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Is 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Worth It?

Is 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Worth It?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

BY: ISSA

DATE: 2024-03-18


While 200 hours might seem like a lot, when you spend that time learning about something you feel passionate about, time really flies. But is it worth it? That’s a question only you can answer. 

Whether you end up becoming an instructor or not, a 200-hour teacher training course can be a rewarding experience that deepens your knowledge of yoga. But it also requires a commitment of time and money. Learn more about it to decide if a yoga teacher training program is right for you. 

What is 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training? 

Yoga teacher training is any program that prepares students to teach yoga to others or lead yoga classes. The fitness industry is not regulated, so professionals rely on organizations that accredit or approve these courses. The most widely recognized of these is the Yoga Alliance (YA). 

Entry level teacher training courses approved by YA include a minimum of 200 hours of instruction. Once you have completed a 200-hour course approved by the YA, you can register as an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) 200. This is a professional credential that proves you completed the necessary requirements. 

The Yoga Alliance only registers students who successfully completed their 200-hour course from the same YA-approved school. You cannot combine hours from different schools and programs to get to 200 hours. 

What Will I Learn in a 200-Hour Yoga Instructor Program? 

Different programs will have some variations in what and how they teach. However, if approved by the Yoga Alliance, they must meet certain standards. The YA issues standards for the curriculum in approved programs. A 200-hour course has to include: 

  • Techniques, Training, and Practice. At least 75 hours of instruction are in this area, which includes asanas, pranayama, and meditation. 

  • Professionalism. The course spends a minimum of 50 instruction hours on teaching methodologies, professional development, and practice teaching. 

  • Anatomy and Physiology. At least 30 hours are devoted to human anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics. 

  • Humanities. Another 30 hours of instruction include the history, philosophy, and ethics of yoga practice. 

The remaining 15 hours of the course can come from any of the four main categories. An approved, yoga-200 program includes all of the essentials needed for deepening your understanding of yoga as well as professional skills needed to be an instructor. 

Check out this guide for more information about the Yoga Alliance and becoming an RYT

How Long Does a 200-Hour Course Take to Complete? 

The 200 hours of yoga teacher training refers to guided yoga sessions, lectures, and self-study time. How long it takes to complete depends on the program you choose. If it is a structured online or in-person program with scheduled classes, you’ll have to complete it on the program’s timeline, often in one or two months. 

Many programs are now available online and are self-paced. These options give you the chance to complete the course in more or less time. They offer flexibility for when you study and view lectures, which is useful if you have a job or other responsibilities. Keep in mind, though, that even self-paced courses often have some live, scheduled sessions you must attend. 

How Much Does a 200-Hour Yoga Course Cost?

Costs vary depending on the school and program. In-person or retreat style yoga teacher training courses usually cost the most. They can cost $5,000 or more. An online and self-paced program is much more cost effective, closer to $1,000 or $2,000 for the entire course. 

Can I Work as a Yoga Teacher Without Completing the 200-Hour Training? 

Technically, yes, you can work as a yoga teacher without completing a course or earning a credential. This is because there is no governmental regulation of yoga instructors. 

It is strongly recommended that you earn at least a 200-hour YA-approved certification before attempting to work as a yoga teacher. The industry regulates itself, which means that few gyms, studios, or clients will hire an instructor without this basic credential. 

Even if you do not join the YA and become a Registered Yoga Teacher, completing a YA-approved course proves that you have the knowledge and experience to be an effective instructor. Clients and studios are more likely to hire someone with this training than a teacher with no credential at all. 

Is the 200-Hour Course Enough to Be a Successful Yoga Teacher?

Consider the 200-hour course as the bare minimum for becoming a yoga instructor. It is only the entry point for working in the industry. You can definitely start working as a teacher after completing a 200-hour course, but there are benefits to going further with your training. 

The Yoga Alliance also approves 300-hour and 500-hour courses. The 300-hour courses are designed to follow and build on 200-hour courses. You can begin with 200 hours and, if you enjoy teaching, continue later with the 300-hour course to learn more, become a better teacher, and command higher rates. 

The 500-hour courses are designed to cover everything taught in both a 200-hour and a 300-hour course. If you’re not sure about your future in yoga, you might not want to start with this course, which is more time-consuming and costly. 

Is 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Worth It if I Don’t Become an Instructor? 

A common misconception is that these courses are strictly for those who are certain they want to become working yoga instructors. You can be on the fence and still get something out of the program. 

Some people have no intention of becoming teachers but still take the course to learn and for personal development. Because the 200-hour course is the shortest and requires the least commitment, it’s a good place to start if you’re unsure. 

If you’re not sure about becoming a yoga instructor, check out these pros and cons

How to Choose a Yoga Teacher Training Program

If you’ve decided that teacher training is the right next step for your yoga journey, it’s time to choose a program. Here are some factors to consider: 

  • As the industry-standard, YA-approval is essential when choosing an instructor training program. 

  • The school should be approved by the YA and be clear about who developed and is teaching the course. 

  • Although you may be eager to finish a course and get started teaching, training takes time. Be wary of any program that offers quick certification or results. 

  • Look for reviews by previous students. You should see plenty of positive experiences with the program before you select it. 

  • You should be able to afford your course. Compare pricing and find a program that is reputable and approved but also priced reasonably. 

  • Consider an online program, which will give you greater flexibility. Online courses can be just as effective as those conducted in person. 

Whether completing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course is worthwhile is something you have to answer for yourself. Consider all the factors involved, what you hope to get out of a course, and the time and financial commitment before making a choice. 

The ISSA’s Yoga Alliance-approved 200-hour teacher training program is a premier program recognized throughout the industry. If you’re ready to put your time into a training course, this is a great option. 

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