You have carefully and authentically made the decision to become a yoga teacher, yes! Now, how do you get started on this wonderful and sometimes daunting journey to find the right school and platform? There are many options to choose from when considering a 200 hour yoga teacher training, especially with the popular choice to learn yoga online. The choices can be overwhelming and a few key factors can help you make an informed decision about choosing in-person or online yoga teacher training. One of these factors that should be considered is the inclusion of a well-structured yoga teacher training manual. It is important to have a manual that is aligned with the values and lineage of the school created by the teachers of the program. A well-organized and accessible training manual gives you a resource to come back to at any time and will guide you successfully through your training and beyond.
Online and in-person yoga schools registered with Yoga Alliance often have a manual setup that follows the breakdown of hours required by the organization. Yoga Alliance states the following in their standards on yogaalliance.org “ As a yoga education standard-setting organization founded in 1999, Yoga Alliance has grown alongside yoga’s natural progression while rising to meet the needs of our evolving membership.” To be considered a registered yoga school, the following topics must be covered in the 200hr Yoga Teacher training :
- Techniques, Training & Practice – How to do (practice) yoga
- Teaching Methodology- How to teach (yoga) effectively
- Anatomy & Physiology – The physical and energetic bodies
- Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle & Ethics- History, philosophy, ethics, and lifestyle practices of yoga
A manual written by the teacher of the training is beneficial for the students and teachers. A training manual that supports live or recorded lectures gives the students the freedom to listen intently without having to take constant notes. The lead trainers can also provide real-world personal life experiences that current students can relate to. They will have this information to go back to anytime. The manual should also support any online readings or video content. This also supports the teachers leading the training because they can refer to certain sections for students to review if they need assistance in that area. The manual also serves as a resource to study from and prepare for the exam. A well-structured manual will have sections that are easy to navigate. These sections will be easy to find if the manual consists of a well-structured table of contents, index, and clearly marked subheadings throughout. Many terms are in Sanskrit, the original language of yoga, and need to be translated into the student’s first language. A glossary of key terms and Sanskrit translations are essential for reference of philosophical and technical terminology presented throughout the content.
There are three major ways you may see a manual presented in 200hr Yoga Teacher training. Some schools develop a manual by sections with topics and headings that align with the Yoga Alliance’s requirements but lack the reference sections or the table of contents, index, and glossary. The information, in this case, is selected and supported by the teachers in the training and authentic to the offered coursework but can be difficult to navigate. Other schools may reference a 200hr YTT manual that is mass-produced and requires students to purchase the manual from an outside provider. The training in this case will either be structured around the manual or use it as a reference. It is possible in this scenario for a disconnect to occur between the course material and the manual. A third way is to have a manual developed by the teachers/school and be constructed well with reference sections. This creates an optimal learning experience for the yoga teacher in training. An example of this type of comprehensive manual can be found in the My Vinyasa Practice 200hr YTT. The CEO and founder of My Vinyasa Practice, Michelle Young, holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum development, so you get the best of both worlds. My Vinyasa Practice also offers options to print the manual with permissions, download and/or access the manual online, or even purchase the manual printed at a minimal cost. This key factor along with being a school that is a registered yoga teacher training online undoubtedly plays a role in My Vinyasa Practice being recognized as the best online 200-hour yoga teacher training.
In summary, as a prospective student, it is beneficial to include the 200hr YTT manual in your research when selecting a school, online or in-person. A well-constructed manual in accordance with the required components outlined by Yoga Alliance can provide assurance that your selected school, teachers, and training will give you the tools needed to be a successful yoga student deepening their practice, yoga teacher in training, and/or future teacher of the ancient practice of yoga.