The Main Differences Between 200, 300 and 500 Hour YTT

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Yoga Teacher Continuing Education

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Yoga training certifications come with hours and competency hurdles that must be cleared. They are gauged by the hours you have accumulated learning yoga online or in the classroom. So what are the main differences between the 200, 300, and 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training levels?

The levels are based on hours of study and a few other competency hurdles. As you progress in the study, you must also sit through lectures and practical meetings where new techniques are introduced and perfected.

When you start down the path as a yoga teacher, there are several situations you might encounter that could be stressful or stoke anxiety in your daily life. Concentrate on your breathing and let the negative energy fade with it. Read on and learn all you need to know about the differences between 200, 300, and 500-hour yoga teacher training certifications.

What is the Difference Between 200, 300, and 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training?

Each level of certification will have a few requirements that must be met before you can attain and progress to the next level. These requirements are often study-based, with a few different options sprinkled in. Remember that gaining your YTT doesn’t have to be an intensive process, and when choosing My Vinyasa Practice, you will have all the time you need.

What are the Requirements for Yoga Teacher Certification?

The requirements for each level of Yoga Teacher Training will differ depending on which certification you are pursuing. The way to learn specific requirements per level is by checking the national certifying body for your chosen certification. They will have a list of areas that must be completed before they will give you the cert.

200 Hour YTT

The first and most common certification that yoga teachers get is the 200-Hour course. Being a starter course for some means that administration and paperwork must be completed before you can take part in the classes. The bulk of the course is learning the craft and practicing new asanas.

A few things must be done before getting the 200 Hour YTT as follows:

  • Classes – A significant portion of your 200-Hour course will be spent in classes. These classes will cover topics ranging from the history of yoga to meditation techniques and practices. These classes are the base for your yoga study and could reappear in later certifications.
  • Mentorship – Having someone teach you in a hands-on environment is excellent for your career and your practice. In addition, it gives you insight into how to handle situations from an experienced professional.
  • Observation – Before jumping to the next level, there is a chance that someone from the national certifying body will want to watch you work. They want to make sure you are competent and not going to hurt clients.

When dealing with the Yoga Alliance standards and those from MVP, you must learn to check for updates to their policies and changes in their curriculum. My Vinyasa Practice abides by the rules of the Yoga Alliance and their rules and guidelines.

300 Hour YTT

Taking the 300-Hour teacher training is an endeavor to learn everything you can about yoga. You must have a love for teaching and a passion for working with people to progress to this level and beyond.

Some things you will encounter in the 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training are:

  • Advanced Courses – One of the most notable things you will encounter in the 300-Hour certification is the advanced courses. These are built off the courses you took in your 200-Hour certificate and will give you a deeper understanding of topics associated with yoga.
  • Holistics – Another practice you will encounter at this level is Ayurveda. It is an ancient holistic eating and healing method. It pairs with advanced courses and teaches you how to instruct people to eat and care for themselves as the seasons change.

Again, the 300-Hour course adds some advanced classes and practices that require you have the 200-Hour as a prerequisite before beginning your studies. The critical thing to remember is that each level builds off the previous one and increases your capability to teach your practice.

500 Hour YTT

You are a master of the craft if you venture for the 500-Hour teacher training certification. It is a long journey that will end your 1000 hours of studying yoga and several assorted practices. The difference between this level and the others is time. At this point, you could have been practicing for years and have a long line of successful students behind you.

A few requirements for the 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training are:

  • 500 Combined – It should go without saying that one of the prerequisites for getting your 500-Hour certification is having the 200 and 300-Hour certs. The knowledge doled out with these courses is enough to teach beginners and several other types of yoga practice.
  • Lead Trainer Requirements – Another thing you might encounter with the 500-Hour course is the Lead Trainer Requirements handed down by the Yoga Alliance. These require that if you teach a 200-Hour class, you must hold the 500-Hour certification and teach the lion’s share of the class hours.

The 500-Hour level is about teaching and passing on what you know to the next generation. Passing on knowledge is one of the reasons that yoga has thrived and been around for so long. Requirements for this level can be murky if you choose a company without clearly displayed requirements and prerequisites.

What Does it Mean to Become a Certified Yoga Teacher?

A Certified Yoga Teacher has studied yoga and learned how to teach the practices and techniques to others. In addition, they undergo training that allows them to spot visual cues in movements and poses while offering corrective instructions.


The main differences between the 200, 300, and 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training are time and competencies. By taking the time to go through courses and attend yoga classes, the teacher shows an initiative that could lead them down the path of teaching and studying yoga for the rest of their lives.

My Vinyasa Practice offers some of the best and most affordable YTT certificate levels. These classes are taught by professionals who have been teaching for over twenty years in a variety of yoga styles and practices. 

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