Yoga Retreats to find my course, and they gave me the best deal! It was even better than the one I had found on the training programs site, so definitely use it as a resource.
What’s really great about their site, is they make it so easy to narrow down what you are looking for. Do you want a Yin/Restorative Training, or maybe a strong Ashtanga or Hatha program? Tons of Vinyasa courses, and many continuing education certifications, as well!
You can search for programs based off of the location– a local program or one abroad? It also allows you to narrow down the time-frame of a course. Keep in mind that if you are trying to do a YTT in under 20 days, it will be extremely compact. I absolutely recommend aiming to go to courses for the 200hr certification with no shorter than 4 weeks (21-28 days worth of training) if possible.
There are so many choices, but everyone has different needs when it comes to yoga, and this is a great way to help you narrow down your search.
Read the reviews.
Many times I found myself 100% ready to book a program, only to find some not so good comments in the review section. So PLEASE be sure that you’re thoroughly going through reviews. In my case, the program was quite new (had only opened up 6 months before my training began). And you. know what? They still had a ton of reviews! Positive ones. Not only through Book Yoga Retreats, but on Facebook, as well as testimonials from students (and now teachers), on their site.
If you’re having a hard time finding training with a lot of reviews, you can either narrow down your Book Yoga Retreat search to only show results with a good amount of reviews, or take the name of the ytt you are curious about, and head to FaceBook or even their own site. If they don’t have any testimonials or reviews at all, then maybe tread lightly.
Once the search has been narrowed down, what’s next?
Questions, research, and more questions! Send an email to the director of the training before you book. A lot of the best programs answer the big questions right there on their main site, like where it is located, who the teachers are, what the curriculum is, the general day to day schedule, the prices, if accommodations and food are included and what it consists of– most teacher trainings follow a strict plant-based diet (which everyone can enjoy, vegan), but it’s a good idea to take note of what they offer.
Here are a few of the things that I asked:
- What is their yoga philosophy? (priorities of the course, teachers, etc.)
- What is the graduation rate?
- Is there a final written exam and practicum?
- (if food is included) are you able to accommodate people with dietary restrictions? (eg. allergies, vegan, celiac or gluten intolerances, etc.)
- What do recent graduates have to say about the course? Reviews, testimonials, etc.
- Is it certified with Yoga Alliance (the universal standard of ytt’s– make sure you double check with them if being a registered yoga teacher is a priority to you)
- Is this course meant to prepare me for real life teaching eg. yoga business, how to find a career in yoga after, what is taught in order for us to feel comfortable teaching, essentially?
For me, I did ask a few more questions, as I did have to work the entire way through my program, so I asked about wifi, our daily breaks and the length of them, homework, etc., just to get a better idea for how I could prepare for an intensive training while simultaneously survive the holiday season with work. Having said this, feel free to add in whatever you need to ask to tailor it to your needs as a yoga student and future teacher.
Discounts and Deals
If cost is an issue, keep an eye out for programs that offer early-bird specials, 10-20% off if you join their mailing list, training scholarships, etc. It’s definitely worth reaching out to the director of the programs you’re really interested in, about. In most if not all cases, when you book early enough, the programs offer a payment plan, and usually only require a deposit, plus, they give you a few more months before the final payment is due.
While I was searching for a course abroad, the most affordable locations were all in India. They included 2-3 meals a day with the price listed, along with private accommodations. Thailand was generally the mid-range. There were more affordable ones in Nothern Thailand and slightly more expensive courses on the islands. Bali, Indonesia had some of the pricier ones, at least when I was looking. Originally, I had planned on doing a course down there, however, I didn’t end up finding any that fit both my budget, and included everything I needed, however, this may be different for you and your needs!
It’s a lot easier to choose the perfect course when you are very open to the location. Since I was going to be in Asia already, there were a lot of courses that may have been really fantastic for me, but located on the opposite side of the world. If you are open to more flexible locations, definitely check out Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, New Zealand, and even spots in your home country. Tons of beautiful spots with an incredible curriculum.
Often times if you do join a mailing list for a website like Book Yoga Retreats (not affiliated, just love them), they’ll send you awesome offers all the time for ttc’s, which is perfect if your schedule and location are flexible.
You can actually still teach yoga without becoming a ryt (only about 25% of yoga teachers in the U.S are RYT!), but well-structured teacher training will provide you with the essential skills needed to help you and your students flourish when you are guiding their class. If you’re looking to teach at a specific studio, make yoga teaching your career, or even open up your own studio, I totally recommend taking a YTT course. For personal development, and if you have the time to, I would also even recommend taking your training down south or abroad, to make the most of the intensive learning, somewhere beautiful if your time allows for it.
So, choose wisely, don’t rush, trust your gut, and most importantly, have fun! Because this journey to deepening your practice is every bit of enjoyable as it is enriching.
Have you already completed your 200hr YTT, or are you looking to begin one in the coming year? Share your experiences with finding the right one for you down below!
xoxo Herbivore Beauty