Confession: When I finished my first teacher training in 1997—the equivalent of today’s 200-hour yoga teacher training—I was more like a yoga enthusiast who could get other people psyched about yoga than the most effective teacher in the world.
If a student had a question about an injury, I typically didn’t have the answers. I was limited in what I could theme my classes on because I certainly knew very little about classic Indian texts, myths, or epics. Not to mention my own practice was so nascent and undeveloped at that time that I wasn’t teaching from an entirely embodied place.
So I continued my training and mentorship, which taught similar skills offered in today’s 300-hour yoga teacher trainings. (At the time, 300-hour teacher trainings weren’t yet a thing, nor a standard. In fact, Yoga Alliance, the governing body of yoga today, didn’t even exist.)
At the end of that training, I was still a great enthusiast. But I also felt like I could truly serve and help people with posture and alignment. I could create meaningful class themes anchored in yoga studies. I had the ability to help my students get deeper into poses. This additional education also gave me the confidence and ability to teach other yoga teachers.
If you’re looking to glean similar skills, taking a 300-hour yoga teacher training might be right for you. Here’s what you need to know to help you decide.
How is a 300-hour YTT different from a 200-hour training?
A 200-hour teacher training is an incredible foundation for understanding yourself, your practice, and an overview of yoga. Generally, a 200-hour training teaches you how to move a class through a yoga flow. Depending on the school you study with and the values they hold, your training may help prepare you for teaching yoga philosophy in a vinyasa class.
What you’ll learn in a 300 hour yoga teacher training
A 300-hour YTT arms you with tools and teaching skills that will help you be a more masterful, authentic teacher who can inspire folks into a deeper practice and offer a richer experience to your students. The training prepares you to teach more advanced, detailed, or subtler principles and techniques of yoga, according to Yoga Alliance. You’ll go into specialized study and get nitty gritty with the details. Every program is different, but in a 300-hour YTT, you’re likely to learn about:
- The gods and goddesses of Hindu mythology, more in depth study of key texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Patajnali’s Yoga Sutra, and other more esoteric texts
- The ethics of teaching, such as those involving student-teacher relationships
- The benefits of yoga alignment as it pertains to student’s injuries and limitations so you actually know how to help someone modify and practice poses in ways that clear chronic discomfort
- Sanskrit (the language of yoga), through proper pronunciation of the asana names as well as knowledge of words and phrases you might reference in a class theme. E.g. the chakras or the mahabhutas (the elements).
Is a 300-hour YTT right for you?
A 300-hour yoga training graduate can inspire deeper practice and embodiment of yoga. It might be time for your next level of yoga education if you:
- Have completed a 200-hour teacher training
- Want to take a deeper journey into yourself
- Are excited about self inquiry
- Want to offer your students a more comprehensive experience
- Have an insatiable curiosity
- Are curious about the subtle aspects of yoga
About the Author
Amy Ippoliti is a yoga teacher, author, and earth activist known for her genuine style of teaching, intelligent sequencing, compelling and clear instruction, and engaging sense of humor. In 2012 she co-founded Vesselify (formerly 90Monkeys), an online and in-person professional development school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 65+ countries internationally. In 2016 she co-authored the book, The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga, which has become a staple in yoga teacher trainings around the globe. Learn more at amyippoliti.com.