Sunday, 10 April 2011

12 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training Course

So, you've made the decision to become a yoga teacher. Perhaps you've been a yoga student for years, and have decided to take the next step. Maybe you just want to take your practice a bit deeper, and think that teacher training will help your self-development. You might have been made redundant and want to change career. Whatever your reason, there's not been a better time to train as a yaga teacher.

Teaching yoga is a growing industry, as there's a stressed out nation out there and more people than ever are turning to yoga to help them cope. Yoga teachers around the country have reported higher numbers in their classes this year than in previous years. I've found that corporate Dru yoga and well being classes are in great demand, as when stress levels rise, so do back problems and absenteeism. Companies are looking for experienced, grounded yoga teachers to work on the factory floor and in the office.

It's estimated by the British Wheel of Yoga that half a million people regularly practise yoga in the UK, and the number of yoga teachers is growing by 10% per year. But we're all different. Some of us like a more physical, dynamic style, like Sun Power, Power Yoga, Teach Yoga or Chi Kri schools, others prefer something more gentle, which suits all fitness levels, like Anusara, Dru Yoga or FRYOG. Some want a deep philosophy intensive in an ashram environment, as experienced in the Sivananda training, or the spiritual focus offered by Kundalini. Others want to fit their yaga training around families and jobs, and chose schools like triyoga, British Wheel, or Appleyoga. Some want to study close to home, others want to retreat to a beautiful environment like Snowdonia or the North of Scotland and make a holiday out of their training. So what's out there, and how should we choose?

After talking to people from many UK yoga schools, I've shortlisted 12 questions which should help you find the perfect training course for you. After all, the schools are all quite different, and are suited to different sorts of people. It's not a case of one being better than another, just finding the one which reflects your needs and aspirations best.

The top twelve questions:

  1. What makes your course different from all the others?
  2. Where is your course held in the UK?
  3. Is it accredited with Yoga Alliance or a similar body?
  4. How many years has your school been established?
  5. How many students do you have currently training, and how many active graduates do you have?
  6. Is your school worldwide? If so, in which countries is your course also available?
  7. How qualified are your tutors? Do you have specialists in other relevant fields (eg osteopathy, medicine, sports science) on your teaching team?
  8. How big are your classes, and what's the ratio of students to tutors?
  9. What's the structure of your course? (Weekends/intensive/5 day modules etc) How long does it last?
  10. How much does it cost? Are there any flexible payment plans? If so, what?
  11. What support do you offer for your yoga teachers once they've finished the course?
  12. Do you offer postgraduate trainings eg pregnancy yoga?

So, when you're ready to choose your yaga school, arm yourself with these questions and make note of the replies. Becoming a yoga teacher is a once in a lifetime activity, which will make a difference to potentially thousands of people, so take your time in choosing the right yoga school for you!