Types Of Yoga Teacher Training Programs

types of yoga teacher training

What Is The Best Type Of Yoga Teacher Training Program?

As you start your path of becoming a yoga teacher and searching out a yoga school, you might be wondering which is the best type of yoga teacher training to take? Currently their are four types of programs being offered and they include intensives, retreats, nights and weekend, and online. In this article we will review the pros and cons to each type of yoga certification course.

Yoga Teacher Training Formats and Location

If you’ve been researching Yoga schools, you’ve probably run across 200-hour teacher trainings that occur in a variety of time formats. You’ve also probably heard the call of the East- a Yoga program based in India. Each Yoga teacher training has its pros and cons, and understanding more about each of their different types of format will help you in your decision making process. Below are some common time frames for Yoga trainings:

Nights & Weekend Teacher Trainings

These Yoga certification schools take place over the course of a few months, usually anywhere from 3-6 months depending on the school, and are designed for students who work Monday through Friday during the day. Yoga trainings take place on weekday evenings and/or on the weekends, and most Yoga schools will make their detailed schedule available well in advance.


If you have a 9 to 5 type schedule, you’ll be able to continue working as usual. You’ll also have more time to ‘digest’ the course topics than you would in an intensive environment.


After a full days’ work, spending four hours in a Yoga teacher training class might be exhausting, and you could discover that you’re not as awake and attentive as you’d like to be; also, you’ll lose your weekends off while school’s in session.

Intensive Yoga Teacher Training

An intensive is exactly what it sounds like- intense! Yoga schools that offer intensives generally do so in a three to four week format, and while the summer intensive is probably the most common, plenty of schools out there now offer fall, winter and spring intensives too. Intensives are usually eight hour days, with a one to two hour break midday, and they generally meet for five or six days a week.


One month and you’re done!


You’ll be away from your everyday life for about a month’s time. Also, it’s an intense course of study, and this means lots of information is going to be thrown out there for you to learn, digest, and be tested on.


Many schools now offer yoga retreats and are growing in popularity, probably because learning on a beautiful beach in Costa Rica appeals to just about everyone. These retreat trainings will most likely occur in the intensive format discussed previously. The way retreats generally work is, Yoga teachers or schools will rent out a Yoga retreat center in an appealing location, travel there and host the Yoga certification program.


Get away from it all and complete your studies surrounded by natural beauty.


May be more expensive than other intensives because of travel expenses. Also, beware the yoga retreat that sees you, their student, as easy income; look into the program and compare costs.

Sometimes just reading a magazine at the beach feels like work! Consider whether or not you’re the type of person who can learn in a vacation-like environment.

Residential Yoga Instructor Training Programs

These Yoga teacher trainings are similar to retreats, except instead of a more exotic location you’ll be retreating to a Yoga center with housing options for its students. Like intensives and retreats, residential teacher trainings usually last about one month.


Get away from it all and live the yogic lifestyle in a Yoga community as you complete your studies.


Like the retreat and the intensive, you’ll be away for about a month’s time, and learning a lot of information in a short period.

Yoga Teacher Training In India!

To study Yoga in India with a living guru sounds amazing, and it certainly can be a life altering experience. But if you are going to consider going to India for your yoga teacher training, just bare in mind this is the birthplace of yoga and they take it very serious. Not to say that it isn’t taken serious in the US or anywhere else in the world, but India is a whole other ball game.

But if you are going to consider India, there’s loads of research to be done! First make sure you’ve not only looked into the style of Yoga you’re most interested in, but that you have established a regular practice in this style. If you’ve found a program in India that appeals to you, check to see if they take international students, and that their classes will be taught in language you speak. It may end up that you decide to save India for your more advanced studies, and complete your beginning program closer to home. Or it may be that you pack your bags for Mysore next week.


  1. Live the yogic lifestyle in India and learn from a living master.
  2. Ensconce yourself in an authentic yoga culture
  3. Transform your life
  4. Get ready for a culture shock and adventure!


Program length may depend on you, the student, and not be date specific. Meaning the “teacher will appear when the student is ready”.

Trainings might not accept beginning or international students.

Choosing the Right Type Of Yoga Certification Course

Hopefully at least one of the above time formats is both appealing to you and suits your scheduling needs! Together with the information on basics and personal considerations, you’re fully equipped to begin choosing a Yoga teacher training. Just remember to follow your heart and trust your intuition. One of the first and most important lessons of becoming a yoga teacher is about you becoming your own guru and teacher.

Useful Links

Yoga School – To find a school offering a yoga teacher training please visit our Yoga School Directory

Need Help? – We now offer a “concierge” service where you tell us what you are looking for and we will help you find the right yoga training school. To learn more visit our Help Service.

Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.

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