Hello, my yoga teacher friends!
If you’re here, you’re probably curious about the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program. First off, congratulations for taking the step in learning more! I’m here to tell you about my experience and hopefully answer some questions you may have.
Why did I decide to take the step?
As you many of you already know, I love yoga. I’ve been practicing for a little over a year and a half. I began to notice the skills I was developing on the mat were being reflected in real life, everyday situations. As cliche and cheesy as it sounds, I was seeing more strength, compassion, and patience in every aspect of my life. My mental health was improving and at first, I couldn’t believe it related to yoga. I was completely inspired to share what yoga had brought to my life with others. And what better way than to become a teacher?
So, I decided to complete the 200 Hour YTT with Semperviva in Vancouver. The course was a full-time, 6 days a week type of thing. It was led by 5 Semperviva teachers and another teacher who specialized in Anatomy.
The program was in an intensive format. We attended Hatha classes every morning and spent the afternoons learning asanas, practice teaching, studying philosophy and more. We had class every day, except Sundays. I loved being completely emersed in the learning. It allowed me to stay deeply connected to the practice, day in and day out. It was also a great way to become close friends with your fellow students quickly.
That said, every 200HR YTT is arranged differently. You could have any combination of teachers, structures, and schedules. You may be taking a 30-day intensive course like me, or decide to take a part time program over half a year.
Some people may prefer or only can take the course over an extended period of time. There are benefits to this structure too. There are many course formats out there to allow you achieve this certification. Make sure to do some research about what works best for you.
Yoga is crazy expensive, so most courses will cost you. But if you want, you can spend an arm and a leg more and go on a RYT 200 YTT retreat abroad!
The Yoga Alliance
It is also important to note whether or not you’ll want to register with the Yoga Alliance. Today, the Yoga Alliance is the only international governing body for yoga standards.
Not all yoga schools and teachers are registered with the Yoga Alliance. Some do, some don’t. So be sure to check out whether you’ll want to attend a Yoga Alliance registered school and register yourself. Keep in mind that many yoga schools only hire teachers who are registered with the Yoga Alliance.
To see if your school is registered, click here.
The Many Yoga Alliance Qualifications
The Yoga Alliance has put together different certifications teachers can receive:
- RYT 200 (Stage one!)
- RYT 500
- E-RYT 200 (Experienced)
- E-RYT 500 (Experienced)
- RCYT (Children)
- RPYT (Prenatal)
To learn more about each one, click here.
This information was taken directly from the Yoga Alliance website’s page for the 200HR YTT Training Standards.
Techniques, Training, and Practice: 100 Hours
Topics in this category could include but are not limited to: asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, chanting, mantra, meditation and other traditional yoga techniques.
Teaching Methodology: 25 Hours
Topics in this category could include, but are not limited to:
- Communication skills such as group dynamics, time management, and the establishment of priorities and boundaries
- How to address the specific needs of individuals and special populations, to the degree possible in a group setting
- Principles of demonstration, observation, assisting and correcting
- Teaching styles
- Qualities of a teacher
- The student learning process
- Business aspects of teaching yoga* (including marketing and legal)
Anatomy and Physiology: 20 Hours*
Topics in this category could include, but are not limited to: human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, etc.) and may also include energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, etc.). Includes both the study of anatomy and physiology along with its application to yoga practice (benefits, contraindications, healthy movement patterns, etc.).
Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers: 30 hours
Topics in this category could include, but are not limited to:
- The study of yoga philosophies and traditional texts (such as the Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika or Bhagavad Gita)
- Yoga lifestyle, such as the precept of non-violence (ahimsa), and the concepts of dharma and karma
- Ethics for yoga teachers, such as those involving teacher – student relationships and community
- Understanding the value of teaching yoga as a service and being of service to others (seva)
Practicum: 10 Hours
Topics in this category include:
- Practice teaching as the lead instructor (does not include assisting, observing or giving feedback)*
- Receiving and giving feedback
- Observing others teaching**
- Assisting students while someone else is teaching
Remaining Contact Hours and Elective Hours:
The Standards detailed above ensure that all trainees of a RYS 200 receive training and instruction in five Educational Categories for at least 185 hours with 125 hours of those being Contact Hours. Any remaining required curriculum contact and Non-Contact Hours (totaling 200 hours in all) are to be distributed among the five Educational Categories, but the hours may be allocated at the discretion of each RYS based on their program’s focus.
TOTAL: 200 Hours
I learned more than I ever thought I could during the 30-day intensive program. I went in expecting to learn about yoga philosophy and how to put my body in the right postures. What I didn’t know was that I was learning more about myself than I ever had up until that point.
Throughout training, my teachers and fellow students taught me things that aren’t outlined by the Yoga Alliance. They taught me how to breathe, feel and experience life fully in every moment. They taught me patience, strength, and compassion, not only to others but to myself.
This training introduced me to the physiological, mental, and emotional explanations for why yoga feels so damn good.
10 Unexpected Things I Learned:
- I love savasana.
- If you need to sigh or yawn, let it out! It feels good.
- The asanas you don’t want to do and the days you don’t want to practice are the asanas and moments you should practice most.
- Your ego is your worst enemy.
- Turn the corners of your lips upwards – it immediately changes your mood.
- Meditation can be incredibly frustrating yet incredibly liberating.
- Yoga is a lot more than just asanas. It is beyond the physical. Yoga is a way of life. Yoga takes the patience, compassion, and strength practiced on the mat into the real world. You don’t need to be upside down on your mat to be a real yogi.
- On that note, tight hamstrings don’t make you a bad person. You don’t need to touch your toes to be a yogi.
- Every person’s practice is different. Similarly, every person’s body is different. And both these things will change day to day.
- Breathe. Breath deeply. Inhale as deeply as you can in the moments you feel something building up. And exhale even deeper.
I’m so grateful for having had the opportunity to take this RYT 200 course with Semperviva. I’ve also met some of the best peers and teachers I could have hoped for. I am eager for what’s next.
Aug 2017 200HR YTT Grad Class from Semperviva
I’m diving into the world of yoga with open arms and will continue to practice daily.
I want to continue my yoga education and receive my RYT 500 from the Yoga Alliance. I also hope to start offering classes and recording yoga flows to share online.
I’m registered in a 100 Hour Vinyasa training that begins at the end of September with a few of my new yoga family members (pictured below). Stay tuned to hear all about that!
Good luck on your yoga journey!
Feel free to connect with me regarding any questions you have about yoga or RYT 200.