200hr yoga teacher training qualifications are not for the faint-hearted. They require serious dedication and investment: financially, physically and emotionally. But, if you want to deepen your practice, expand your horizons and embark on a spiritual journey, it could be the perfect route for you.
I’m often asked by my students whether the 200hr yoga teacher training would be a good option for them. The answer is always the same: it depends on what they want to achieve.
A 200hr YTT is about much more than teaching you the fundamentals of how to be a yoga teacher. You’ll learn what yoga really means to you and how it can transform your life for the better. You’ll make friends for life and gain a newfound knowledge that knows no bounds.
But, how do you know if now is the right time to kick off your yoga teacher training journey?
What is the purpose of the 200hr yoga teacher training?
The 200hr yoga teacher training is the first step for keen yogis to strengthen their understanding of the foundations of yoga. It’s the start of a lifelong learning journey.
200hr YTT courses – wherever they are and whoever they are led by – are designed to prepare your mind, body and spirit for the huge responsibility of sharing the power of yoga with others. It’s the most common certification available for yoga students and should cover the fundamental elements of yoga anatomy, the physical asana practice and yoga philosophy. More in-depth 200hr YTT courses will also take you through lesson planning, business methodology, meditation and subtle energy practices.
While legally you do not need a 200hr YTT certificate to teach a yoga class, it is something I would strongly advise you to consider. Many studios won’t even consider a yoga teacher without a minimum of 200hrs as a qualification, and the wealth of experience and knowledge you gain from YTT cannot be taken purely from attending classes.
It is therefore a badge of honour; one that shows that you take the safety and experience of your students seriously.
Questions to ask yourself before you register for your 200hr YTT.
Just because you love yoga, it doesn’t mean that you should necessarily take part in a 200hr YTT. Here are some of the key questions I would recommend you think through before signing on the dotted line.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
Most yoga schools will ask for a minimum number of years worth of yoga practice in order for you to take part in their yoga teacher training. For Laura Green Yoga Teacher Training School, a minimum of two years of consistent yoga practice is required verified by a reference from your teacher.
Be aware: this isn’t something you should take with a pinch of salt. You may well adore yoga, but if you’ve only been rolling out the mat for a few weeks, the simple fact is that you aren’t ready. It doesn’t matter how long you can hold a headstand for or whether you’ve already nailed crow – that isn’t what this is about.
You should already have a long yoga journey behind you. This journey is a crucial part of your onwards one. It will tell you why you want to train, what you want to achieve, who you want to serve and what aspect of yoga most speaks to you.
Get up close and personal with yourself as a yogi before you commit to something as enormous as yoga teacher training. Only then can you fully appreciate which training is the right one for you.
What is your end goal?
Before you sign up for your 200hr YTT, ask yourself why you want to do it. What’s your intention for the course? Is it to start up a yoga business? To deepen your own practice? To add it to your resume?
It’s important to know that you’re doing your yoga teacher training for the right reasons… If you want to use your qualification as a means of quitting your 9-5 and making big bucks from the word go, I’d hasten a guess that this isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you want to commit yourself to a transformative period of growth and gain the initial means to share your love of yoga with others, then you’re probably onto a winner.
Be aware that your end goal could very easily change once you actually start your YTT… And that’s okay!
What style of yoga do you want to train in?
This is very important, as all schools specialise in different styles of yoga.
If your love for yoga sits well and truly in the hot yoga camp, then you probably aren’t going to get much from a Vinyasa based training. Likewise, if you ONLY want to ever teach Ashtanga, a course that covers everything but Ashtanga will leave a pretty sour taste in your mouth.
Essentially, you need to decide whether you want to have one style under your belt or a range. My yoga teacher training course covers a mix: vinyasa yoga, hatha yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga, remedial yoga, chair yoga and gentle yoga.
Do you want to take part in an intensive YTT course or a long-term one?
There are pros and cons of both intensive YTT courses and the longer term ones. A lot of the time your choice will come down to your personal circumstances. However, if you do have the flexibility to choose one of the other, have a serious think about which would suit you better.
Typically, an intensive YTT will involve three to four weeks of daily tuition. A longer term course could run over three, six, twelve or eighteen months… Really, it’s how long is a piece of string with long term courses.
How do you best learn? Are you someone who needs to immerse themselves in one subject and one subject only for it to sink in? Or do you prefer being able to apply your learnings to your everyday life and take your time?
Of course, with an immersive course, you get your certification quicker: a gold star for many. But, you get considerably less time teaching which can bring a hefty shock when you step out into the real world. While a long term course will (as the name suggests!) take longer, it does adhere more closely to the traditional way of learning yoga. You can practice teaching while you do the course to really hone your skills as a unique and thoughtful yoga teacher.
What can I do with my 200hr yoga teacher training qualification?
If your yoga training school is registered with Yoga Alliance Professionals, there’s a good probability that the training will include your Yoga Alliance certification (but check!): this means that following your course you will be a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT).
This shows your commitment to the craft and your understanding and awareness of teaching. Students will trust you more, and you can teach comfortably in the knowledge that you are well prepared for whatever a class might throw at you.
But remember: this is only the beginning. Life as a yoga teacher doesn’t end at your 200hr training. You can (and should!) keep taking part in various training sessions to enhance your offering and improve your skills as a yoga teacher.
Can I do my 200hr yoga teacher training with Laura Green Yoga?
Here at Laura Green Yoga I offer a range of yoga teacher training courses, including your 200hr YTT.
My next course runs from March 2022 – November 2022, one weekend per month as well as a week-long immersive in Droxford, Hampshire.
To find out more, visit my 200hr yoga teacher training page. I really hope to hear from you soon!