When I started my yoga journey six years ago, I didn’t think I would ever be pursuing a career in teaching yoga. To be honest, I had no goals whatsoever, so anything would have surprised me. It’s been an exciting year of planning, researching, reviewing and researching some more, and I’m so pleased to say that I am enrolled and will start my training in November this year! Hopefully, Coronavirus will be a distant memory and I will have read all my course books by then…hopefully.  

I want to go into my own journey of finding the right course for me, from conception, to research, to bagging a place. I hope it’ll help those of you who might be on the same path! 

Outline your needs

Before settling on a teaching programme, you’re going to want to have a clear outline of what you want. The style, the timetable, the budget – all of this needs to be considered before you begin. For example, my outline is below:

A Hatha programme with a basic foundation in one other style
200 hour course (there are other hours offered, but 200 is the minimum required to be a yoga teacher)
Close enough to Bristol that’s commutable 
Within my budget (I’d need to pay monthly installments and have been saving for a while)
A focus on philosophy
Accredited with an international yoga organisation
Strong support on the business side 

Knowing what you want to get out of your programme will help whittle down the programmes that might not suit you. I have some ideas of questions you could ask yourself below:

What style of yoga do I want to learn? 
Does this style of yoga have any other CPD/avenues I can explore (yin yoga – pregnancy yoga – yoga for cancer patients – hot yoga etc) 
How integrated is the programme? 
What is my budget?
Does the programme have any reviews?
What is the reading list like?
How are the units laid out? 
Are my emails handled professionally and timely? 
Have I spoken with the tutor?
Can I attend a public class to see what it’s like?
Am I excited reading about this course? 

Finding your programme

With your list in mind, now it’s time to research! I would say the best starting point is to look through an accredited company, like Yoga Alliance, and see what courses are affiliated with them, This way, you know that the course has been assessed by a third party so it has to be decent, you will get support from the company as their graduate and your qualification will be recognised further afield. I chose Yoga Alliance because it’s recognised across the world, so if I wanted to travel I could work anywhere. I found the programme that I liked the sound of, it matched my criteria and so I went exploring. 

Research, research, research! 

When I found a programme I liked the look of I researched the pants off it. I looked into reviews of the coordinator, the yoga space itself, where the coordinator teaches…all of these things form a picture of where you will be studying. My current yoga teacher knows the coordinator and told me how awesome she is, that solidified my choice.
Look at the course syllabus and the type of units you will be covering. The course should have a brochure, is it well designed? Is it clear what you will be studying? I’m a bookworm, so the fact that my course had a big reading list and quite a few essays were massive plus points. 

Do you qualify?

You’ve chosen the programme, it matches your criteria, now you have to match the eligibility criteria. It’s all very well loving the course, but if they want 5 years experience and you only have two there’s no point applying. This is where communication comes in. If you don’t exactly meet the criteria but feel that you have the experience, just contact them! They can only say no, or they could say yes! I had only been practising with my current teacher for three months and the eligibility criteria asked for two years minimum experience with a teacher. I emailed, asked and was accepted! It’s always best to ask if you’re unsure. 

Teacher reference

As I’d only been with my teacher for such a short amount of time, I felt nervous asking for a reference from her. Then coronavirus hit and we were no longer having public lessons, so asking in person was out of the question. I emailed her directly and asked to book a one-to-one class through Zoom with the intention of getting a teacher reference. She happily accepted and we had our one-to-one which was discounted due to it being for my teaching reference. It was SO GOOD. If you want to find out more about it, you can read it here.

With my teacher reference emailed to me after the class, I sent it through with my deposit to my coordinator. I was in! 

Preparing for your course

Hopefully your application was successful and now you are on the course. To prepare for the course, try and read the study materials in advance. This is where I am right now. It may seem a little intense, but remember that this is something you are passionate about. There is a reason you are doing this so jump on in! 

I hope this guide helps you get on your way. 

All my love,

Grace