What makes a great Teacher Training course?

As someone who has attended over 20 teacher trainings personally and also has had over 200 students come through my own teacher trainings, I thought I’d let you in on what I think makes a great teacher training.

First up, you have to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this teacher training?”

Is it to become a yoga teacher or is it to simply deepen your own practice?

This is very important because many teacher trainings are more focussed on personal development rather than actually producing yoga teachers. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you really want to be a teacher you don’t want to find yourself in the personal development course!

How do I tell the difference between a personal development TT versus a career-focussed TT?

Generally, your more immersion style TTs will be more focussed on deepening your own practice, personal development and yoga philosophy as it affects you. Another common feature is a lack of assessment (written exams, assignments, book reports, talks etc). A personal development yoga TT will probably not be quite as strict and is more about guiding you on an inward journey and a stronger asana practice.

A career-focussed yoga TT will be more focussed on the outcome of the training – teaching! You should learn about sequencing, adjustments, communication skills, anatomy, injuries, special populations (young, old, athletes etc) and the business of yoga (finances, legal, marketing etc). These trainings will often be over a longer period time and will probably include assessment like exams and written assignments. If you’re looking to become a yoga teacher make sure your TT will truly set you up for success by including all of these things.

So, as you can see, depending on your goals, a great yoga teacher training can look different!

What does ‘great’ look like?

Regardless of which outcome you’re looking for, you will want to do your research on the facilitator/s of the TT. Some things to explore:

  • Are they a great yoga teacher? Note: I said teacher, not practioner!
  • How long have they been practicing for?
  • What training do they have?
  • What is their lineage? (Who taught them? And who taught them?)
  • How successful have they been as teacher in the industry?
  • Are they well respected?

If you’re looking to come out of training as an effective yoga teacher, you’ll also want to examine:

  • What are the outcomes of their previous students?
  • Are they now confident and successful teachers?
  • How quickly did those students enter the industry?

We must remember to not judge a book by its cover, or in this case its Instagram feed.

An amazing yoga practitioner doesn’t always make an amazing yoga teacher… or an amazing yoga teacher trainer for that matter. And the same goes for amazing yoga teachers, they may not make amazing yoga teacher trainers.

A special set of skills is required to train new yoga teachers and these skills aren’t as apparent as a beautiful asana practice. This is why we must explore a little deeper and dive into the questions I posed above.

It’s also a really good idea to meet the facilitator, go to some of their classes and talk to some of their previous students. Once, before I committed to a TT, I flew to India to first try out the classes to make sure there was alignment with my goals!

Let’s talk price

Yes, a cheaper TT may look appealing from the outside, but if you’re unable to reach your desired outcomes you’ve only cheated yourself. Research carefully if things don’t seem to add up, a budget price might mean substandard facilitation or teaching.

What about online training?

I love online training, it’s accessible anywhere and is usually very reasonably priced. However, an online environment will never stack up to face-to-face training.

Nothing beats an in-person training, especially when you’re learning hands on techniques and physical skills. An in-person TT also allows you to build beautiful and special relationships and join a yoga community – the friends you make in yoga TT will often be besties for life. You build friendships and alliances, often resulting in partnering up in the future to run retreats or start businesses. Lastly, face-to-face training keeps you accountable!

Online training is perfect for upskilling through, building on the foundation you carefully created with your in person TT. I personally love to take online trainings as well as in-person.

The Essence of Living Academy

At my studio, we are focussed on creating successful yoga teachers who are confident in entering the industry at the end of our TT courses.

Join us or find out more on the EOL Academy page.