There are so many yoga teacher training (YTT) courses to choose from nowadays, it can be really overwhelming to decide.
On one hand, it’s great that there are a variety of offerings from teachers around the world, right? This gives us variety, and choice.
And on the other hand, it’s impacted the quality control of trainings (yes, even with Yoga Alliance supposedly overseeing things….don’t even get me started on them).
So, how do we choose? Where do we go? Is it better to go abroad, or to stay local?
With all of the questions running through your head, I wanted to jump in with 4 key takeaways to consider before you make your choice in hopes of helping you make the best choice for you.
The truth is, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.
Doing a YTT abroad isn’t better than doing a YTT locally. And doing a YTT locally isn’t better than doing a YTT abroad.
That being said, there is a better option for you based on your specific needs and interests.
Take a moment to consider these components before you invest in your next yoga teacher training.
It’s so important to want to learn from the teacher who’s teaching your training, because just imagine if you went somewhere and then were super irked by the lead teacher? That would be a looooong month ahead.
Make sure that you’ve taken this teacher’s class before so that you like their voice, know their style, and their ethos. Preferably, you also know a bit about this teacher beyond their teaching to see if you like their personality, as well.
Also, check in if this teacher is hired on someone else’s yoga teacher training, or if this is a YTT that they created. This makes a big difference, because getting hired to teach someone else’s curriculum might mean that pieces of the teacher you love aren’t fully expressed in the confines of someone else’s work.
You’ll also want to know how often the teacher will be teaching on the training, and who their assistant teachers are. What are their assistant teachers teaching?
This is important to understand before, so that you can know if you’re really invested in this one particular teacher that you’re going to get the learning time with them that you desire.
If there’s a specific teacher you know you want to learn from, then chances are this will dictate whether you take your training locally or abroad.
The style can go hand-in-hand with the teacher. And, this is also really helpful in the case that you don’t have a particular teacher that you want to learn from, but there’s more of a style or a school that you’re drawn to.
Different styles will provide very different experiences, so it’s vital that you choose the one you want to learn how to teach. Preferably, the style that you practice the most.
What I mean is, if you mostly practice Vinyasa, then take a Vinyasa training. Duh, right?
You’d be surprised.
Because there’s plenty of people who take a Hatha or Ashtanga training, and then want to teach Vinyasa, but they’re feeling a little lost. Yes, all of these styles have intersection points, but the best way to ensure you can teach the way you want to teach after your YTT is to take a yoga teacher training in the specific style that you want to teach.
Once you know the style you want to take, then you can research local and international trainings. If you get really niche with smaller schools, they only have one or two locations for yoga teacher trainings anyways- which makes the decision easier for you.
Here’s where we really get into the difference between yoga teacher trainings locally versus abroad.
If you’ve already started looking for YTTs, then you’ve probably seen a variety of relatively inexpensive trainings abroad (especially in India). Which is great! I’ve done several YTTs in India, myself. However, I was living out of a backpack and traveling full time. Which meant I didn’t have to worry about bills at home in the month that I was in the training.
Some things to consider when you’re looking at the cost of a yoga teacher training abroad:
Tuition cost and inclusions (room, food, etc)
Time off work
Bills at home while you’re abroad
Bills at home while you’re taking time off work
And here are some things to consider when you’re looking at the cost of a yoga teacher training locally:
Do you need to take time off work
Cost of transport to/from studio
Cost of parking
As you can see, they both have costs beyond the YTT tuition itself. I’m pointing this out, because sometimes a less expensive course is appealing for the price tag.
But sometimes when you zoom in, you realize that this doesn’t cover your food or your room. And maybe you didn’t think about needing to take a full month off work, or how you were going to pay your pricey rent at home, as well as a few thousand dollar training and flight.
Quality Over Price Tag
Another thing with the YTTs that tend to be a bit cheaper, sometimes the quality is reflective in that price. You get what you pay for.
Trust me when I say you do not want to take a course just because it’s cheap, so that you can become a teacher.
Because most of the time people leave those courses not feeling ready to teach at all, and end up enrolling in another course so that they can actually enter the workforce as a yoga teacher.
That’s right, the lower price yoga teacher training is suddenly a lot more expensive, because you have to buy another one just to course correct the poor quality of the first one.
Let me be clear in saying that even if a YTT is registered with Yoga Alliance that doesn’t mean they’re going to have a high quality. Yoga Alliance is a business, not a regulatory service (despite their claims).
The best way to get clear about the quality of the YTT you’re interested in is to go with a teacher you already know and trust. Or, if that’s not an option, then read reviews. Look at their social media pages, check out their highlight section to see what their classes look like. Maybe even reach out to past students who have tagged them to ask if they liked it.
Quality of a training is so important, and unfortunately something that’s hard to really know from afar in YTTs abroad. If you’re looking at local YTTs, you can always ask community members of that studio for a clear answer- which is a really helpful way to be sure you’ll get the kind of return on your investment that you’re looking for.
I hope these 4 considerations helped you narrow down your next yoga teacher training with a bit more ease. As always, you can enroll in any of my courses for the utmost quality and care.
Happy training, my friends!