Inner Reflections
November 22, 2020

Finding The Right Yoga Teacher Training For You

Every passionate yogi eventually comes to this place within their path where they start considering a teacher training. For many people, they don’t even want to necessarily teach yoga. They just want to deepen their practice through formal training.

Finding the right yoga teacher training for you can be one of the most magical experiences of your life. It’s almost not the right vernacular to call it a yoga teacher training. It’s almost like we should call it a life training, so much more than just learning the alignment of poses. It’s so much more than just the postures and the asanas. It’s almost as if you feel like you’re learning the secrets of the universe. We explore those questions in teacher training. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? What’s going to bring more meaning into my life?

I’ve had the honor of facilitating yoga teacher trainings since 2005. I’ve led them internationally and have had people from just about every continent that have come through my teacher trainings. I’ve also led teacher trainings in many, many different formats. Our Holistic Yoga Flow teacher trainings are highly respected and highly rated on Yoga Alliance.

I’ve been in the shoes of you as a student also many, many times. I’m still a student. I remember what it was like before I did a teacher training. I remember what it’s like to walk in there on day one and feeling nervous.

In this post, I want to share five key tips for you to consider when looking for yoga teacher training. Hopefully, these five tips will help guide you in the direction where you end up where you belong. And then ultimately, when you come to the end of your teacher training, you will be so happy that you made the choices that you did.

Tip #1 – “Study with a teacher whose style you love.”

You want to make sure you’re spending your time, energy, your hard-earned money to go study with somebody you resonate with. When you do their classes, you feel like it’s fulfilling. It’s meaningful. That it gives you everything that you want physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Tip #2 – Pick the right yoga genre of what you want to study.

There are so many different styles of yoga out there. There is power yoga. There’s vinyasa yoga. There’s Hatha yoga. There’s Kundalini yoga. There’s yoga therapy. There’s Iyengar. There’s yin. There’s restorative. There are so many different genres of yoga.

Some trainings even do a little bit of all, but I recommend when you do your first teacher training that you choose the genre that you resonate with the most. Whether that’s vinyasa, whether that’s power, whether that’s hatha, you want to make sure that again, just like you’re choosing a teacher that you like their style, you also enjoy the style.

Tip #3 “Choose whether you want to do a training ‘in person’ or ‘online.’”

Now, obviously, if you can swing it in person, it is going to be a more superior experience because, on one level, you’re going to have more community. You’re going to be in a room with other people, and the community aspect is a huge part of it.

But the reality is for some of us, maybe we have two kids at home, and we can’t go off and do a teacher training. Or the person whose style we love doesn’t live in our city. They live in another state or country. Our only opportunity to study with those teachers that we love is through an online platform. In particular, recently with the COVID-19 pandemic, online might be the only option for most of us.

Also, if you’re doing it online, usually the way that it works is that it’s a lot less expensive. You’re not having to pay for travel. You’re not having to pay for room and board if you’re going somewhere internationally. You can do it on your own at home. You want to factor that in, and you want to look at the big broad perspective of all those different pieces of the puzzle.

Tip #4 – “Find the right format.”

There are many different ways that a teacher training can be done, and I’ve led just about every format you can imagine. I’ve done it where you do it every weekend, Friday night, all day Saturday, all day Sunday for three months straight. I’ve done the format where you do it once a month for almost a year, and I’ve also done the format like we do internationally where you go three weeks straight, every day, 10 hours a day. So, at 20 days, you get the 200 hours certification.

If you’re doing it online, some online trainings, you have to follow a specific structure. And other online trainings, you can do it at your own pace. All things to consider as you look for the format that works for you and where you are in your life right here right now.

Tip #5 – “Decide whether a Yoga Alliance certification is a priority.”

The fifth tip to consider is whether the training is Yoga Alliance or not. There is some debate around Yoga Alliance. If you’re unfamiliar, Yoga Alliance is recognized as the governing body that distinguishes programs that have met a certain set of criteria of integrity. Yoga Alliance makes sure that these trainings that are Yoga-Alliance approved have a certain amount of hours dedicated to anatomy, to teaching, sequencing, understanding the alignment of the poses, the yoga philosophy, etc.

My teacher Bryan Kest has been teaching longer than Yoga Alliance has been around. In my opinion, he is one of the best teachers around and his trainings aren’t Yoga Alliance certified, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not an amazing teacher training. So, keep in mind that sometimes who you train with matters much more than just getting a broad stamp of approval.

The other thing to keep in mind is that yoga knowledge has been passed down generation to generation for hundreds of years from Guru to teacher, from Guru to disciple without some middleman interfering in the process.

I would love for you to come study with me in some way, whether that’s in person or online. I would be honored. I’ll leave you with a few recommended practices to inspire your inner teacher: