The range of courses now available is wide and it can be confusing to navigate and differentiate what might be the best course to undertake. It is important to shop around and make an informed decision as to which course is right for you. Here are some questions you might find it useful to consider and perhaps ask providers:
Yoga Australia has the highest standards in Australia for membership. To be eligible for membership as a Level 1 teacher the course must take at least 12 months to complete, and it must have minimum contact hours in a range of subject areas. To become a Level 2 or 3 with Yoga Australia you must have taught for a number of years and undertake further studies. These high standards are gaining recognition in Australia's insurance industry for professional indemnity and public liability insurance, and in the health insurance industry, with many funds now recognising Yoga Australia members as providers. Yoga Australia membership is certainly valuable. Yoga Australia has some FAQs here that may also help clarify this for you.
In Australia Yoga Australia registered members have no difficulty in obtaining work and Yoga Australia’s standards are recognised world wide, with Yoga Australia registered teachers finding it easy to obtain employment in other countries.
Unfortunately some courses are advertised as "Yoga Australia registered" when in fact the course does not completely fulfil Yoga Australia's requirements, with additional mentoring hours and possibly qualifications in Anatomy and Physiology being required, at additional expense. This is not always immediately obvious in the marketing material so be sure to ask, not only the provider but Yoga Australia as well. There is a Provisional Membership to Yoga Australia that a course may gain you access to but to become a Registered level 1 teacher (the level at which the Health Funds will recognise the qualification) more may be required. The Yoga Spirit Studios teacher training course meets or exceeds Yoga Australia’s requirements for level 1 registration.
Will you be able to absorb and retain a large amount of new information if it is presented in a very short space of time? Will a short course enable you to deeply embody the teachings and to grow and transform as a longer course will? Note that Yoga Australia requires a course to be of at least 12 months duration for these reasons and if your training is shorter, Yoga Australia will require you to undertake additional mentoring.
Courses are available with a range of training hours, such as 200, 300, 500. The cost of the course should reflect the number of hours of training in the course, and naturally, the more hours of training the greater the depth of training as well. Part of the hours of training may also include home study hours.
Yoga Alliance is a US based non-profit organisation that has established as a register of teacher trainings across the world. Many Yoga Alliance registered trainings are not to the standard of Yoga Australia. Yoga Alliance uses the term “Registered Yoga Training” or RYT. A number after the RYT indicates the number of hours in the training. To ensure that your training is high enough to allow you membership in Yoga Australia ensure that it is 350 hours or more and that the duration of the course is at least 12 months.
We advise that you ask a lot of questions to drill into this one as it might not be immediately obvious what the hidden costs are. Factor in travel and accommodation that is not included in courses costs and if you need to take time away from work to do the training what impact will that have. There may be additional costs for equipment, notes, books, classes or post contact hours mentoring.