Getting Your Basics Right: How to Choose The Best YTT?
I love practising and learning about yoga.
Should I consider Yoga Teacher Training (YTT)?
This is a common confusion faced by most practitioners who love spending time on a mat and are fairly interested in yoga. But is YTT a suitable commitment for everybody? First and foremost, let’s clear that out.
Now while there are many individuals who are passionate about yoga at a personal level, there are others who desire to study the discipline with much greater depth and in due course of time, plan on working as professional instructors. And for the latter, there is YTT. The principal aim of any YTT course is to broaden the horizons of yoga enthusiasts who wish to deepen their practice, learn more about yogic philosophy and most importantly, have a sincere desire to teach.
The sheer number of yoga studios offering the standard 200-hour training programme has seen a meteoric rise in the last few years. While that is great, there are many instances of courses that don’t have the required certification, are taught by inexperienced trainers, have substandard training facilities or just simply, did not turn out to be YTT you’d been looking for. Considering the commitment it requires, it’s best to be thorough when before you zero down on one. Let’s make the process of choosing easier for you!
What Every YTT Must Have!
Before we move on to the more personal factors, it’s important to be aware of the mandatory guidelines outlined by Yoga Alliance for 200-RYT training. Yoga Alliance 200-hour standards show that a teacher-training program must contain:
– Techniques, training, and practice for 100 hours. This includes asanas, pranayama, mantras, meditation, and other yoga courses and techniques.
– Teaching methodology for 25 hours. This includes communication, demonstration, teaching styles, the student learning process, and the business aspects.
– Anatomy and physiology for 20 hours.
– Yoga philosophy, lifestyle, and ethics for yoga teachers for 30 hours. This includes the yoga sutras, ethics and the value of teaching yoga as a service.
– Practicum for 10 hours.
– Remaining hours and electives. Yoga Alliances gives each teacher training program the liberty to disperse the rest of the hours among the five categories.
While almost every YTT adheres to these non-negotiable rules, it always good to be aware of the same before you sign up for a programme
What Should You Remember While Choosing The Best YTT?
1. Your Personal Style!
First things first, it is important to go for the YTT that resonates with your interests, goals and personality. This is important because while all standard programmes are bound to give a well-rounded experience, it is not unusual for each to have their own areas of focus. For example, Vinyasa, or Power, Yoga will pay extra attention to strength. If that’s what you enjoy, a gentle hatha yoga programme is not your cup of tea. However, do remember that whatever be your style, your first YTT is a formative influence. There’s always time to specialize. But this first brush builds your foundation and hence is crucial.
2. Don’t Jump Into A Decision
200 hours is a long time. So don’t join a programme without a thorough study of what they offer and whether that suits you in every way. Spend time with the yoga studios you are considering, read up on their literature and electives, go through detailed profiles of their instructors and try to gather feedback from previous students. If you manage to attend a couple of demo classes, there’s nothing like it. The entire idea is to avoid sketchy programmes that lure with promises that sound too good to be true.
3. Can I Afford It?
Money is an important factor and we need to be realistic about the expenses involved. Not only should you keep in mind the obvious charge of the programme but there are also ancillary costs that you would have to bear. This would include transportation, meals, rent and supplies (in case you need to shift to a different city for the course), study material and occasional fees for special workshops. Most good YTTs offer payment plans that make it easier. Just ask!
4. How Well Does It Fit Into My Schedule?
Yoga studios have different ways in which they divide the 200-hour course. You can either finish it in a matter of weeks by putting in long hours every day or opt for one that is spread over months. Herein is a crucial decision. Your training programme doesn’t end with the class. You will have to put in additional hours for self-study and practice. So opt for the format that is most convenient for you. YTT needs serious commitment. And the only way you can afford to give it that is by making sure it fits right into your life and schedule.
5. Find Out Their Policy About Being Absent
Since YTTs are highly structured courses, it is necessary that you are aware of their attendance policy. No matter how much you try, there can be unforeseen impediments that force you to miss a class or two. You don’t want to get halfway through, have an emergency that causes you to miss 10 hours and then risk losing your certification. So a good YTT will always have such provisions in place and most importantly, have it in writing. And while you are it, cross-check all other requirements that you need to fulfil in order to receive your degree.
We at Ashmayu Yoga offer three YTTs. This includes 200-Hour YTT, 300-Hour YTT and Prenatal YTT. To know more about our classes, check out our website for further details.