200-hours RYT, 300-hours RYT, YTTC…are all acronyms we hear around the yoga teacher training world. And then we hear about yoga certification courses, continuing education courses and so on. What do all of these mean and where should you start your yoga teacher training studies from? The short answer is first and foremost starting with a 200-hour yoga teacher training course (YTTC).
THE STARTING POINT
A 200-hour yoga teacher training forms the basis of your yoga study, offering a strong foundation. Embarking on your yoga teaching journey with a 200-hour YTTC allows you to nourish your love for yoga and reap yoga’s mental, physical, and emotional benefits. Whether you’re already a yoga practitioner or a newbie plunging into the world of yoga for the first time (with no prerequisites for a 200-hour yoga teacher training course), the 200-hour yoga teacher training is the apt starting point. If opting for in-person training, you’ll want to look into the location of the school. Schools like Sampoorna Yoga offer notable courses in the midst of nature (imagine those stunning views, the calming sea and magnificent sunsets!).
A 300-hour yoga teacher training program on the other hand is perfect for you if you have completed your 200-hour YTTC and are a regular yoga practitioner. While the in-person benefits remain the same, the course itself offers more of a challenge with physical asanas and other practices, and a more in-depth understanding of yoga philosophy. So if you’re ready to deep dive, 300-hours is your answer.
THE RYT LABEL
Yoga Alliance registered yoga schools (RYS) provide you with a certification that allows you to use 200-hour RYT (registered yoga teacher) in your yoga profile and resume upon completing this foundation course. A 300-hour yoga teacher training takes the RYT 200 title up to RYT 500. You can choose to register with Yoga Alliance after completing your 300-hours YTTC making you a 500-hour registered yoga teacher. This is not compulsory and is completely voluntary. If you are keen on having the ‘RYT’ title, however, we recommend doing your 200-hour YTTC and 300-hour YTTC from a registered yoga school as you will not have to undertake any additional steps. The bonus of adding the RYT title is that you get to teach yoga anywhere in the world and are part of a credible network of yoga teachers.
COURSE CONTENT AND SYLLABUS
If you’ve only been practicing yoga asanas or have only done short courses such as 50-hour yin yoga or Pranayama then the 200-hour yoga teacher training will acquaint you with the bedrock of yoga – from the history and origin of yoga to diverse styles, fundamental practices including yoga asanas with adaptable variations, breathing techniques, and meditation.
A 300-hour yoga teacher training will take it a few notches higher. 300-hour YTTC propels you deeper into yoga philosophies, while exploring the intricate layers of the body and mind, unraveling the path towards achieving absolute Dhyana (meditation) and eventually Samadhi (liberation), alongside other profound concepts. Through the immersive 300-hour course, yoga seamlessly integrates into your being, going beyond the confines of the mat to enrich your everyday life.
Though you may have been practicing yoga asanas for sometime, the 200-hour yoga teacher training program will broaden your scope of practice by introducing new postures, variations and modifications. You may learn how to use props to aid your practice while also delving into various other practices encompassing breathing exercises or pranayama, cleansing techniques known as Shat Kriyas, and the practice of Yoga Nidra. While not as intensive as the 300-hour training, this course offers profound benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Ready to embrace a challenge? Opting for a 300-hour yoga instructor training course elevates your practice to new heights. Yes, it will be demanding and there might be moments of fatigue and exhaustion. But it will also be one of the best and most transformative journeys you embark on. You’ll slowly push beyond your limits to elevate your physical prowess. Teachers will guide you with drills and warm-ups to practice advanced poses like the Peacock Pose (Mayurasana) or the Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana), among others. You’ll even surprise yourself by building the strength to bear more than half your body weight on your arms, if not more! Additionally, you’ll deepen your understanding of anatomy and physiology in relation to various asanas.
Enrolling in a 300-hour yoga teacher training course, especially in-person yoga teacher training courses in Goa requires you to adhere to a structured daily routine. This routine includes dedicated hours for physical practices, meditation, Yoga Nidra, pranayama, as well as sequencing and teaching techniques. Amidst the intensive sessions, ample time is also devoted to reconnecting with nature, with serene landscapes or by the calming shores. Remember, it’s challenging, but the rewards will be immeasurable.
GOING BEYOND THE SURFACE
The 200-hour yoga teacher training courses scratch the surface with topics such as anatomy and physiology, yoga philosophy, how to build a yogic routine and lifestyle, among others. After graduating you will, no doubt, have a fair understanding of what it means to be a true yogi.
However, with a 300-hour yoga teacher training, the exposure to the same topics and new ones in a deeper sense will improve your understanding and knowledge, cultivate immense mindfulness and drive a more balanced, yogic lifestyle. You will learn a lot more about topics such as the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, Pancha Koshas (the five sheaths) and Chakras (wheels of energy), and what happens when the Nadis are blocked or Chakras are imbalanced, and more. You’ll even find yourself applying the beautiful pearls of wisdom yoga offers to solve situations in everyday life!
GROWING AS A TEACHER
Both, 200-hour yoga teacher training courses and 300-hour YTTC have modules on teaching methodologies and live sessions where you get to teach a group of students during your course. However, 200-hour courses will only introduce you to the business of yoga, while 300-hour instructor training programs will often have you teaching from the first week or dedicate multiple hours where students get teaching experience. You will complete your 300-hour YTTC more confident of teaching and with a better grasp on aspects such as sequencing and adjustments.
Remember, the 200-hour yoga teacher training program is a prerequisite to 300-hour courses. It prepares you for the challenges that 300-hour YTTC’s throw at you. And, if you wish to teach, the 200-hour YTTC is the most basic course that is compulsory to do.
300-hour yoga teacher training courses give you a far greater understanding of yoga as well as yourself, with a stronger focus on the mind-body connection. You’ll find the experience invigorating and transformative, making you a more balanced, calmer and aware individual and teacher.