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How Long Does It Take to Complete 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training?

How Long Does It Take to Complete 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

BY: ISSA

DATE: 2024-03-25


Roughly 13.2% of Americans have a lifetime yoga practice according to research. Another 8.9% have engaged in some form of yoga within the past 12 months. (1) If you’re interested in helping others enjoy the many benefits this practice has to offer, 200-hour yoga teacher training can help prepare you for this role.

What Is 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training?

As its name suggests, this type of yoga teacher training course consists of 200 hours of learning. The Yoga Alliance provides the core curriculum for 200-hour teacher training courses. This curriculum was updated in July 2023 and includes:

  • 75 hours of techniques, training, and practice. These hours cover yoga practice basics. You learn about yoga asana (yoga pose) history and principles. You also increase your knowledge of yoga breathing (pranayama) and meditation.

  • 30 hours of anatomy and physiology. This training category covers basic anatomy, as well as yoga anatomy. It also includes biomechanics and how yoga impacts the body’s many systems.

  • 30 hours of yoga humanities. During these training hours, you learn about the history of yoga and yoga philosophy. You also learn how to teach a yoga class while adhering to certain ethics.

  • 50 hours of professional essentials. These hours account for one-fourth of the yoga teacher training. This is where you learn about teaching methodology (sequencing, cueing, etc.). It’s also where you practice being a yoga teacher. Professional development is included in these hours as well. This includes topics such as continuing education, liability insurance, and marketing, among others.

  • 15 elective hours. The remaining 15 hours can fall into any of the other four curriculum categories. This enables you to learn more about yoga teaching topics most important to you. (2)

Benefits of Yoga Instructor Training

Completing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course provides many benefits. One is that it looks beyond yoga as a form of exercise. 

For many, yoga is a way of life. They adhere to yoga philosophy at home, school, and work. Understanding what this means helps you better connect with students who live according to yoga principles. It also improves your ability to teach this way of life to others.

Yoga training also enhances your teaching abilities. You learn effective skills for teaching others this practice. Taking a yoga instructor course even prepares you to teach yoga in different settings. You may choose to lead classes in a yoga studio. Or you might want to teach at a yoga retreat. With teacher training, you learn how to lead students through a safe, effective sequence no matter the environment.

A 200-hour course is also a good step for people who want to take their yoga career further. Maybe your goal is to work with people facing health challenges, for instance. This requires that you adapt yoga techniques and poses for a variety of health conditions. To teach this type of class, you must be qualified to offer yoga therapy. This requires advanced yoga teacher training. A 200-hour program provides the foundation needed to pursue this additional coursework.

At a minimum, teacher training can help you hone your yoga practice. It provides a deeper appreciation for what yoga does and the benefits it provides. Even if your goal isn’t yoga teaching, you learn how to get the most from this practice.

How Long Does It Take to Complete 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. One of the most critical is the amount of time you can dedicate to a yoga teacher training program.

If you aren’t working, you may be able to spend 40 hours each week on teacher training. This approach would enable you to finish the training in just five weeks (5 x 40 = 200 hours).

Maybe you’re not only working but also raising a family. In this case, you might only be able to spend a few hours each week on your studies. This will lengthen the amount of time it will take to finish the training program. But it also allows you to meet your other obligations at the same time. So, you can take care of what you need while still pursuing your career goals.

Questions to Answer Before Selecting a 200-Hour Teacher Training Program

If you’re ready to find a 200-hour yoga course, you may be unsure which one to choose. Each yoga teacher training course is a bit different. Here are some questions you’ll want to answer to help you select the best one for you:

  • Is it in-person or online yoga teacher training? If it’s in person, you need to take into account travel time and expenses. You’ll also have to be available at class times. If you want more flexibility, online training delivers. You can learn what you need to know as a yoga teacher from home, during your work breaks, or any other time. All you need is an internet connection and you are set.

  • Does it provide a solid yoga foundation? Your ultimate goal may be to teach yoga. But understanding its roots and how it developed is also important. Look for a course that discusses yoga philosophy and history. Learning about its past helps you apply its core principles within your future yoga classes.

  • What yoga style do you learn to teach? Do you want to teach Vinyasa yoga? Maybe you’d prefer to lead students through a Yin yoga or Ashtanga yoga sequence. Choose a yoga teacher training course that covers your desired style.

  • Does the teacher training program provide support? When engaged in teacher training, questions will inevitably arise. They may be questions about your studies. Or you might not understand a particular technique or concept. Choose a teacher training program that offers adequate support. You want to know that there is someone you can go to when you develop questions.

  • Is it approved by the Yoga Alliance? The Yoga Alliance sets the standards in yoga teaching and training. A school that is approved by the Yoga Alliance has the title of Registered Yoga School (RYS). Another benefit of choosing an approved yoga school is that you are eligible to become a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). This credential can help boost your credibility as a yoga instructor.

  • Does it provide yoga certification? Another factor to consider is whether you are certified after completing the teacher training course. Why is yoga certification so important? Let’s get into that now.

Importance of Yoga Teacher Training Certification

Yoga certification indicates that you have the education and skills needed to be a yoga teacher. It confirms your competency in this role. This can make employers more willing to hire you. (Some even require that their instructors have a certification.) It also helps build trust with students who’ve not yet worked with you.

Keeping your yoga instructor certification requires that you complete continuing education classes. Continuing education courses ensure that you stay current in the field. They also provide the opportunity to learn more about specific areas of fitness or how to build and grow a successful yoga business.

Earning your certification also shows that you take your role as a yoga instructor seriously. It says that you’re willing to put in the time and effort needed to succeed in this leadership position. 

If you’re ready to get started, check out ISSA Yoga & Wellness Academy’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training course. This course provides the information you need to become an effective and successful yoga teacher. You also gain the credential of Certified Yoga Teacher, further enhancing your teaching resume.

References

  1. Cramer, H., Ward, L., Steel, A., Lauche, R., Dobos, G., & Zhang, Y. (2016). Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of yoga use. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 50(2), 230–235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2015.07.037

  2. Elevated RYS 200 Standards | Yoga Alliance. (n.d.). https://www.yogaalliance.org/Our_Standards/Elevated_RYS_200_Standards

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