by Paula Tursi The yoga teacher training program that you select has the potential to truly change your life, mine did! It had such an effect on me that I quit my job and became a full time yoga teacher… not recommended so quickly! It was easier then and still I starved for a bit. No regrets though. It was by far the best thing I have ever done. Trainings are an investment of your time and money as well as in your personal growth. How do you find the right one for you? Here are some guidelines to consider before saying “I do” and taking that first big step into the world of yoga… Figure Out Who You Are Make an honest wish list of all the things you hope to gain from this experience. What are your interests? Look at the classes and workshops you take. Be honest. Do you tend choose more technical classes? Do you prefer to flow through poses rather than concentrate on alignment? Taking stock will reveal more about who you are rather than who you might want to be. Home or Away Figure out how much time you can offer where you can be totally committed. Would you like to travel and if so where? this can help you narrow it down. There are many wonderful programs all over the world. It might be a great opportunity to travel and learn Credentials A program is legit they are registered by the Yoga Alliance. If they are, you will find the Yoga Alliance logo on their site 200 or 500 Hour Levels In the 200 hour level training you get a lot of broad information that helps you get more clear of your path, but in order to specialize and fine tune you will want to continue with your training. It is best if your program has both 200 and 500 hour levels. This allows you to know that the program has been around for awhile and that if you like what you have learned you can go deeper into their philosophy. You will also find that you will find a family in a good training and the option of having a 500 hour program allows you the time to build these important relationships. Application Process The applications process is as much you picking the program as they selecting you. What types of questions do they ask? Do they require an interview? Essentially do they really want to know their applicants or are they just looking to have a large enrollment? Interview If there is one it is good opportunity to understand how your time will be spent. What are the particular interests of the program? Do you have a compatible feeling with the studio, its teachers and students? Cost Most trainings run between $3000-4000. Just because a training is linked with a big name doesn’t necessarily make it good, but it can make it more expensive. Sometimes the independent trainings will give you more time and access with the main teacher, which is what you want. Celebrity teachers tend to run their trainings a bit more impersonally and don’t provide a lot of opportunity for placement when you graduate. What is Required of You Find out upfront what will be required of you in addition to class hours so you know you can commit. Some trainings have a rigorous program after the course is completed and before you get your certificate. This is a good thing as it provides you more training but be sure you can offer the time. Placement A training that can place you or at least connect you with teaching opportunities is a huge bonus, however, it shouldn’t be the number one reason to choose or not choose a program. These are some guidelines in choosing the right training for you. It is important to know that all trainings will offer you the opportunity for growth if you let it. You are as much a part of your learning process as the teachers and studio.