It seems like there are hundreds of Yoga Teacher Trainings to choose from these days, all over the world! It can be very tricky to determine the value of these trainings and to decide which is the best training for you. Before you continue on, consider what your goals for taking the training are, and what your dream job would be. Do you want to teach at your local studio, do you want to travel and teach retreats, do you want to teach at big-name studios, and/or do you want to teach workshops around the world? Perhaps you want to teach at yoga festivals or perhaps you simply want to learn more about yoga! It’s important to be clear on what you’d like to accomplish, so you can make an informed decision when choosing your training. Using a similar scoring system that we used to help us gauge the value of a yoga retreat, below are 6 contributing factors to help you pick the right teacher training program for you! [wp_ad_camp_1]
1. The Trainer(s)
The trainer(s) of the teacher training program will have a large influence on the price of the training. There are many “big” names in yoga nowadays, and that can be important for you based on your goals with your teaching. If you have big dreams to become a world-renowned yoga instructor, it might be important for you to seek out a training with a well-known, or well-trained teacher who has studied with top yogis and/or who has many credentials/trainings under their belt. Alternatively, you may just be interested in teaching locally where you live or learning more about the practice of yoga itself, in which case the “name” behind the training won’t be as important, but always make sure your trainers have the right credentials! The more hours, the better.
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- 2 points - if the training is held by a well-known name in yoga or has 800+ hours of training.
2. Yoga Alliance Registered
Many studios require that you do your training with a Yoga Alliance Registered School. The Yoga Alliance has specific curriculum standards for programs to meet this registration, and you will be registered with the Yoga Alliance as a teacher if you go through such a program. It's a standard for yoga teachers and is said to increase credibility for teachers. This may be important for you, depending on your overall goals. Determine if this registration will aid you in your career.
- 2 points - if the training is a Yoga Alliance Registered Program.
Some trainings like to combine travel with the program. This can be a fun way to step outside of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in your program and your surroundings. You'll have to make sure you can afford to spend this time away from work and home, of course, which can be tricky! If you'd love to visit Bali or Costa Rica for an extended period of time, a teacher training program abroad might be perfect for you. It's important to determine what the overall costs of your time abroad will be, including the training itself, accommodations and lodging, travel there/back and within the country, and food/drinks. Is any of this included? That will bump up the price, of course! If these factors aren't included, the training itself might still be more based on the novelty of such a training. Determine is this is desirable for you!
- 3 points - Training is in an exotic vacation location & includes lodging or other things in the price,
- 2 points - Training is in an exotic vacation location but doesn't include anything else in the price, or training is in a well-known city that could help foster connections.
- 0 points - Training is close to home and doesn't incorporate vacation.
4. Reputation of the Studio & School
Is the reputation of the studio and the school important for your needs? Trainings at places like YogaWorks, for example, enable you to teach at many studios and come backed by the reputation of the studio. In fact, you can only teach at YogaWorks if you've done their training, because of their high standards and focus on alignment and safety. If you're not certified by them but want to teach there, you would have to take a bridge program or retake their training to qualify. This could get even pricier than opting for their training in the first place, so it's important to consider where you want to teach. Do research on the places you're considering and seek out reviews from past students, or find out what past students are doing now. The bigger the name of the studio, the costlier the training will be, and with good reason! It's like with universities and colleges - you may pay more to attend a big name university, but being an alumni of that university may carry perks for your entire career.
- 3 points - studio and school are well-known internationally and you can teach almost anywhere if you take their training,
- 2 points - studio has high standards, but may not be internationally known or may only have one studio,
- 1 point - studio and/or training program are new and not as known/recognized.
5. 200, 300, or 500 Hour Training
As far as the standard for yoga teacher trainings go, there are different levels that you can take. You can do a 200 hour, a 300 hour, or a 500 hour training. While there are many different kinds and focuses of trainings that you can do, these are the main ways that the trainings are categorized. A 200 hour is a great introduction to teaching and will enable to teach at many locals studios. To teach at the well-known studios, most require a 500 hour training program, which you can do all at once if you're able to. Or you can break it up and do the 200 hour first, then a 300 hour later to equal to a 500 hour program.
- 3 points - 500 hour teacher training,
- 2 points - 300 hour teacher training,
- 1 point - 200 hour teacher training.
6. Special Niche or Specific Type of Yoga
The final thing I would consider when determining how much I should spend on a teacher training is what the focus of the training will be. There are many different schools of Yoga these days that offer trainings to get into their studio, and you must determine if this is important to you. The sticker price on these specialized trainings can increase dramatically depending on what it is, so be sure this is in line with what you want to teach or learn moving forward. For instance, the program may be focused on yoga for pregnant women, on the psychology of yoga, on Jivamukti Yoga, and more!
- 3 points - training is highly specialized and can't be found in many places, and is required to teach a certain style or in a certain studio.
- 2 points - training focuses on a specific skill or philosophy,
- 1 point - training is a general, well-rounded curriculum.
Points Breakdown: How much should you be paying?
- 0 – 4 = $999 – $1999 A training that gets 1 – 3 points using this system is perfect for the future teacher that might want to teach locally in their community, just learn about yoga, and/or is on a budget!
- 5 – 7 = $2000 – $2999 A training that carries some special features but is still affordable for most!
- 8 – 10 = $3000 – $3999 A training that is probably with a well-recognized school and/or a known teacher, or offers something unique in it's program.
- 11 + = $4000 and up - I've seen trainings go for even $6500 - $10,000 so it can really vary based on your goals. If your potential program landed in this category, you most likely have specific goals and needs and probably know what you want to do with your training. Or perhaps you've taken a 200 hour training and want to invest in a better 300 / 500 hour training to take you further in your career, and so you're willing to invest a lot to go after it.
This system should be used as a guide to help understand the general value of teacher trainings. There are a variety of factors to consider when pricing a training and some aren’t mentioned here. This is a starting off point, and keep in mind that low scores don’t imply anything about the quality of the training or experience! All have something to offer, depending on your budget and preferences, so don’t be deterred by a “low score” using this scale.