Yoga Talk Podcast 3: So You Want to Be a Yoga Teacher!

with Yoga International

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

Kat and Michael discuss Yoga Teacher Trainings. Topics include: How do you choose the right training for you? What is Yoga Alliance anyway? How do you get a job teaching yoga? And more!


Reasons why people take teacher trainings

  • Would an immersion be a better choice? Some schools offer tracks/options).

How to choose a teacher training 

  • Is there a particular style/teacher that you know you want to study in/with? (If you don’t know/aren't sure, do your research, it might matter more than you think!)
  • How much does the training cost? Is there a payment plan option? Price compared to other trainings? 
  •  Is the school registered with Yoga Alliance?
  • What is the structure of the training? (Weekends? Year-long? 30-day intensive? Tiers?) 
  • Other requirements? (i.e., “Do I have to do a juice cleanse?”)
  • Talk to graduates. Did they feel prepared to teach after? Would they recommend it? Did they feel anything was missing? 

Teachasana article

200 hour, 300 hour, 500 hourwhat does it all mean? 

  • To teach in a yoga studio, often a 200-hour training is required. They may or may not care if you’re registered with Yoga Alliance. Teachers registered with Yoga Alliance are RYT-200s or RYT-500s

What is Yoga Alliance?

  • A voluntary registry of yoga teachers who have graduated from registered Yoga Alliance schools
  • Promotes standards for training and practice
  • Began in 1999, and has undergone a lot of changes recently
  • Registered does not mean “certified”
  • Yoga Alliance's website
  • What Exactly Does Yoga Alliance Do? by Cole D. Lehman

All those letters? RYT/E-RYT—what does it all mean?

  • These are Yoga Alliance designations for yoga teachers
  • Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200 and RYT-500)
  • Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT-200 and E-RYT-500)
  • Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher
  • Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher
  • More on credentials for yoga teachers

Designations for yoga schools

State regulations for schools, aside from YA

  • Example: Michigan: must be licensed and registered with the State of Michigan’s Proprietary School Unit.

Continuing education 

Some say YA not necessary

  • It depends on where you want to teach. Some studios don’t require teachers to be registered, just that you have completed a TT and/or can teach.

Other problems people have with YA

Style-specific certifications 

  • (Parayoga, Jivamukti, Baptiste, etc.) 

Aside from a teacher training certificate, what else might you need to teach? 

  • Insurance
  • CPR (definitely)
  • LLC (maybe)

Oh, yeah…and experience. How do you get it?

  • Volunteer, get on sublists, try a local gym, etc

What you don’t learn in teacher training 

  • You will need (and want) more training (specialty trainings, workshops, additional TTs)
  • Can you make a living as a yoga teacher (PROBABLY not…at least not at first) 
  • Reasons why teaching may not be sustainable
  • Ways to make teaching more sustainable 
  • Marketing is more important than you think
  • Have a support system! Get together with other teachers for practice and feedback
  • Investing in a few private sessions with a teacher you admire

Send your comments, questions, and future show ideas to:

Download mp3 (right click, select “Save link as”) 

Our outro is “Namaste Nation” by The Householders. Listen to the whole thing on their Soundcloud page:


Audio and video downloads are available for Digital Members. Digital Members.

Related Topics

Yoga International

Yoga International

This content is presented by one or more of the talented and dedicated staff members that we've worked with throughout the years.  

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