Yoga Teacher Training Options

About Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga teacher training started in ancient India. Yoga teacher training programs have become popular in modern times as the practice of yoga has spread throughout the western world. The benefits of completing a yoga teacher training course can transcend the physical domain and create deep transformation in your own life, which can empower you to be successful as a yoga instructor.

For each type of yoga that exists (Vinyasa Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Bikram, Kripalu, Kundalini, Jivamukti, Power and Integral yoga, among others), there is an accompanying teacher training.

Time Frame

The time frame for yoga teacher training varies widely from school to school and from one yoga style to another. Yoga teacher training courses often span 4 weeks but can go on for as long as 2 years or more. The 4-week yoga teacher training sessions are usually nonstop immersion in the yoga practice, while the 2-year teacher training programs usually occur only on weekends or other pre-specified meeting dates and times.

Common Features of Yoga Teacher Training Programs

Yoga teacher training programs can only involve learning the physical aspects of the practice, such as anatomy and how to teach asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (yoga breathing exercises) and shavasana (relaxation).

Yoga teacher training can involve learning techniques for mastering the mind through formal meditation practice. Yoga teacher trainings can also include training about how to eat properly to obtain the most health benefits from the physical postures and breathing exercises associated with yoga practice.

Kirtan is a feature of some yoga teacher training courses. Kirtan is a Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) word that means call and response chanting. Karma yoga is also included in certain yoga teacher training programs. Karma yoga is the practice of yogic service, which embodies the ideal of serving others without having an expectation of personal gain or reward.

Some yoga teacher training programs additionally provide you with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the philosophy of yoga through studying ancient yogic texts such as:

  • Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
  • The Bhagavad Gita
  • The Hatha Yoga Pradipika
  • The Upanishads

Having knowledge from and about these spiritual texts, though it is not always included in modern yoga teacher training courses, gives you the ability to more deeply embody the yoga practice. Yoga philosophy includes deep insights into your relationships, the best way to work and contribute to your community and how you can begin to live in a more spiritual manner. As such, taking a yoga teacher training that involves yoga philosophy can help you deepen your own spiritual practice while further empowering you to serve future students in the best possible way. Some of the best and most famous yoga teachers, in fact, are those who integrate the philosophy of yoga into the physical classes to create a more meaningful experience for students.


It is important for those interested in taking a yoga teacher training course to keep in mind that these programs are generally designed for students who have practiced yoga for at least a couple years’ time. Because of the intensity of many yoga teacher training programs, it is a good idea for students to practice regularly before completing a teacher training. You should ideally try to develop a daily practice of yoga well before taking a yoga teacher training course to help you continue to evolve in your practice, remain inspired once you start teaching and help you grow as a teacher.

If you are interested in taking a yoga teacher training, it is a good idea to investigate the different yoga teacher trainings out there to help you in decide on the best yoga teacher training program for you.

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