Choosing the Right Yoga Teacher Training Program: Factors to Consider



We talk about transformation a lot at Vikasa. After running yoga teacher training programs for so many years, we believe that embarking on this journey is one of the most  transformative experiences you can enjoy. A YTT doesn’t only deepen your practice but also equips you with the skills to guide others on their unique yoga path. 

However, the modern yoga world is expansive and there are literally thousands of training to choose from all over the world.This means that finding the right yoga teacher training program can be a daunting task. A yoga teacher training is a big investment in your time, finances and energy. To ensure your investment is worthwhile, it’s essential to consider various factors before making your final decision. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you choose the right yoga teacher training program, exploring both the common aspects and the often-overlooked ones. Remember, the training you choose should be enjoyable, educational and transformative. It should be an experience in and of itself, and also a journey that provides you with everything you need to step out into the world as a confident, charismatic and enthusiastic yoga teacher. Take the time to decide which training is a good fit for you. It’s worth it as it will likely shape your life trajectory for many years to come. 

Yoga class sitting in meditation

Price: Balancing Budget and Value

While the cost is a significant factor, it’s crucial to strike a balance between your budget and the value you receive. Cheaper programs might be alluring at first, but chances are they cutting corners on essential elements like experienced teachers and comprehensive syllabi. Cheaper programs are likely shorter in duration, have a cookie-cutter approach to training methodology and are targeting a more ‘budget conscious’ traveler who is likely more accepting of a product of lower value. Research thoroughly, considering what’s included in the price, such as accommodation, meals, study materials, and certification fees. Look for programs that offer a transparent breakdown of costs, ensuring you get the best value for your investment. Remember, this is an education that equips you with the skills to start a brand new career- you want to learn and experience the best option available within your comfortable budget. 


Reputation and Credibility: Ensuring Trustworthiness

Be sure to research the reputation and credibility of the yoga school. You want to make sure that the instructors are experienced with a comprehensive curriculum. Check to make sure the school is well-regarded within the yoga community, ensuring you receive high-quality training. Do your research to check past testimonials, contact the school directly to check there is effective communication, and check various social media platforms to get a feel for the vibe, atmosphere, style, mission, values and methodology of the school. You want your own goals and values to be shared with the school or organization you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do research as you want to feel 100% confident with your choice. 


Location: Atmosphere for Immersive Learning

The location of your training program can significantly impact your experience. Consider whether you prefer a serene retreat center nestled in nature or a bustling urban studio. The ambiance should align with your learning style and personal preferences. A peaceful setting can enhance focus and concentration, while an urban environment might provide diverse cultural experiences. Additionally, check the accessibility and safety of the location, ensuring it aligns with your travel comfort. Taking yourself out of your day to day life and environment adds something very special to the training experience. Being in an inspiring, uplifting space can help you to switch off from your everyday life and truly immerse yourself and absorb everything on offer. You’ll likely also want a beautiful space to unwind and relax in your time off, so make sure the location ticks all your boxes. 

Vikasa yoga retreat in Koh samui

Teachers: Expertise and Teaching Styles

The instructors play the most pivotal role in your training journey. Research the teachers’ qualifications, experience, and teaching styles. Look for programs led by experienced and certified instructors who have a deep understanding of yoga philosophy, anatomy, and teaching methodologies. Not only do you want teachers who have in-depth knowledge, but also possess the ability to inspire and guide students effectively and are dedicated to creating a nurturing and supportive learning environment.Consider reading reviews and testimonials from previous students to gauge the effectiveness of the instructors’ teaching methods. An inspiring and knowledgeable teacher can make a significant difference in your learning experience. See if you can sample classes online with teachers to get a feel for them and their teaching style. Also ensure they are easy to understand and have a genuine passion for what they teach. While training in a foreign place with foreign teachers may feel exciting, it could be challenging to get answers to all your questions if there is a language barrier. Ensure you also have access to your teachers after the YTT program is over for ongoing support which will often be needed (and helpful!) when you step into the world as a teacher. 


Syllabus and Curriculum: Comprehensive and Holistic Learning

Examine the syllabus and curriculum in detail. A well-rounded program should cover essential aspects of yoga, including asanas, pranayama, meditation, anatomy, philosophy, and teaching methodology. Check if the program aligns with the Yoga Alliance standards, ensuring your certification is recognized globally. Look for a curriculum that not only imparts theoretical knowledge but also provides ample opportunities for practical teaching experience and self-reflection. Again, see if you can perhaps do some online classes to get a feel for the methodology, or download a guide that covers more detail about the syllabus.


Content: Variety and Depth

Consider the variety and depth of the content offered in the program. A diverse curriculum that explores different yoga styles, such as Hatha, Vinyasa, or Yin, allows you to explore various teaching approaches. Additionally, programs that incorporate workshops on topics like adjustments, sequencing, and yoga ethics can enhance your teaching skills. Choose a program that challenges you intellectually and physically, providing a well-rounded understanding of yoga. Shorter programs may feel more accessible, however taking the time to truly sink into a deep immersive experience will benefit you far more in the long run. 

People in the shape of a heart on a beach in Thailand

Accommodation and Amenities: Comfort and Convenience

Consider the accommodation, facilities and amenities offered during the program. Many yoga schools have quite basic facilities. Make sure you can see quality photos and videos of the grounds, rooms and space so you feel it is up to your standards. Check and see if there is a pool or beach or area to relax comfortably in your time off. Many yoga schools offer shared rooms. This is up to you, if you prefer private rooms and private bathrooms, make sure the school you choose has an option for this to respect your space and privacy. Ensure that the yoga sala looks spacious and inviting- this is where you will be spending a lot of time! Check and see if things like high quality mats, props, water and materials are all provided in the training and you don’t have to bring your own. If you are staying onsite, make sure you have access to everything you need including things like wifi, charging stations, drinking water and so forth. Training programs can be very intensive in time so make sure you have everything onsite that you require for ease. 

Support and Community: Nurturing Environment

A supportive and nurturing environment is vital for your growth as a yoga teacher, and human in general! Look for programs that foster a sense of community and encourage open communication among students and instructors. A supportive community can provide emotional encouragement, making your learning journey more enriching and enjoyable. Check the social media content of the program to see real examples of the community atmosphere and try to listen to testimonials from past students to make sure they felt safe, comfortable and welcome. Check for a diversity of students and even contact the school if you have any queries about fitting in and feeling at home. Feeling safe and supported and part of a close knit community will enhance your journey dramatically and even offer support and friendship beyond the training itself. Building connections within the yoga community can be invaluable for your personal and professional growth. 

Ongoing opportunities: Beyond your YTT course

It’s also worth checking to see if you receive ongoing professional support from the school post training. Some schools will offer online support, online platforms and other ways to stay connected and keep inspired or ask questions as needed. You can also see if the school offers options to further expand upon your skills and practice with more advanced trainings, shorter niche trainings or retreat experiences so you can continue to grow and evolve. You may even see if the school offers opportunities for things like karma yoga programs, or even teaching or residency opportunities. This can really help you to get your foot in the door in a competitive industry. 

Choosing the right yoga teacher training program requires careful consideration of various factors. By evaluating all aspects you can make an informed decision. Remember, your yoga teacher training journey is a personal and transformative experience, so choose a program that resonates with your goals, values, and aspirations. 

Ready to take the next step?

View our 200hr Foundation Yoga Teacher Training here.

View our 300hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training here.