I’m coming up on my last weekend of teacher training, and thought this would be a great time to answer some questions I received about it!
- How long does it take and how much?
It depends on which training you take. There are intensive programs that go Monday through Friday for 4 weeks. Or there are weekend only programs (Saturday – Sunday) that are 3-6 months long. The program I did was weekends only for 3 months. It wasn’t every weekend; there were often free weekends. You meet 9 weekends total.
The pricing also ranges per program. For my YogaWorks program, there is a super earlybird rate of $3,100. An early bird rate of $3,300 and the full tuition is $3,500. Currently there’s a black Friday sale (lasting until December 2nd) of $500 off the training + free books. Also, there is a teaching assistant spot per class and you can get a discount through that! You just have to help out in various ways – emailing the class, keeping track of attendance, cleaning the studio when finished, etc.
- Is it worth doing if I’m a beginner and I just want a more in depth learning environment?
I would say it’d be great to have 2-3 years of yoga under your belt prior to the training. My training included many of the Sanskrit names of the postures, which could be information overload if you’re very unfamiliar with the structure of the postures themselves. YogaWorks recommends 6 months of consistent yoga practice before enrolling in the program and at least 1 year of practice total.
But you definitely get so much more in depth learning. Your individual poses are being analyzed by both teachers and students. And the sequences go much slower than a typical class (and last longer) so you’re focusing far more on form rather than just flowing through. I learned so much about myself as a student of yoga – both in the physical and philosophical practice.
- How did you decide on which studio to do your YTT?
I’ve been a YogaWorks student since moving to Boston. The studio was previously Prana Power and YogaWorks took them over, but the teachers and the essence of the studio remained completely the same despite the change in management. I loved all the classes here and also trusted YogaWorks because their curriculum has been around for over 30 years with great ratings.
- YTT is high on my list but I kind of feel like I’m not “good enough” at yoga? Thoughts?
All yogis welcome! You also learn amazing modifications that there wouldn’t be time to address in a typical class. By learning how to be a better beginner, you can more easily advance your practice in the future.
- How many weekends / hours?
The 200 hour was a total of 9 weekends for me, 9 hours per day. And then there’s homework to complete on the weekends building your own sequences. We also had to take 12 yoga classes in addition to the weekends.
- Do you have any suggested reading material? I went through YTT a year ago and want to keep learning!
The book I liked the best was called The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar. It broke down the Sutras in more modern language. We were also recommended Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar.
- What have been your biggest take aways?
I think my most profound realizations were from the physical practice. There were so many postures I was doing incorrectly or was just lazily dumping into. I was originally introduced to yoga for back pain from yoga and gymnastics. But I’d then just sit in poses that compressed my low back, leading to even more pain. So the training really reminded me of the correct way to do postures, and things I needed to modify. And that modifications lead to a deeper practice, rather than an easier one.
It also allowed me the cognitive space to reignite some creativity in me. I’d find during the weekends there, I’d be just brimming with ideas for new blog content. This was huge for me because I was previously feeling so absurdly uninspired with my online presence.
ALSO! It really helped with confidence and public speaking skills. Getting up in front of the class and teaching a posture is something I would have previously been so nervous about. I still need a lot of practice, but it was a great introduction and easing into public speaking in a different setting.
For more takeaways, head on over to this post.
- What can I do to prepare?
I think having some idea of the Sanskrit names of the postures would be great. This was something I was really weak in. But otherwise, just take it as it comes! Being out of your comfort zone and learning as it comes is all part of the process.
- I don’t know if I would ever teach but I want to learn! Worth doing YTT?
Absolutely! I also don’t think I’ll end up teaching much. But was I really interested in deepening my own practice. Re-learning the structure of the poses I thought I was familiar with and having a far broader understanding of them. There was also a spiritual element to my training (and most trainings), so I appreciated this as well.
- How advanced in practice should you be? Concerned about my wall-less inversions.
It’s recommended to have at least a year of yoga under your belt and 6 month of consistent practice prior to enrolling in the training. But other than that, go for it! There isn’t a single person in my class who has a wall-less handstand, myself included. When doing the handstand week, we just learned how to kick up onto the wall and how to do a hands on assist for students doing handstands for the first time.
- Are you doing YTT to supplement your PA studies or to be a yoga teacher?
Supplement! My ultimate goal would be able to teach yoga in a public health setting. I’d also love to be able to recommend certain postures if people come in for something like tight shoulders or low back pain as a mini introduction to yoga. Furthermore, I think going through the process allows a more mindful approach to obstacles that come my way. This in and of itself translates to just about any interaction – both as a PA and as a person.
- What’s one thing you wish you knew beforehand?
The attendance policy! Each program is different, but with YogaWorks you can only miss 27 hours of the program if you want to graduate. So just know this prior to going into it / ask your program about.