Top 8 Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Teacher Training
By Nicole Doherty
The avid yoga student of today doesn’t have it easy when it comes to figuring out a path for themselves in the ever-expanding field of yoga. There is a lot of noise out there in the market and a tremendous amount of choice. With countless styles, locations, studios, teachers, prices, and time formats, how does one go about picking a teacher training?
Below is a list of things to consider when you are doing your research not in any particular order. You will need to prioritize what means the most to you and then make your decision from there.
1. Is the Teacher Training Yoga Alliance Certified?
The regulating body for the Yoga industry is the Yoga Alliance. Be sure to enroll in a Yoga Alliance Certified program to ensure that there is consistency around the basic information that you are receiving and a minimum quality standard set for the training.
2. What style of Yoga will you learn in the Teacher Training?
It’s important to know when enrolling in a program what style of yoga you will be learning, so that in the future you will know what you are able to offer your students as a teacher. As you are learning how to teach, most teachers will ask you to imitate their teaching style until you really integrate the information that you are learning. So you want to make sure that you really resonate with their teachings and style. If you aren’t sure what style you wish to teach at first, that’s fine, just get trained in something more broad based and general that teaches you a great foundation. When you have a great foundation upon which to build then you can add specialty trainings down the line and get creative. Also, take as many classes from the teacher trainers to see if you like the method that they offer.
3. Are you learning one set sequence or how to intelligently and creatively sequence?
There are teacher training programs out there that only teach students one sequence to memorize and this sequence is specific to teaching just at that studio. This is fine if you plan to only teach at that studio or within that system, but if you have plans to move beyond that studio or teach private clients one day you may wish to get your training elsewhere. Private clients have a variety of body types, injuries or illness and memorizing poses is a very limited framework that doesn’t teach you how to customize a sequence or teach with full intelligence about the anatomy of one’s body. You may wish to learn how to teach to people’s bodies and create safe, intelligent and creative sequences so that you can take your training anywhere.
4. Will you get a teaching job after your teacher training?
There are many studios out there that claim they will offer teaching jobs after completing their training, but we all know that this is not a sustainable business model unless they can afford to continually open studios. If you want a teaching job, you may want to ask what the career path is to getting on the yoga schedule as a paid instructor. Find out how the yoga studio’s business is doing, what their turnover rate is, and if they have plans to open other studios and when that will be. Be diligent in your questioning of the business and the process of getting a job there.
5. Will the teacher training allow you to teach locally, travel with yoga or teach abroad?
This is an important question when it comes to your career path. If you plan to stay in your local community, you may choose to train at the popular studio in your local area. If you plan to travel with your training and teach in the US or abroad, you may wish to choose a larger brand that is globally recognized and offers trainings in many cities or countries.
6. How long have the teachers been training and is their teacher training network growing?
It’s logical that you would want to learn from the best and most experienced teachers in your market, or maybe even travel to train with a very experienced teacher or group of teachers. Research teacher’s bios on the roster of your local studio and notice where they were trained. Research the big name teachers out there too and see where they trained.
Ask about the teaching lineages of the trainers of your program and how much experience they have training students to become teachers. If these teachers are training students well, then their students will become great teachers too down the line.
Additionally, you can inquire how the teachers that are training you became trainers in the first place. Some programs out there just pick their most popular teachers to teach or the studio owner teaches everyone. In other programs, teachers need to go through very vigorous specialized trainings and certification programs for several years before becoming a trainer.
7. What is the price of your teacher training?
There is a bit of a range of pricing when it comes to training. For a foundational 200 hour program you will probably pay anywhere from $2500 – $4000. Be sure to look at some of the other criteria when picking training other than the price tag. Quality trainings are usually carrying a higher price tag because they have to pay their teachers well since they are in such high demand.
8. What is the program format of your teacher training?
You definitely want to consider the format of your training so that it fits within your overall schedule. Immersions taken over the course of the month are quick so ask yourself if learning this way fits your learning style, lifestyle and work or school schedule. Immersions will require you to do yoga all day long, every day and take many tests within a very condensed time frame. Three to six month extended program formats are popular for their digestible nature. These formats allow students to learn the material more spaciously helping them with their integration process. But again, this is up to you. Some people also really love traveling abroad to take a training in another country, fully immersing themselves in yoga.
So when choosing a yoga teacher training there are many things to consider, so take the time to decide what’s most important to you. Don’t get too overwhelmed either, going down this path is one of transformation no matter which way you slice it. And, if you really love this path and decide it is for you, I promise you will take many more trainings and workshops down the line. Yoga offers lifetimes of knowledge.
Nicole Doherty is a 500-RYT Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher, singer and writer. She is certified through YogaWorks under the tutelage of Joan Hyman and Jeanne Hieleman. Nicole is also the Marketing Manager for domestic and international YogaWorks teacher trainings. She teaches private clients as well as public classes at YogaWorks, Goda Yoga and Hot8Yoga in Los Angeles. Nicole is the yoga expert columnist for American Athlete Magazine. She also writes for a variety of health & wellness blogs, including her own at http://nicoledoherty.com. You can find her also on Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/nicolepresents] & Twitter [https://twitter.com/nicolepresents].