The Best Yoga Teacher Training? Sorry, it doesn’t exist…

4 July, 2024
Yoga Teacher Training

Hitting search for “Best Yoga Teacher Training” feels like opening Pandora’s box – millions of results; all promising the ultimate path. But let’s be honest, the abundance of generic, (unsettlingly similar) websites all promising the same thing can be overwhelming.

Feeling stumped by the quest to find the best yoga teacher training? You aren’t alone, finding the perfect course  can be daunting, but we’re here to help! Before you get lost in the hype, let’s unpack the truth about choosing your yoga teacher training and why the stakes feel so high.

Worried about making the right choice? You’re already a great teacher

Of course you want to choose the best teacher training, if you get it right, it will be the only one you ever do. If you get it wrong…well…that’s where the pressure starts to build and the what-ifs begin to creep in:

What if I get stuck on a mountaintop in India with no wifi, strange roommates, and scratchy blankets- or a jungle in Thailand, getting eaten by mosquitoes, learning from a questionable teacher for a whole month? Or what if I pay top dollar to train at a hipster hangout in Bali, and end up on a one-dimensional training that only scratches the surface of yoga, and the only thing being enlightened is my wallet?”

We have all been here during the research phase, and the good news is- if you are worried about the choice you are making, you are already on the path to being a great teacher, because you care– you really care about getting the right education, congratulations- this is your first step toward being an ethical yoga teacher. Your future students are lucky to have you!

The Truth About Finding the Best Yoga Teacher Training in The World

Here’s the truth that can set you free: there is no such thing as the “best” yoga teacher training!

Because the best yoga teacher training is the one that perfectly aligns with YOU. Can one program truly cater to every individual’s aspirations and learning styles? The reality is, the perfect training for you might not be the perfect fit for someone else, and vice versa. One school, style or training, can not possibly be the best for each student.

So how do we decide on which teacher training is best for us? In this article, we will explore how to drop the idea of the best and find a program that ticks most of your boxes and will get you out into the world teaching with confidence!

Firstly, Yoga Teacher Training Schools Can Do Better

The global yoga teacher training market is booming, offering a vast array of programs. But with so many choices, and no real self-governance or external audits taking place, how can you ensure you’re not just another number to a school focused on sales figures?

Don’t Get Lost in the Pitch

A few decades ago there were 20 or so great yoga teacher training schools around the world offering yoga courses to truly serious aspirants, it was a perfectly aligned relationship- the schools didn’t need to make tall claims to get students, the students were truly committed to the path of teaching yoga (back then, you raised eyebrows if you flew off to India to become a yoga teacher!) and the schools they attended were driven not by admissions, but by a passion for yoga. In today’s competitive landscape, often shaped by high market demand, and low-quality schools wanting to service that demand, some teacher training programs prioritize admissions over student compatibility.

“The Best Yoga Teacher Training”: A Red Flag

Schools claiming to be “the best” for all students raise a red flag. Be discerning, a quality yoga school will have rigor around its selection criteria and admissions, a clearly outlined structure, great reviews from past students, and most importantly- they will represent themselves fairly and not overpromise. Yes, Yoga Teacher Training does change lives, it is a deeply transformative experience- it is also hard work, sweaty, unglamorous, challenging, requires tenacity, and takes us right out of our comfort zone. Some narratives (and graduation photos) suggest that the “best yoga teacher training school” is a one-stop shop for enlightenment and fulfillment an experience that students float through with complete happiness and satisfaction. Not so.

Forget the “magic bullet” training!

Even the most established, authentic and highest-quality programs require students to manage their expectations. You’ll be learning with others, each with their own goals. Your trainer will hopefully prioritize the greatest good of the group to get you all over the line, this means that not every box can be ticked for every single item on the TTC wish list of 30 or so individuals, all with different desires and needs. The key is to find a school with clear, well-defined goals that strongly align with YOUR vision. While all needs might not be met individually, the program’s core goals – the ones that attracted you – will be the foundation of your journey.

Teaching yoga, like practicing it, is a lifelong quest. A strong 200-hour training is your launchpad, but embrace the fact that continuous learning is the path forward. This perspective shifts your focus from finding the “perfect” program (no teacher training is perfect) to finding the perfect fit- a program that aligns with your vision and sets you up for a lifetime of growth.

Prioritizing Compatibility, Not Just Numbers

Schools should go beyond a sales mentality. The selection process should emphasize compatibility. For example, when reviewing applications, our admissions team ask:

  • Can we provide the specific support this student needs to thrive?
  • Do the student’s aspirations align with our program’s strengths?

By prioritizing compatibility, we create a win-win situation. Students receive a personalized learning experience, and our programs maintain their integrity by catering to their core strengths.

Finding Compatibility: A Shared Journey

Choosing a yoga teacher training should be a collaborative process. Look for schools that prioritize finding the right fit for each student, not just filling seats. Here’s what this means:

  • Selective Admissions: A program that carefully selects students based on goals and experience ensures a supportive learning environment for everyone.
  • Focus on Your Needs: The best schools personalize their approach to cater to individual student aspirations. A school that has a clear inclusion policy and aims to make trainings accessible will ensure a richly diverse group. 
  • Focus on The Collective Good of the Group: As well as personalized learning, the best trainers understand and highlight a common set of professional outcomes that must be reached on each training. 

The yoga teacher training landscape has boomed, and while it offers great choices, the focus shouldn’t solely be on enrollment numbers. At Himalaya Yoga Valley, we believe a successful training hinges on a strong student-school fit.

We have had hundreds of applicants that have not been approved. It is not a loss for us or the students. 

Why so? Because we are not the best choice for every student and not every student is the best choice for us. For example, if we have a student apply for our training who has a goal of going on to teach yoga to people with chronic illness and serious ailments, we know that as a multi-style vinyasa course, we are not the best training for them. In this case we would refer them to a reputed yoga therapy training. If someone came to us looking for purely physical training that had a minimal focus on the non-physical components of yoga, again- being an Indigenous school that prioritizes the promotion of Indigenous knowledge, we would not be the best school for them. Yes, we could fill a space, but their unmet needs would more than likely surface on the training as resentment and affect the quality of the training for the other students. Alignment matters- we’re not for everyone, not everyone is for us, but for the right fit, it’s the perfect training – built on a shared vision and exceptional teachings from our dedicated faculty.

By prioritizing compatibility, you’ll find a program that empowers your yoga journey and sets you up for success. Explore a variety of training options and find the one that aligns with YOUR unique goals and vision.

The key is finding a school with clearly defined goals that align with YOUR clearly defined aspirations.

You can’t outsource the internal measure of what’s best for you to an external source (or google…sorry!) it can only come from your own clearly defined inner drivers. When you are clear on your own goals and the outcomes you want from your training experience you will cut through a lot of the noise and hone into a great fit. 

So, have you identified your goals?

If not, take some time to jot them down. This will greatly help you find the best yoga teacher training course because your goals become a filter in the research phase, and hopefully a magnet for a school that aligns well with you. 

The Best Yoga Teacher Training in the World Is Relative to Your Dreams

The best 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training is the one that aligns with your unique goals and aspirations. Not every school is best for every student, and not every student is best for every school. This doesn’t take away from the quality of the teacher or student, it may just be an alignment issue.

So how do you clearly define what the basics are when looking for the best teacher training for you?

After nearly two decades of training teachers and seeing over 6000 of our graduates thrive as teachers here’s what we believe matters most:

  • Becoming a Confident Yoga Teacher: Look for a program with a strong focus on teaching methodology, class sequencing, and practical experience. It sounds obvious, but is often overlooked- the best teacher training is one that gets you teaching yoga! Your training should give you plenty of opportunities to make your mistakes, find your strengths, and become aware of your weaknesses ON your training not after it when you go out to teach the public. You should get plenty of feedback, guidance, and time cueing, adjusting, teaching, and finding your voice. On our program we have Module A) Dedicated to personal practise growth and theory, and Module B) exclusively dedicated to building teaching skills.
  • Deepening Your Own Yoga Practise: Does the training offer a chance to explore your own practice? Immersive training environments and experienced teachers can be invaluable for personal growth. We will probably only get one chance in our lives to spend a month exclusively practising yogamake sure your training builds in personal and spiritual development as a goal. On Module A of our training, we foster space for developing pranayama, mantra, meditation, kriya and yoga practise to reach new heights of personal and spiritual awakening.
  • A Career Launchpad: Consider yoga teacher trainings that provide post-graduate support, like business development workshops and networking opportunities. When you are in your research phase it can often fall low on the list of priorities, but think about when you get back on the plane and get home. It’s tough to launch into the world of teaching yoga with a certificate and teaching skills but no business skills to help you find and keep clients and build an abundant career. Your training course should provide you with a clear framework during your course and in a post-graduate setting to keep you shooting for the stars with your new career!
  • Matching Your Style: Yoga encompasses a variety of styles – Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Ashtanga etc. Choose a program that aligns with your preferred style and interests. We are agnostic to style and more focused on how yoga teachers can bring out the best in each student they go on to teach, while some schools are more orthodox in their approach- e.g only focusing on one sequence during the training. Neither is right or wrong, there is a lot to be said for deep dedication to a particular sequence and also plenty of benefits to training at a multi-style school like ours. It is again down to your preference and what you want to bring from the shalla back to your own community- are you going to be teaching students who are entirely dedicated to one style of practise? Perhaps you want to start that community back home- if so, a single-style training is a great option! Are you planning on teaching the general public who will have different therapeutic needs, abilities and levels of access? If so, a multistyle training may suit you more. 

Matching Your Goals to the Goals of a Training Course:

Here at Himalaya Yoga Valley, our goals are simple and revolve around Three Pillars of Growth- these clearly defined goals help our students know what they are aiming for and keep our faculty aligned with success. 

  1. Skill Mastery: Teach with Confidence

We go beyond theory. You’ll immerse yourself in teaching methodology, practice regularly, and receive expert guidance from established teachers. This rigorous training helps you develop your voice and graduate ready to lead confident, engaging yoga classes.

  1. Deepen Your Practice: A Spiritual Exploration

Our immersive environment in India fosters a profound exploration of yoga. You’ll have the unique opportunity to dedicate a full month to your personal practice – immersing yourself in yoga postures, meditation, pranayama, and mantra. This immersive experience strengthens your practice and connects you to the heart of yoga.

  1. Career Launchpad: Share and Thrive

Your success matters. That’s why we equip you with the tools to build a sustainable and fulfilling yoga career. Upon graduation, you’ll gain access to comprehensive post-graduate resources and ongoing support to help you flourish in today’s thriving wellness industry. We have a 6 month post-grad support program exclusive to our alumni. Your success is our success, we don’t shut the door upon graduation, we open it.

200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Himalaya Yoga Valley

Right now, we’re not here to claim to be the “best” school for you, because we don’t know you yet! But we could be a great fit. We are dedicated to being the absolute best at what we do, constantly innovating and always aligning with our clear goals- we have a 5 star rating across all of our platforms and over 6000 happy graduates who are thriving, and testament to our method- for us, this is the best reflection of our work- our graduates!

If you think you may be a fit for our school you can find out more about us here

The people who will shape your journey are our greatest asset. Meet our teachers here

Would you like to speak to our admissions team? Book a Callback here 

Download our 50 page prospectus here

We hope this article has been helpful for you! If you have any comments, questions or thoughts, we would love to hear them!

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