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 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 and 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 Is Yoga Alliance?
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).
More information on Yoga Alliance here.
What is a 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training?
According to Yoga Alliance, 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. An RYS 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training prepares its trainees to teach principles and techniques of yoga that are more advanced, more detailed, and/or subtler. Therefore, this advanced training enables them to teach with greater skill than could reasonably be expected of an 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,
3. Anatomy & Physiology
4. Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, & Ethics
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 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. They 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.
Who’s Eligible To Take A 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course?
Ok, so who’s eligible to take a 300-hour YTTC? If you’ve completed a 200-hour YTTC, you’re eligible to enroll in a 300-hour YTTC! If you haven’t taken your 200-hour teacher training yet, check out our previous post "How To Choose A 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training" for tips on how to get started.
When Should You Take a 300-hour YTT?
When you’ve completed your 200-hour YTTC and you’re ready for more you should take your 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course! After finishing my 200-hour training I was personally blown away by how much I still had to learn! That's why I enrolled in my 300-hour training within the next 6 months.
Note: Be sure to apply early as most training programs will assign homework to be completed before the start of the course.
Have you learned how to demonstrate an asana using the mirror technique?
Where Should You Take Your 300-Hour YTTC?
Hopefully, by now you get that it’s important to take a 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training in order to begin to be a successful yoga teacher. But who do you train with and where?
The same school you took your 200-hour training from could be an option. If you liked your teachers and felt like you could learn more from them, there is a lot to be said about sticking with the same “lineage.” Your training will most likely be easier to adapt to as many schools begin their 300-hour trainings where their 200-hour course left off (with some initial review of course 😉 ).
If you didn’t love the style or staff at your 200-hour training, there is nothing wrong with training elsewhere, or even in a different style. Just be prepared to put in some extra work if you do!
I personally trained at not only a different school but in a completely different style of yoga for my 300-hour training. It was a TON of work, but for me, 100% worth it as I feel my breadth of knowledge is greater for it.
I would definitely recommend taking your 300-hour training in-person though. As it is advanced training, making sure you set aside the time and the energy to commit to learning is important. If you can take a month or two off of work to invest in your studies, it will make a BIG difference in the long run.
Why Should You Take A 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course?
The other night I was listening to a podcast interview with Senior Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, Annie Pace (https://keenonyogapodcast.libsyn.com/41-keen-on-yoga-podcast-with-annie-pace). She’s been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for over 40 years and made over 30 trips to Mysore, India to study. I was fortunate to attend a few of her kirtans in Mysore and let me tell you, not only does this woman GLOW, but she remains in impeccable shape and is the most fierce individual I’ve ever encountered. Her strength and devotion are truly inspirational.
Even Annie, a renowned teacher and practitioner still practices and studies with teachers when she can. As teachers, we can never stop learning ourselves. As knowledge and its succession is eternal, a teacher is intrinsically always a student.
We may not have the time or means to travel to India and study this amazing practice with as much dedication as Annie, but we do the option in Europe to at least complete 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training.
Not only will additional training enhance your teaching ability and make you a better teacher, but it will make you a stronger practitioner as well. …Plus a 500 RYT holds a lot more weight on a resume than a 200 RYT 🙂 .
Providing the best information, practices, and care to yourself and your students should be your top priority as a yoga teacher. By investing in a 300-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training, you are investing not only your students and career but in yourself as well.
Ready to take your teaching game to the next level and commit to a 300-hour YTTC?
Check out our 300-hours yoga teacher training in Greece, Europe.
Ask us about the early bird bonuses package (these are not mentioned on the website)
- RYT = Registered Yoga Teacher
- RYS = Registered Yoga School
- YTTC = Yoga Teacher Training Course
- YA = Yoga Alliance
- 200-hour RYT = a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance who has completed the minimum 200-hours of teacher training
- 500-hour RYT = a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance who has completed 500 hours’ worth of training (200 hours + 300 hours separately of 500 hours all at once)
Laura Sutton Shanks