Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Google “yoga teacher training” and pages upon pages of results will leave you not only scrolling for hours but likely overwhelmed and confused. It seems every studio and experienced teacher out there is offering a YTT now. In this weekly series, YJ LIVE! presenters answer your questions.
We asked 90 Monkeys founder Amy Ippoliti and Natasha Rizopoulos, who leads 200- and 300-hour teacher trainings, about the daunting task of choosing one of the hundreds of YTT programs out there. Both of them offered the same piece of advice as the first step: Find a teacher who resonates with you.
“Before enrolling in a program, take class with whoever is leading the training,” Rizopoulos says. The only way to determine if their teaching style resonates with you and to observe how they interact with students and manage the room is to experience it for yourself, she says. “Teacher Training is demanding and can be like a crucible in which a lot of energy and intensity gets stirred up, so you’ll want to be confident that the person who is in charge is capable of handling a variety of situations with grace, compassion, and clear boundaries,” she says.
8 Ways to Evaluate Whether a Teacher Is Right For You
Ippoliti suggests using the following questions to guide you in the decision-making process of determining whether a teacher trainer is the best fit for you.
- Do you resonate with the main teacher trainer’s style of teaching?
- Do you resonate with his or her personality or have similar values?
- Would this teacher have a healthy mentor-student relationship with their students?
- Would you like to lead a yoga class with a similar vibe to this teacher?
- Does the method of yoga this teacher offers resonate with you and your body/spirit?
- Could you see yourself authentically sharing this teacher’s method or something similar in your own way eventually (even if it feels impossible now)?
- Does the training program sound intimate enough for you?
- How are the teacher’s credentials? Is he or she well-trained and highly knowledgeable?
“What I’m saying here is that I think the teacher matters,” Ippoliti says. “You’ve got to feel good about who is leading the training. Go for depth over fame. Remember integrity first and foremost and you can’t go wrong!”
Amy Ippoliti’s 3 YTT Program Red Flags to Avoid
Ippoliti suggests actively avoiding any training program or teacher who makes claims such as:
- “This is the only method of yoga worth practicing.”
- “Other styles of yoga are dangerous or not OK.”
- “You’ll be able to teach yoga in a matter of weeks after graduating.”
Once you’ve found a teacher you connect with, you have to determine if their program is a good fit. Next: Jason Crandell offers advice on taking YTT programs to deepen your practice.
See also Is Yoga Teacher Training for You?
ABOUT OUR EXPERTS
Natasha Rizopoulos is a Senior Teacher at Down Under Yoga in Boston, where she offers classes and leads 200- and 300-Hr Teacher Training programs. For more on her teaching and travel schedule, visit natasharizopoulos.com.
Amy Ippoliti is known for bringing yoga to modern-day life in a genuine way through her intelligent sequencing, clear instruction, and engaging sense of humor. She is a pioneer of advanced yoga education, co-founding 90 Monkeys, an online school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 44 countries. Learn more at amyippoliti.com.