The Best New Way to Find a Yoga Teacher Training Course
Yoga Teacher Training is undoubtedly a life changing experience but finding the right yoga teacher training, a seemingly simple task, has become increasingly difficult; according to BookYogaRetreats.com, there are over 1,200 international yoga teacher training schools. Naturally, if you’re going to spend $3,000, and a month essentially isolated with a small group of people, you want to know what you are getting into and make sure the experience is a memorable one, for all the right reasons!
The growth in teacher trainings is exponential. There are two people interested in becoming a yoga teacher for every one current teacher, according to the “Yoga in America” study by Yoga Journal. This explosive growth has brought many new options to the market, making it increasingly difficult to decide.
Experiences on teacher trainings can range from life-changing, “I’ll never be the same again,” to gross mismanagement and even sexual misconduct. Actually, the Yoga Alliance has a brand new tab on their home page just for sexual misconduct resources. That means you need to be extra discerning when doing your research.
FindYoga is my favourite new resource for finding a yoga teacher training. Bookyogaretreats.com and bookyogateachertraining.com make it easy to search for retreats and trainings and its super handy how you can read reviews from previous students, however, these sites have one frustrating flaw; they don’t let you visit the school’s websites or contact the organizers. This makes it difficult to make an informed decision about a training as you can’t speak to someone from the school.
Findyoga addresses this by making a simple, comprehensive database of all the teacher training schools in one area, and allowing you to instantly access the school’s website, instagram, and contact information. You can instantly search by location, for example on this page you can see all the teacher trainings in Bali. It’s by far the fastest way to quickly look at every school, and filter them down based on what type of training you are looking for. I was always looking for a simple, bare-bones way to just browse through every teacher training available with high-level information, and that’s exactly what FindYoga is.
They’ve even taken in a step further, you can save literally hours applying school-by-school with their “common application.” The common application allows you to fill out a single 1-page application, and then send that with a single click to any school in the world.
If you’re totally lost and having trouble selecting a school or location, you can sign up for their concierge service where they have an industry professional guide you through the process and help you select a school based on your needs. Many students can save more than 30% on the training price, as they can help facilitate last-minute deals for trainings and other industry insider discounts.
Every year, the findyoga editorial team also publishes a “best teacher training” guide which is one of the most in-depth resources for teacher trainings I’ve seen anywhere. They recently published their 2019 list, and it includes a fantastic list of the best trainings broken down by location and category. Some of the schools chosen include: Meghan Currie (Best Non-traditional), Jason Crandell (Best at preparing teachers), Sivananda Ashram Bahamas (Best Traditional), and East+West (Best Overall).
More tips for finding the ideal yoga teacher training course
I really can’t stress enough how important is it that you spend the time to search for the right teacher training. Here are a few tips that should help you navigate your search in the beginning:
- Go with experience.
Avoid new programs that just started. Find schools and teachers that have been around for a while. Be sure to ask how many trainings the lead trainers have done in their career. You should avoid signing up with teachers who have done less than 5 teacher trainings in their career. Trust me, running a teacher training is a subtle art, and you don’t want to do this with a beginner.
- Choose a nice place, but don’t be swayed by the fanciest option.
Choosing the lowest price option rarely works out. You want to make sure you have your basic needs met. Remember, you will be on the training for a month, and if your food and room isn’t comfortable, you’ll be miserable. That said, keep in mind this is not a vacation, it’s a yoga training. Go with the teachers you feel the best vibe with, not the training with the fanciest resorts. Don’t go with the programs you feel are the best marketed, go with the ones you feel like would be run by individuals you’d deeply trust.
- Start with a Hatha training.
All yoga styles derive from Hatha, and it serves as a strong foundation for any training you would want to do in the future. If you start with a more esoteric practice you might miss out on many of the basics. Your first 200-hour training is about developing the ethos and lifestyle of a yogi. Additional techniques you can always learn down the road.
- Speak to the leaders on the phone.
Ask the school to speak to someone on the phone, ideally the lead training. You’ll get a great sense of the program from actually hearing someone talk about it. Also, you’ll get a sense of how organized the school is, as it takes many schools weeks to get back to you. This is generally an indication that the school isn’t well organized, and might be qualified to put on a great international event.
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