Yoga teacher trainings can be a profitable offering for teachers and studios…but it is worth it (and is it cheating) to buy one that is pre-made? Here’s what you need to consider if you are thinking of buying a pre-made yoga teacher training.
The reality is that yoga teacher trainings are the highest priced product that a studio or teacher can offer. While you could sell a lot of classes for $10 a pop, a 200 hour yoga teacher training has a ticket price of about $3,000. The revenue opportunities of a yoga teacher training can help with the bottom line of a business that often struggles to make ends meet. Additional benefits of offering a yoga teacher training include building your community, elevating your teaching staff (or yourself), creating new financial opportunities, and creating a network of new teachers who are aligned with your teaching methodology.
However, creating a good yoga teacher training takes a lot of time. Like, a LOT.
From an instructional design perspective, you should expect to spend about 4 hours of time planning and creating for every hour that you are teaching. If you are planning to teach online, this number goes up to 8 hours at the very minimum. Some of the training hours (like asana practices) will be quicker and easier to plan, while other hours (the anatomy portions for example) will take longer. But let’s say that you are very fast in creating your curriculum and it only takes you two hours of planning for every instructional hour. Well, you’re still looking at 400 hours of work, which translates into ten full-time weeks (!). If you are running a studio (and a family, or other jobs), then it may be hard to create that kind of time to get your program off the ground.
Here’s where purchasing a pre-made program could help you save some time and effort so that you don’t have to “recreate the wheel” on your YTT.
Am I “Cheating?”
Especially when you’re a do-it-yourself entrepreneur, it’s natural to take a pause and think, “Wait a minute, is it cheating to buy a yoga teacher training? After all, I want this be MY school!” The short answer is, well, it depends on how you do it!
- Are you committed to running the training with integrity?
- Are you able to adapt the program so that you can ensure it matches your studio’s values, teaching methodology, and brand?
- Are you committed to doing the required preparatory work to make the training an excellent and elevating experience for your students?
If so, then purchasing a YTT can be a valuable way to work smart, rather than just hard. Purchasing the right training can be a very wise way to put your work in the right place. Rather than “recreating the wheel” for your 200 hour training, you can instead spend your time more efficiently by adapting the program, preparing your own training skills, and getting the training marketed to your community.
What You Need To Consider
Not all programs are created equal, and there are some important questions that you need to ask in order to make sure that you investing your resources wisely. Here are a few essentials to get you started.
What is the training’s teaching methodology, and does it match my own training’s vision?
This question is essential ~ and can easily get overlooked. Yoga teacher trainings vary wildly in their focus and methodologies, and you need to ensure that the training you are selecting aligns with your own teaching style and vision. Some questions to consider:
- How does this yoga training teach students to cue?
- How does this yoga training teach students to sequence?
- What does this yoga training teach students about alignment?
- Can the seller describe their teaching methodology?
- Can the seller articulate the yoga training’s lineage and influences?
- What topics does this yoga training prioritize (what kind of pranayama, philosophy, and anatomy does it teach)?
- Does it include all the necessary topics and competencies that would allow you to register with your organization of choice (for example, Yoga Alliance)?
Can I edit and adapt the training?
Being able to edit your training is essential. While you want the training to give you a robust foundation for your work, you also want the ability to edit the training as needed so that it reflects your studio’s unique vision, brand, and values. You are not a cookie cutter studio or yoga teacher, and you will want the freedom to let the program grow with you.
What is included in my purchase?
A teacher training is much more than a student manual. From an instructional design perspective, the student manual is really the last (and easiest) component to create. Knowing the full extent of what your training includes is essential:
- Does it include the training’s lesson plans (detailed and clear notes on how to teach each hour of the training)? (Here’s an example of a free lesson plan that you can download and use.)
- Does it include presentations or visual materials (very useful for anatomy and philosophy topics)?
- Does it include a robust and well-organized student manual? Is the student manual created with appropriate graphics (paid for or royalty free so that you are using them legally)?
- Does it include quizzes and practicum rubrics?
- Does it include coaching and support?
Reputation and Expertise
Get to know your seller.
- What is their yoga background and experience? What is their lineage?
- What is their instructional design/ education background and experience?
Great yogis aren’t always great instructional designers. Your training needs to have high quality content that is all well-organized and structured for an educational experience.
If you are planning to register with an oversight organization (like Yoga Alliance), find out if the training has a track record for successful registrations or offers support for navigating the registration process.
Purchasing a pre-made yoga teacher training is an investment, no question. And you want to make sure that you will get a return on your investment. Here are some important questions to answer:
- Does the training require you to pay each year, or is it a one and done?
- Does your provider offer payment plans?
- Is there any limitation on how many times you can run the teacher training per year?
- How long would it take you to recoup the investment of the training?
Teaching a YTT can be inspirational, exciting, and deeply rewarding. And purchasing a pre-made yoga teacher training program can be an excellent way to use your time and resources wisely. But you want to make the right choice and be savvy in your decision. Asking the right questions can help you to ensure that you will choose a training program that will not only elevate your business, but also help support you in your own growth and expansion as a leader in your community.