10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selecting a Yoga Teacher Training

You're ready! You love what you've gained from your yoga and you're convinced you want that training and want to move ahead. Marvelous! Congratulations! Do it! 

Here are some important thoughts to consider as you face a myriad of perfectly wonderful, suitable credible trainings. Some people find that the studio where they practice already is holding a training program that fits their schedule and budget ... Wahoo! That might be for you. Many of us have not had that fortune: I write for you.
 
1. It's your life. Where do you want to go? 

Are you planning to get this certification and then just teach yoga to pay bills? Or are you taking this yoga teacher training certification to learn more and keep your present job? You do not have to know for sure, but thinking about it is a good idea, particularly if you pay your own living bills.
 
2. What work and time schedule will you need to keep in your life to have a fulfilling healthy life as you get certified? 

Are you going to keep your job and squeeze in the training? Are you going to "sneak in the training in a 2-week intensive vacation from work? Though both may seem possible, neither is realistic. Yoga teacher training takes time. Long hours of in-class time are complemented with hours of practice, practice teaching, workshops, reading and writing. This is good: it's a training, not a sit down and read, then pass an essay test course. It's physical.
 
3. Are you in good enough physical shape? 

Are you able to sustain yoga practice up to 4 or more hours, day after day?
 
4. What's your priority for teacher training? Is it teacher, philosophy, schedule, cost? 

It's your call. You need to find a training whose teachers and philosophy resonate with how you wish to teach and learn. Cost does become a factor (no kidding!). My advice? It's better to plan ahead and pay for a training you'll love rather than spending for one which will make you uncomfortable (and which you may not finish as a result).
 
5. What level must you be at now? 

How many days a week should you be practicing yoga? Are there minimal requirements regarding poses you need to have mastered: headstand, wheel, handstands? Would or will other sports or activities be considered like pilates, TRX, Qi Gong or gymnastics or dance?
 
6. How long will it take to complete the certification? 

Is this an intensive with everything wrapped up in three or four weeks? Are there after requirements of volunteer teaching, or passing video requirements?
 
7. What's the workload like? 

You need to read the requirements and talk to the staff or administrators. There  is more to a training than being in the room for 200 hours. How many book reports? How much writing? How many and how long are the projects? How much time do you have to complete these? How does your learning/study style mesh with the requirements? In my training, I was weaker at handstands than some, but I am a dynamo at writing. I helped some with their writing.. and some helped me with handstands! We all won!
 
8. What are the extra costs, such as travel, transportation, and housing? 

If you are going to travel, you have a new layer of things to consider: travel costs and arrangements, hotels versus hostels or couchsurfing, how you get back and forth to the studio and how you will nourish yourself.  

I chose a private medium cost hotel room with a small kitchenette and was very glad I'd done so. I had privacy and could manage my time more easily than many who studied with me. Some of my friends who stayed in hostels had slight difficulties with crowded conditions, cleanliness and privacy. 

I rented a bicycle and happily swooped back and forth the 2-mile distance to the studio. Though the city had buses, the schedules did not always work for arriving to a meditation practice at 6:30 am.
 
9. Can you share costs with friends? 

Friends and sharing! Once registered my training gave us a facebook page and helped many of us connect to find roommates. Though I went my own way for lodging, I made agreements with another woman ahead of time regarding which books we would bring. This was helpful because we were both flying and had luggage weight limits. More than that, once arrived we had a friendship already begun, which has continued.
 
10. Are you listening to your intuition? 

Go with your heart. use your intuition. Find joy in the decision. Ask your best teacher, the one whose smile and open heart radiate the goodness you aspire to. Then go back and listen to your heart.
 
I feel so blessed that my yoga journey took me to the moment of deciding and then undertaking my own teacher training. I decided upon and took a 10-day, two module Shiva Rea training last year. In this program, you can complete your modules, projects, book reports and more within two years. 

The schedule worked better for me than what was available in my home town of stellar teachers and studios, due to my own work schedule. And for me, someone who has been a dancer and a gymnast and very touched and moved by the spiritual piece which yoga presents, this was the right one for me.

 I hope this article has helped you to decide on your own path. May we meet some day for a yoga offering. 

Namaste.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Cathy Geier is an educator, dancer, yoga practitioner and 1 bag international traveler. Based in beautiful Seattle, she continues her dream of teaching, traveling, studying yoga and health and sharing experiences. Cathy is a Community Manager for yogablaze.com where she writes about yoga, aging gracefully and motivation. She is a National Yogamonth Ambassador and serves on public education  committees. Cathy has a BS in Physical Education, Health, Spanish and is a Washington State Certificated Teacher withmasters and doctoral studies in education techniques, reading and curriculum design. She supervised student teachers. After 25 years in public education, she is getting her yoga teacher certification to work with special needs and to support seniors in maintaining flexibility and strength through yoga practice. You will find her practicing at ILoveHotYoga, leading yoga at Gasworks Park, kayaking, or at an outdoor yoga festival. She returns to Costa Rica regularly to study Spanish and yoga..
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