What exactly is 200 hour yoga teacher training?

Pratap Rawat

What exactly is 200 hour yoga teacher training?

Are you wondering what a 200 hour yoga teacher training is? You’re in the right place. We know that it may seem arbitrary— why 200 hours? Why not more or less hours? And how does this make someone a yoga teacher?


200 hours is the amount of time Yoga Alliance, the world’s largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community, with over 7,000 Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) and more than 100,000 Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) as of April 2020, has designated 200 hours as the amount of time necessary for a yoga teacher to become a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher. 


While there are trainings for 50-hours or 100-hours, those do not certify you to teach yoga internationally, those are often considered continuing education for yoga teachers who already have 200 hours of education, or as introductory courses for those who wish to learn more about yoga but who are not sure that they want to be a yoga teacher themselves.


So what is a 200 hour yoga teacher training like? Where does this method come from? You have questions. We have answers. Read on!


A 200 hour yoga teacher training is a glimpse of experiencing Indian traditional culture under the Gurukul system and its vast spiritual practices. India is a land of seekers and spirituality, the world has recognized that India is a country of ancient spiritual wisdom and traditions. In India, many yogis regardless of caste and religion were born and they went beyond the physical and psychological dimensions and attained moksha (liberation) towards the end of their physical lives. 


India is the land on Earth where Shiva, the Adiyogi, understood the highest life force or pranic energy which resides in Shunya state. Shunya state has the highest life force compared to any other state. His vibrations are also experienced today in several parts of India in various forms. He is also known as the creator of yoga and the first teacher of yoga. Therefore any part of India you go to, you can not miss out on spirituality and mysticism. 


In old times Brahmins would have a Gurukul (the house of a guru) system which includes the studies of the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Shastras which contain profound knowledge of all aspects of the body, mind, and beyond.


The system usually engaged yoga disciples in a routine where they would spend several hours working on asana, pranayama, kriyas, dhyana, study with the master, and karma yoga. The whole objective of that system was designed for seekers and not for common people.


A 200 hour yoga teacher training is a replica of that particular system. Since life in modern times is fast paced— it is not easy and not always possible for everyone to be devoted to such practices. For those who have not been living satisfactorily in the materialistic world and the nature of their inquiry is strong, then they are ready to take the course of a 200 hours yoga teacher training, where they will come to understand the life not limited to only body and mind but much beyond. 


A 200 hours teachers training course is an essence and compilation of Gurukul  parampara (lineage) system where a student stays at an ashram style environment under a lead teacher whose goal is also to realize its true self and who has knowledge from his guru. 


The teachers training course also includes studies of asana, pranayama, yogic kriyas, yoga philosophy, yoga nidra, human anatomy and physiology, meditation with an intention to grow the seed for spiritual growth. This style of discipline is an eye opener and teaches one to differentiate between what is material and spiritual. 


The difference between spiritual world and material world


Material world: The life force or pranic force of an individual acts mostly outward in the material world. In the material world, we act to survive, create and sustain, by doing so, with time, we believe and store it as a reality and ultimate thing, one entangles himself in a complex web of sufferings. 


Spiritual world: It is within every individual. The life force of a human being acts inward for self knowledge or knowing the ultimate. It is totally an inward process. The one who attains true self knowledge gets control over its energies and hence can act efficiently in the material world.


So the ultimate reality of a 200 hours yoga teacher training course is that it's an essence of the system that has been passed down to us from our spiritual masters who followed such a routine for several years and attained realization. As previously mentioned, years of study is not usually possible for a yoga teacher, thus in the modern world the practice has been modified to a point where it can be accessible and understandable for any individual. 


Obtaining a certificate, taking exams, the practical and theoretical elements of a yoga teacher training are just the attributes of the YTTC program which have their relevance and are also important. 


A yoga teacher training course is indeed, a life changing program and has the ability to transform one's life. 


If you have any more questions about what a yoga teacher training is, please do not hesitate to reach out.

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