Trying to find the best Yoga Teacher Training that suits your needs and interests can be a really complicated task. Here are the 9 most important questions that you should consider before choosing one.
1. Be sure that you will be spending enough one-on-one time with the lead trainer.
2. Do research on the instructors.
Research about the teacher trainers with whom you are thinking of studying with. Look at how long they have been teaching, where they have been teaching and who trained them. It is a good idea to find a teacher who has had many years of experience working with many different students. Sometimes a teacher might have been teaching for many years but not on a consistent basis, this makes a difference.
Try to take some public classes with the teachers who will be on your teacher training faculty, or see if they have classes online. Make sure you enjoy their teaching style and connect with them, as this will be the style you yourself will teach in the future.
3. Look into how they teach anatomy.
The philosophy of yoga and the understanding of it is very important, but it is also just as important to have a firm foundation in anatomy and biomechanics. You will, once you become a teacher of yoga, be working with people's physical bodies and putting them into large ranges of movement, which can be harmful if taught incorrectly. Make sure that your teacher training program has a strong anatomy/biomechanics section. Anatomy may not seem like the biggest deal when you are in the middle of trying to memorize all the Sanskrit names for postures or figuring out how to sequence properly. But many of your students will come to you with injuries, discomforts and it is your job to keep them well and safe from harm. You can only do this if you have a strong understanding of how the body works.
4. Study the program’s history.
5. Evaluate the course syllabus for balance of subjects taught.
Each training requires a minimum number of hours dedicated to things like posture labs, anatomy, sequencing, history, and philosophy—but each teacher training is going to emphasize different areas, and bring their own style to their program.
If you are really into the nuts and bolts of yoga asana, then a spiritually-focused program most likely isn’t for you. Likewise, if discussing the Yoga Sutras at length turns you on, then a super anatomy-focused program may make you feel less than interested.
Study the curriculum and ask about how many hours are dedicated to each topic if it is not advertised
7. Having some free time during the course is important. Does the course offer other extra activities?
It is important to have free time to enjoy the environment that surrounds the course. Having these moments allows for time to relax and assimilate the concepts that are explained throughout the training. Having your own personal time also helps you to share and interact with the rest of the students who are participating in the course.
8. Can everybody join the course no matter their yoga background?
9. Be sure that you don’t get your certificate just by showing up
Some programs do not ask for any type of requirements in order to provide the certificate to their students. In those instances, simply attending or just paying your tuition would get you a certificate.
Make sure that certain requirements are mandatory in order to obtain the course certificate and that the criteria are properly evaluated. It would not be fair to evaluate students in the same way who have tried and put in the hard work to assimilate the contents of the course with students who have taken the course as a "yoga vacation", returning home without having adequately assimilated the concepts. This also brings down the quality of yoga as a whole.
If what you are really looking for is to learn, it is important that the course director is able to objectively measure and evaluate your effort and knowledge and help you become the best teacher that you can become. Do not trust those programs that only require attending some classes and paying your tuition to certify you as a yoga teacher.