If you want to take the YTT not only to deepen your own practice but also to begin teaching, choose a school that is registered with the Yoga Alliance and provides you with a certificate after you complete the course.
While it is technically possible to teach without a certificate or even teacher training, it will increase your credibility and help you find a job later on, as most studios require one. Check out your home country’s regulations for working as a yoga teacher and whether it has its own yoga association that issues certificates.
Yoga Alliance International
The Yoga Alliance certificate is internationally recognized and allows you to teach anywhere in the world. It is the most well-known and largest non-profit yoga community. You’ve probably heard of the foundational 200-hour training, the basic qualification that allows you to teach right away. Some schools provide a full 500-hour training, but in most cases, you will be better off starting with a 200-hour course, then gaining some teaching experience for a few months before returning to the additional 300-hour course.
200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course
A 200-hour training, also known as a 200 YTTC (Yoga Teacher Training Course), will provide you with a solid foundation, and depending on the curriculum, you will learn about asana, correct alignment, pranayama and meditation in theory and practice, anatomy of the physical and energetical body, mantras, mudras and kriyas, hands-on adjustments and different styles of teaching methodology, ancient yoga scriptures and philosophy, and some schools teaching basic concepts of Ayurveda, meditation business aspect of teaching as a yoga instructor. There are teacher trainings for all different types of yoga, and if you’re still new to it and struggling to find your style, take your time or consider taking a multi-style training.
Continuation of Your Education
Aside from these Yoga Alliance basic certifications, you can further deepen your knowledge with additional training in specific types of yoga, which are typically 50 or 100 hours long, such as Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Prenatal Yoga, Children Yoga, or attain workshops in Meditation, Pranayama, Adjustments, and so on.
After a few years of teaching, you may decide that you want to conduct your own Teacher Training or open your own yoga school. That is possible with the Yoga Alliance E-RYT 200 and E-RYT 500 certifications, which are awarded based on your level of experience.
For your E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), you must have yearly 50 hours of continuing education with YA-registered programs (i.e. yin yoga training), as well as 1000 hours of teaching experience and a minimum of 3 years of certificate holding. This entails paying yearly dues to the Yoga Alliance. E-RYT 500 requires 2000 teaching hours and 5 years of experience.
A good teacher is more than just a degree.
We’ve all heard that our favorite teachers aren’t always the ones with the most certificates. Aside from wondering which certification is best for you, keep in mind that you will need more than that in the end.
Of course, teacher training is a good place to start and will provide you with a solid foundation, but becoming a great yoga teacher is a life-long journey that requires dedication and effort.
Not only to teach but also to keep your own practice going while serving others. You can only truly teach what you have experienced and embodied yourself, so get on your mat as often as you can!