The 8 Best Yoga Teacher Training Programs of 2020

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: YogaWorks

"The focus is on not just physical postures, but philosophy, meditation, and breathing techniques."

Best for Beginners: Embrace Yoga DC

"Offers 200- and 300-hour teacher trainings rooted in Hatha, vinyasa, and restorative yoga styles."

Best for Intermediate: Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

"Training modules throughout the year that focus on everything from chakras to Ayurveda at their expansive property in the Berkshires."

Best for Advanced: Himalayan Institute

"Each training program offers yoga teachers a chance to advance their studies with teaching methods that discover new, verbal and hands-on assists."

Best for Vinyasa: Vinyasa Yoga School

"The school's primary goal is to impart to future teachers that yoga is a holistic practice going beyond just the physical postures."

Best for Hatha Yoga: Oil Yoga

"A typical day begins at 7 p.m. with a 90-minute asana practice, followed by breakfast and several theory classes and workshops."

Best for Ashtanga Yoga: One Breath of Yoga

"There's an on-site sweat lodge, traditionally known as a Temazcal that participants are free to use."

Best for Hot Yoga: Y7 Studio

"Their candle-lit classes held in Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago focus on high-energy beats and high temperatures."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: YogaWorks

YogaWorks

YogaWorks

If you're looking to study a blend of Ashtanga and Iyengar styles of practice, consider a YogaWorks teacher training.

Offering a series of 200- and 300-hour yoga teacher trainings in various locations around the world, YogaWorks is very flexible with the types of education provided—they can be taken throughout the week as a four-week long immersive or on weekends over the course of several months. 

Trainings place equal importance on the philosophical teachings of yoga as they do postures and hand-on assists. Focusing on teaching proper alignment and body anatomy is critical for every YogaWorks training, and the use of props to modify postures plays a key role.

The 300-hour training is more advanced, offering a one-on-one mentorship, as well as more in-depth insight into meditation and yoga philosophy. Also, participants gain free access for three months to the range of online classes offered on YogaWorks' website. 

Training rates vary depending on the location and the type of instruction you choose—expect to spend anywhere from around $2,900 to $3,500 for a month-long training. Check out the YogaWorks training calendar for more information on dates, locations, instructors and pricing.

Best for Beginners: Embrace Yoga DC

Embrace Yoga DC

Embrace Yoga DC / Lissa Ryan

Taught by a slew of diverse yoga teachers, Embrace Yoga DC offers working yogis in the nation's capital, a flexible, teacher training program on weekends.

With a small class size of approximately 15 other students, you can expect to be part of a very attentive yoga teacher training that stays true to its motto of embracing people of all body types, ages and backgrounds. 

Perfect for beginners and intermediate yogis, the 200 and 300-hour trainings teach you the ins-and-outs of teaching vinyasa, Hatha, restorative and guided meditation yoga classes.

Led by Embrace Yoga DC's founder and E-RYT 500, Faith Hunter—who's been practicing since the early 1990s and training future students since 2007—the sessions offer not just the tenets of teaching yoga to the community, but a way for you to embrace and cultivate your own practice.

A typical curriculum includes a deep-dive into asanas, including hands-on assists and differences in anatomy, pranayama techniques, philosophy, and the business of yoga. 

The cost of the 200 and 300-hour teaching sessions range from around $2,900 to $3,300 and includes in-person trainings, along with two Skype mentoring calls. The studio also offers a number of monthly payment plan options. 

Best for Intermediate: Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

Kripalu

Kripalu

With over 40 years of yoga teacher training experience, you can't go wrong signing up for any one of the trainings and workshops offered by the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. While they also provide 200-hour and 1000-hour sessions for beginner and advanced yogis, intermediate yogis will find the 300-hour training the most suitable. 

Consisting of four nine-day modules, with each one including 75 classroom hours, this training helps yoga teachers deepen their practice and take their current methods of teaching to another level. Expect to learn all the pranayama basics, as well as advanced asanas with an emphasis placed on anatomy and alignment.

The meditation module dives into essential techniques and tools that offer practitioners insight into the variety of meditations that exist. If you're interested in learning more about Ayurveda, India's ancient science, consider taking the Ayurveda-focused module that focuses on key postures and breathing practices to help balance the psychophysical constitutions known as doshas in Ayurveda.

Each module costs approximately $1,074. TV-free accommodations are an added expense and range from around $104 to $369 per night and include all meals as well as the use of Kripalu's vast grounds and facilities. Check out the latest module offerings for their 300-hour yoga teacher training, which are offered throughout the year. 

Best for Advanced: Himalayan Institute

Himalayan Institute

Himalayan Institute 

If you're looking for a comprehensive 500-hour yoga teacher training, consider the Himalayan Institute's fall session at their lush 400-acre property located in the serene rolling hills of the Poconos.

From the calming sunset pond and panoramic fields overlooking the mountains to outdoor meditation pavilions and marked hiking trails, you'll spend as much time outdoors, as you do indoors advancing your yoga teaching skills.

Certified through Yoga Alliance, the Himalayan Institute's 500-hour yoga teacher program consists of three intensive modules that are each 10 days in length. Each module offers yoga teachers a chance to advance their studies with teaching methods that discover new verbal and hands-on assists, with time spent learning the varying body anatomies that exist from one student to the next.

The Himalayan Institute focuses on the structural and physiological problems that exist in a typical yoga class and discusses how to use Ayurveda to counteract the effects of stress and emotional imbalances that affect practitioners today.

A regular, daily schedule begins with a 90-minute hatha yoga class, followed by breakfast and a three-hour morning workshop. After lunch, there's a two and a half-hour session with an hour's break before dinner. A two-hour evening session concludes the day. 

Course fees are about $1,099, along with a non-refundable application fee. On-site accommodations are available and range from around $95 per night for a shared room to approximately $315 per night for an upscale, two-bedroom apartment. The rates include meals, Wi-Fi, and access to all of the property's public spaces and outdoor trails. 

Best for Vinyasa: Vinyasa Yoga School

Vinyasa Yoga School

Vinyasa Yoga School

If you're looking to immerse yourself in all things yoga during your teacher training, consider choosing a program in Rishikesh.

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayans beside the Ganges River, this Indian city is renowned for its numerous yoga and meditation ashrams. Vinyasa Yoga School, one of the first in Rishikesh to offer this type of flow style, has multiple 200-, 300-, and 500-hour yoga teacher trainings throughout the year. 

Their immersive 200- and 300-hour trainings last for a month—the 500-hour training is 60 days long—with participants living on-site studying yoga six days a week. The school's primary goal is to impart to future teachers that yoga is a holistic practice going beyond just the physical postures.

If you're looking to gain insight into the other aspects of the practice, then Vinyasa Yoga School might be a good fit. The programs all spend a significant portion focusing on the spiritual, silent elements of yoga such as pranayama, meditation techniques, mantras, and more.

Part of each student's teacher training tuition goes to fund some of the school's non-profit initiatives like providing food and yoga education in the local community in Rishikesh. A 200-hour teacher training, perfect for beginners and establishing your yoga foundation, costs around $1,595.

It includes 30 days of training, course materials, a private room, all meals, as well as four-weekend trips and a Yoga Alliance RYT200 certificate. Check out their trainings calendar to find out the upcoming Vinyasa teacher trainings. 

Best for Hatha Yoga: Oil Yoga

Oil Yoga

Oil Yoga

Conducting yoga teacher trainings and immersions in Goa, India, Paris, France, and Ubud, Indonesia, Oil Yoga instructors Trupta and Stephanie focus on imparting the basics of Hatha and vinyasa styles of yoga to their students.

The December 200-hour yoga teacher training held in Goa, known for its pristine beaches, fiery Portuguese-influenced cuisine, and slow way of life, is perfect for you to immerse yourself in the practice near the ocean and nature.

With a focus on the aspects of Hatha yoga, you can expect to learn proper alignment techniques, breathing and hands-on assists, as well as yoga philosophy and applying it to your daily life.

A typical day begins at 7 a.m. with a 90-minute asana practice, followed by breakfast and several theory classes and workshops. Evenings are reserved for the singing of kirtans, guided meditations, and pranayama sessions. 

Course fees vary depending on the training location, but a month-long, 200-hour teacher training immersion, with Oil Yoga ranging from about $1,030 to $1,300. The cost of accommodation in Goa is approximately $46 a night.

Best for Ashtanga Yoga: One Breath of Yoga

One Breath of Yoga

One Breath of Yoga

Dedicated to the traditional Ashtanga practice, One Breath of Yoga is the place to go if you're looking to surround yourself in nature, while learning the very physical Mysore-style practice.

Set in the middle of a Mayan jungle in Puerto Morelos in Mexico, this serene ashram places a specific importance on the connection between ourselves and the environment we live in. 

Months-long immersions and teacher trainings include pranayama and mediation techniques, as well as an introductory course into Yoga Nidra, a deeply relaxing and calming style of yoga. In addition to the instruction, students have access to indigenous, Mexican healing ceremonies such as cacao, medicinal plant, and rebirth ceremonies.

There's even an on-site sweat lodge, traditionally known as a Temazcal that participants are free to use. Days off can be spent on the white-sand beaches along Mexico's Caribbean coast, which are less than a three-mile drive from the property. 

Rates vary depending on the workshop and training offered. Accommodations begin at around $35 per night and include Wi-Fi and access to a communal kitchen. All meals served are raw and vegan.

Best for Hot Yoga: Y7 Studio

Y7 Studio

Y7 Studio

With the mission to breakdown the traditional barriers that beginner practitioners face, Y7 Studio works to make yoga inclusive and accessible for all members of its community.

The brand's candle-lit classes held in Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago focus on high-energy beats and high temperatures. And, each studio is heated via infrared technology between around 80 to 90 degrees to help improve blood circulation and increase flexibility. 

Many sessions are held throughout the year, with an upcoming 200-hour summer intensive in New York City from June 1 to June 26. Hands-on training is key to any Y7 training, which focuses on an in-depth exploration of over 100 asanas, as well as the proper alignment techniques and modifications for each pose.

The focus is placed on hands-on adjustments that are not just effective in improving students' practices, but necessary for the prevention of injuries. The business of yoga, its philosophy, and meditation and breathing techniques are all part of the Y7 curriculum. 

Pricing for the 200-hour teacher training is approximately $3,650 with a non-refundable deposit. Partial scholarships are available to yoga teachers in need, and preference is given to those working to spread the practice yoga within their communities. 

How We Chose the Best Yoga Teacher Training Programs 

For our top picks, we wanted to ensure that the teacher training programs we recommended were all-encompassing, well-received by past students, had a comprehensive curriculum and structure, and offered multiple sessions throughout the year, extending beyond the United States.

To do this, we checked the Yoga Alliance’s directory of recommended schools and yoga teacher training programs offered around the world, read their comprehensive reviews—both positive and negative.

For some, we even sought the recommendations of former yogis who participated in past teacher training sessions and paid special attention to diversity, not in just the curriculum, but with regards to the teachers and students themselves. 

Which yoga teacher training program is right for me? 

Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Yoga Nidra: Given how many different styles of yoga currently exist today, picking the right yoga teacher training can be a daunting task.

If you’ve been going to a particular style of yoga class and enjoy it, then your choice is easy. The next step would be determining where exactly you want to get trained.

Usually, teacher trainings offered abroad in India, Mexico, and Southeast Asia are immersive programs that require you to stay for three or four weeks on-site, and pricings are usually reflective of room and board, as well as meals.

Some yoga schools also offer add-on amenities, depending on the location, they can be adventure tours or cultural immersion programs. 

What is the difference between a "certified" yoga teacher and a "registered" yoga teacher?

A certified yoga teacher training program typically meets the required industry standards of what is expected from a training. If you’re interested in getting a certificate to teach, then your best bet is to look for teacher trainings that allow you to be a registered yoga instructor at the end of it.

What that means is you get an official certificate by Yoga Alliance, a recognized training body of yoga in the world. Schools that are Yoga Alliance certified follow a strict framework that allow them to lead not just 200-hour yoga teacher trainings, but 300-hour and 500-hour programs as well.

Studios that are Yoga Alliance-certified will feature the Yoga Alliance logo on all of their courses. When in doubt, it’s always best to inquire with the school directly. 

What does RYT 200 and RYT 500 mean? 

RYT 200 stands for a registered yoga teacher who has completed a 200-hour teacher training, while, a RYT 500 is a registered yoga teacher that has completed both a 200-hour training AND an additional 300 hours of yoga instruction. On top of that, they must have a minimum of 100 hours of experience teaching.

Yoga Alliance, the yoga governing body, offers these certificates to all teachers that have completed training at a registered yoga school. For more information about the RYT 200 certification, check out the Yoga Alliance website here. Information about the 500 RYT can be found here.

Do I have to teach yoga after a teacher training?

While yoga teacher training programs are developed with the goal of becoming a teacher, it is not necessary to start instructing once you’ve completed your training.

Participants join yoga teacher training sessions not just to become a teacher, but also to learn more about yoga, its philosophies, and deepen their own personal practice. No matter your reason, our top picks for yoga teacher training programs have something to offer everyone.

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