Considering a 200-hour yoga teacher training course? On the fence, unable to decide if a 200-hour yoga teacher training is enough to be a yoga teacher? Will the course prepare you to start teaching? Many are wondering the same, just like you. The honest answer is yes and no. The basic yoga teacher training is a great place to start, get your foundation and understanding of all aspects of yoga (theory and physical practices), and to start your yoga teacher career. However, a RYT 200 is just the beginning. Yoga is a practice that has existed for thousands of years, and tells us that it can take a lifetime to achieve liberation. So, in a certain sense, the answer to ‘is 200-hour yoga teacher training enough to be a yoga teacher’ is not necessarily, however, it’s the start.
But that’s also not what a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification is designed to do. The program is designed to teach you enough to have a basic understanding and foundation of the practice. After the course the more practice and teaching hours you put in, and the more knowledge you continue to gain, the better your credibility, confidence and progress as a teacher. In this article we address some of the key questions and concerns around how to become a yoga teacher and whether a 200-hour yoga teacher training is enough.
Adapting the yogic lifestyle: The 200-hour yoga teacher training course (YTTC) is a foundational yoga teacher training course that provides both theory and practical knowledge and experience of the basics of yoga. If you are doing the course in-person your days will be long. You will be introduced to a yogic lifestyle. You will begin early morning with physical practices that include meditation, pranayama, cleansing techniques and yoga asanas. This is normally followed by breakfast and some time for self-study, Karma yoga (volunteer work), and theory sessions. After lunch, you might have a quick relaxation for 20-minutes (Yoga Nidra), followed by theory sessions and then practicals. Evenings are spent in nature, bonding with fellow-students, self-study or satsang. The daily schedule varies from school to school. The goal is for you to gain a holistic understanding of a yogic lifestyle while learning and experiencing various practices. It is a lot to absorb in a short time, but the 200-hour courses can be enough to help you form the new lifestyle. After you get your yoga teacher training certification, it is up to you to continue this new lifestyle, whether you decide to teach or not.
What next after completing your RYT 200 Teacher Training Course? Here are a few ideas of the path you can choose.
Dedicated practice: During the 200-hour YTTC you’ll go through a rather intensive training to practice yoga postures. For some students whose flexibility or strength might be lesser, modifications and variations are adapted. When you graduate from the course, as a teacher your own practice comes first. Whatever progress you achieve during the course has to continue outside the classroom so you can take on intermediate and advanced levels. You can even try different styles of yoga like Hatha, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Yin yoga, etc. During the course you will learn to connect with your body, breath and mind. You will learn to feel what the right alignment is, rather than relying on what it looks like. You will learn to pay attention to bodily sensations, muscle movements, breath and more. Now, for you to teach these qualities and skills, and help your students progress, you have to practice regularly. If you forget what it feels like to build muscle memory or how to observe a sensation in the lower back during a backbend, it will be harder for you to explain this to your students.
Never stop learning: Once your course is over, your learning should continue. Yoga has so much powerful knowledge to offer. There are thousands of books on every topic, from Kundalini yoga to Anatomy and Physiology of yoga, meditation and more. What you learn during your course has been carefully curated and packaged together in 200-hours. Always be a student at mind and heart. Be open to learning from your batchmates, your students, and renowned yogis. Learn from the practices and lessons of others. When you keep learning, you are growing everyday as a teacher, and as a person. This will make you stand out as a teacher.
Your next steps matter: Your 200-hour yoga teacher training is just the start. Once you finish your exams and get your certificate, spend some time thinking of your next steps. Are you keen to start teaching? Do you wish to assist another teacher? Or, do you plan on taking up another course, like a 300-hour yoga teacher training or perhaps, a yin yoga course? Try out different sequences, practice them yourself or teach a small group of students. The idea is to keep the teacher in you alive. Your foundation has been established with the 200-hour YTTC. Now, you have to make a conscious effort to build and improve on that foundation.
WHEN IS THE 200-HOUR YTTC ENOUGH?
The 200-hour yoga teacher training is enough if you don’t intend to teach yoga professionally. In that case, it is the perfect course to learn the basics of yoga philosophy, yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation. If you are a yoga lover doing the course purely to gain more knowledge about yoga, then it can be enough. However, to advance your yoga teaching career, we recommend joining an advanced level course (like 300-hour teacher training programs) after your 200-hours YTTC. You can even consider additional courses like Anatomy and Physiology, Yin yoga, Pranayama and Yoga Nidra. This further equips you with the credibility and knowledge you need to become a good yoga teacher.
Though a foundation course, the 200-hour yoga teacher training can be a life-changing experience that gives you a taste of what lies ahead. It can transform you personally and professionally. The course will give you the certificate you need, but it is up to you to live up to the title of ‘Certified Yoga Teacher’. As overwhelming as it may sound, the beauty of yoga is once you start, you won’t stop. Many students who attend the 200-hour yoga teacher training at Sampoorna left the program feeling renewed, refreshed and geared up for their journey ahead. Everything you learn and experience during the course will stay with you forever. The new you and the new lifestyle you adopt will come to you naturally. With time and practice, so will the confidence, patience and observation skills you need as a teacher.