Updated: Apr 23
Do You actually need to take a 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course (YTTC)?
Yes! Before we go any further, I am going to give away the ending. Whether you are considering taking a foundational 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (your entry ticket for the 300-hour yoga teacher training) or you’re already a Registered Yoga Teacher, continuing your education is crucial. Here’s why:
Can You Answer The Below 9 Questions (off the top of your head – no googling!)?
Do you know what fascia is and ways to work with it and optimize it?
What are the 3 doshas of Ayurveda?
What yoga poses can help with lower back pain relief?
Do you know (at least) 3 techniques to adjust someone in downward dog?
What are some of the contraindications of the Surya Namaskars, inversions, and backbends?
Can you guide students through nadi shodhana?
What is a sattvic diet?
Do you know at least one mantra by heart?
Can you name 3 demonstration techniques?
If you couldn’t answer some of these questions and you haven’t taken a 300-hour YTTC (Yoga Teacher Training Course), you might want to consider one.
No matter what style of yoga you practice, these are important considerations yoga teachers should have a general understanding of. However, this information may not have been provided on your entry level 200-hour YTTC.
The Truth About 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training – They’re essential!
200-hour level courses are foundational. They act as an introduction to the basic principles of yoga, and while they are of course “teacher” training courses, they are generally open to anyone interested and therefore entry level.
To be completely honest, it is impossible to become a good yoga teacher in 200 hours. Thousands of hours of personal practice and experience along with additional hours of training from sufficient teachers is necessary. To quote Patanjali, “Practice becomes firmly grounded when it has been cultivated without interruption and with devotion over a long period of time (Yoga Sutra 1.14).” If our own practice doesn’t even become established until it has been nurtured for a very long time, how can we expect to become reputable teachers in a month? At the very least, we owe it ourselves, our community, and our students to complete the full amount of training hours through Yoga Alliance and become a 500 RYT.
Not sure what this means? Let’s examine the 5 w’s of a 300-hour YTTC to get the full picture.
WHAT - What Is A 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course?
Yoga Alliance is the largest nonprofit trade and professional organization representing yoga teachers around the world. To a certain extent, they act as the current governing body for yoga teachers as many studios in the US and Europe require their staff to be Registered Yoga Teachers with them.
As yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual holistic discipline it, by nature, isn’t easy to teach so it makes sense that the yoga community would want at least some monitoring of its instruction.
So today, you can become a Registered Yoga Teacher by completing at least 200-hours of Teacher Training through a Registered Yoga School (such as Alpha Yoga School). From there, you then have the option to go on to complete a 300-hour yoga training and become a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (200 hours + 300 hours = 500 hours).
According to Yoga Alliance (www.yogaalliance.org), a 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training is:
“…Designed to build upon and deepen the trainee’s understanding of the fundamental concepts of the practice and teaching of yoga that are generally taught at the RYS 200-hour level. A RYS 300-hour advanced training prepares its trainees to teach principles and techniques of yoga that are more advanced, more detailed, and/or subtler, and the training enables them to teach with greater skill than could reasonably be expected of a RYT 200.”
A registered 300-hour yoga teacher training will cover a set number of hours from the 5 core educational categories (1. Techniques, Training, and Practice, 2. Teaching Methodology, 3. Anatomy & Physiology, 4. Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, & Ethics, 5. Practicum) and generally have a more specific area of focus (such as Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, etc.).
That being said, many would argue that only requiring 200-hours (and even 500-hours) of training with no additional prerequisites and minimal guidelines is negligent and not doing yoga justice. It is for this reason that many major lineages of yoga such as Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar hold their own, much higher, standards for teacher authorization and do not adhere to Yoga Alliance as even 500-hours of training will not begin to cover the depth of knowledge yoga encompasses.
If the foundational and major lineages of yoga don’t even think 500 hours’ worth of training is enough, we should at least do this much if we are not following their stricter systems of authorization.