An Ultimate Guide to Yoga Certification (Yoga Teacher Training)

    yoga certification

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still” ~ Chinese Proverb

This principle applies to every single area of your life. Mother Nature hates vacuum and monotony, which is why she keeps on catapulting the dynamics of this planet in the form of catastrophes, changes, and destruction. This applies to skill development as well. Consider your professional profile surviving on the same skill sets and experiences for years and you seldom take any real interest to change it or add to it anything. What do you think the results would be like? The career graph shall stay stagnant and you will never have anything real or tangible. Many Yoga instructors and masters fail to move ahead in their journeys owing to lack of the right skill sets, timely up gradation in the same and (or) fiery enthusiasm to step out of their comfort zones.

If you are one of them, then it is high time to level up and step up your game from being a school Yoga teacher to achieving some sort of global recognition. How you are going to do it? Simply, by reaching out to the right places and resources for Yoga certifications and training courses. These courses shall polish your existing skills, help you adapt to changes, enliven your interest and widen your horizon in all possible ways.

Here is a guide to everything in between:                                            

Why Do You Need a Yoga Certification?

You could very well be in your comfort zone right now and earn well in your vicinity. However, with little ambition, you can uncover life’s path and attain the pinnacle of success in your professional life. We all need some skills to move ahead in life and this is no way possible if you choose to stay at one place or level. A Yoga Certification course comes packed with the following:

  • Different hours of training programs to train you in the best way possible. You start from the right point in your course and reach the goal in an excellent way.
  • Every course location will offer you a chance to learn at least one healing art. For instance, Ayurveda in India, Chinese medicines in other Asian countries, detox in Costa Rica and healing through an adventure in places like Nicaragua, Mexico, or Portugal.
  • You will meet new people who come from different parts of the world with the same aim and purpose in life. This opens door to new possibilities in both work and life.
  • Your stature as a professional Yoga instructor levels up to a Yoga Teacher, which means better hourly salaries, improved bonuses, and good opportunities.
  • Speaking of opportunities, as a Yoga teacher, your chances of employment increase and domains like corporate wellness, retreat leaders, celebrity fitness trainer, personal trainer open their arms to welcome you.

Now on to how to choose and what to consider while pinning down one.

1. Assess Your Current Situation

It is not about how ambitious you are but more about your thought process and the number of practical approaches you apply to your life. It is true that you cannot keep your career at a standstill but sometimes your situations may not allow you to go for a training course or yoga certifications. There are many reasons behind it- lack of financial back-up, proximity to the best Yoga certifications, and availability of seats and so on. It is better to assess your circumstances and then make a practical move towards your next goal. You can keep on adjusting your lifestyle as per your needs by sticking to your current job, accelerating your career graph and searching something local that might help you.

2. Choice of Yoga Styles

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What is your style of preference? Meaning, which Yoga style appeals to you the most? Yoga is not just an art but art with many layers to it. It would be unfair to not talk about its variations, styles, and different methods to perform each pose. Mindfulness meditation and spiritual practices come as a bonus, for sure. This all boils down to one simple fact and that is making a choice that suits your desires. The first move here should be to select a Yoga style, such as Hatha Yoga, Iyengar, Ashtanga or Tantric Yoga and then approach the training courses that offer a wholesome learning experience. Post making this choice, you can go for either the beginner level 200-hour Yoga teachers training program or jump onto the 500 hours one. This totally depends upon your experience and knowledge level.

3. Place for Learning

Rishikesh - Top Yoga Destination
Rishikesh Yoga Destination

A positive surrounding brings out the best in you. This is so right when selecting the leaning destination for your endeavor. Remember how you used to choose things according to your needs in your childhood? It definitely made you happy. Choosing the best course for your next big professional move is an excellent step towards building your stature in this field. However, what actually propels this ship in the right direction is the choice of destination for pursuing the course. This is all linked to the financial status and your living conditions. There are destinations like India, Thailand, Indonesia, Costa Rica, and even Mexico are famous for Yoga retreats as well as affordable Yoga certification courses. You can learn more about these places on retreat booking websites, from personal retreat organizers, or through people who are Yoga enthusiasts or on social networking websites.

4. The Yoga Certification Costs

Yoga Certification cost is one aspect you cannot afford to look away from. Nobody wants to talk about any hidden costs or overhead charges. Neither anyone likes to speak much about refund policies but here you are trying to dig in further. It is a good decision on your part, though. Before you begin the initial process of booking tickets and piling up your bag with your documents, enquire the training organizers about any hidden costs pertinent to bonus outdoor activities, retreats, food and shelter. Apart from this, it is always right to ask about any refund policies or cancellation procedures for that matter. Why do you have to put up with this one? You have to make sure that you have the information and awareness of the repercussions that come with last-minute plan change.

Now that you are fully aware of the initial steps to bagging the best Yoga certification, here are things you might have to consider while evaluating a program:

5. Defined Protocols & Methods

A right plan of action brings everything in the right order and content. Same is applikcable when it comes to selecting the training programs. Consider this – you have books, syllabus, and teachers at your disposal but no correct calendar, schedules or practice to put every resource into force. What will be the end result? Dirt failure! You have to make sure that the class schedules, meditation timings, and topics of different programs are explicitly mentioned in the brochure or marketing papers given to you at the time of initial admission to the program. There are YTTs that mention the list of teachers and Yogis who come for occasional classes and special spiritual lessons. So, you have to make sure that you chose the right program that offers every information on paper. Absence of any fact there, it is your duty to enquire further and refrain from jumping into a spiral of chaos and confusions later.

6. Planned Syllabus

yoga certification syllabus

Without a planned course, you cannot achieve anything, except stress, cacophony, and confusion. Not every Yogi or teacher will be a good mentor. However, a good mentor can play as many roles for you. A good teacher has the responsibility to add to the overall program by taking part in the planning phase and making sure that the curriculum is put to use in a proper way. Apart from this, a Yoga certification course should be in tandem with the choice of the disciple, for instance a 200 hours Yoga Teacher training program should offer basics of the Yoga style, lessons on eating habits and anatomy, ways to adapt to body changes and flexibility issues, few philosophical lessons, and adjustments at every single step. Anything less shall propel you towards a recipe of disaster and failures. The same is applicable to all the advanced courses on Yoga or mindfulness.

7. The Personality of the Program

Everything, dead or alive, has a personality these days. The personality of your chosen Yoga certification is not by what it looks like but what it has to offer you – one of the most important factors affecting your professional growth and probably one of the red flags as well. Do not go by what the sales banter or the marketing advertisements says on the forefront. Well, of course, it does shape up your first level of the decision but always relies on the practical experiences and alumni reviews. The Yoga teacher training program should not be about just the teachers but substance as well. If you see a lack of equilibrium or one aspect overworking another, then it is a sign of totally distracted course material. One of the many Yoga certification requirements is the presence of some personality in the course so that you do not end up following a cult-like a blind follower.

8. Pay Attention to the Marketing

This came late but better late than never. Advertisements, gimmicks, blah blah blabber can wreak your bank account more than anything. Pay attention to the heavy-duty marketing revolving around the program. Is it only about the program? Is it about luring you with the beautiful locale? Are there pictures of young teachers to reel you in? If these form the basis of the Yoga training courses then it is better to back out. Never fall for anything that is too glossy or flashy. Look for substance and topics or even the credentials. First, check for the accreditation, such as Yoga alliance teacher training, or courses that have support from bigger known organizations. Do not sign up for anything that promises you great sunsets but fails miserably when it comes to good teachers, time, and program schedules.

9. Licensed Teachers

yoga teachers

You will never get to learn anything concrete from naïve laypersons or non-accredited teachers. There are Yoga certifications that offer lessons on therapies, detox programs, eating habits, mindfulness, and even mentor-student connectivity. You have to make sure that you are under the right umbrella of knowledge and are led by knowledgeable teachers in this domain. There is a possibility that certain training courses have enrolled teachers who may not be adept in all courses but participate in every class, here and there. As a student, you want a complete package that has every entity in its right place. You can have a glimpse of what is being put on the table through brochures or Yoga certification online information while booking the course. Read every single candid review so that you don’t miss on any important information.

10. Diversity in Staff

An element of diversity in the staff at the training course center is a wonderful thing to look forward to. It not only adds value to the experience but also allows you to submerge your soul in a different mix of cultures and traditions. Many students admit that teachers from different cultures added new colors to the complete Yoga certification experience. Moreover, experienced teachers coming from all walks of life are adept in handling different challenges, course hurdles, and students’ issues in different spheres of their lives. As a new student or not, diversity shall help you in understanding spirituality, healthy lifestyle, and the purpose of inculcating this practice into your life from depth.

In a nutshell…

You will never have everything at one place but you can surely ascertain that you bag that one course that satiates all your needs. With teachers and destination being the top-notch priority, you have to consider the course fee, hidden costs and not falling for the ‘style over substance’ error.

Author Details

Retreat Kula

Retreat Kula

Retreat Kula is a team of spiritualists and yogis by heart and travelers by soul on this journey to bring together yoga lovers across the planet as a single community entrenched in the heart and spirit of authentic Yoga Life.

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