You are strongly fascinated with yoga, identify with the yoga community, and attend at least two or three yoga classes per week.
Who knows, maybe even more!
Your yoga practice is literally your everything!
And now, you contemplate enrollment in a yoga certification program and pursuing a career as a yoga instructor.
Where do you begin?
This article reviews the best yoga teacher training programs and covers the following:
After reading this article, you will be able to decide which yoga teacher training program is the best for you without hesitation!
Best Yoga Certifications in 2021
My Vinyasa Practice – Best overall
ISSA Certified Yoga Instructor – Best for basic certification
Be & Breathe – Best low-cost certification
Brett Larkin Online Yoga Teacher Training – Best online
Kripalu School of Yoga – Best in person
The Kaivalya – Best For continuing education
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What is a Yoga Certification?
To work as a yoga instructor, you will need to be certified as a yoga instructor, or, an “RYT.”
To do this, you’ll need to attend yoga teacher training (YTT) at a registered yoga school (RYS).
Your RYS must be accredited by the Yoga Alliance.
What is the Yoga Alliance?
The Yoga Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of yoga for wellness healing in the USA.
It sets the ethical and educational framework for yoga instructors, yoga schools, and yoga studios.
Its main goal is to ensure high-quality, safe, and effective yoga teaching in communities throughout the entire world!
There are many different types of yoga certifications.
But we will only explore these top reputable yoga certifications:
- My Vinyasa Practice
- ISSA Certified Yoga Instructor
- Kripalu School of Yoga
- Brett Larkin Online Yoga Teacher Training
- Yoga Garden
- The Kaivalya Yoga Method
- Be & Breathe
You will have options for both in-person and online yoga certification programs.
Each yoga teacher training has its unique yoga philosophy and yoga history.
Let’s down-dog our way into it!
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Best Yoga Certifications Quick Breakdown
|Certification||Yoga Category||RYT Level||Prerequisites||Difficulty||Cost||Completion Requirements||Online/In Person|
|My Vinyasa Practice||Vinyasa||RYT-200, RYT-300||None||Hard||$375 (RYT-200)|
|200 or 300 hours of coursework depending on RYT level||Both|
|ISSA Yoga Teach Certification||Vinyasa||None||CPR/AED Certification||Easy||$799||Pass 140 question multiple choice test||Online|
|Kripalu School of Yoga||Multiple||RYT-200, RYT-300, RYT-1000||2 years of yoga practice and letter of Recommendation letter from instructor OR student||Hard||$2,500||200, 300, or 1000 hours of coursework depending on RYT level||Both|
|YogaWorks||Multiple||RYT-200, RYT-300||None||Hard||$2,950||200 or 300 hours of coursework depending on RYT level||Both|
|Brett Larkin Online Yoga Training||Multiple||RYT-200, RYT-300, RYT-500||None||Hard||$2,850||200, 300, or 500 hours of coursework depending on level||Online|
|Yoga Garden||Multiple||RYT-200, RYT-300||None||Hard||$3,150||200 or 300 hours depending on RYT level||In Person|
|The Kaivalya Yoga Method||Multiple||RYT-200, RYT-300, RYT-500||None||Hard||$397||200, 300, or 500 hours depending on RYT level||Online|
|Be & Breathe||Multiple||RYT-200||None||Hard||$3,250||200 hours of coursework||Both|
What is Yoga?
Yoga is the union of body, mind, soul, and spirit.
The Yoga Sutras are the best way to guide your spiritual journey of remembering and embracing that mind-body connection.
What are the Yoga Sutras?
First, the word “sutra” is derived from the same root as the medical term “suture”, meaning “to put together.”
The Yoga Sutras put together the mind and the body.
The Yoga Sutras were composed by a man named Patanjali in India approximately between the second and fourth century BC.
Patanjali has also written the Mahabhasya, a treatise of Sanskrit grammar, and a commentary on Charaka Samhita.
RYT programs cover the different styles of yoga, meditation techniques, mindfulness, and teaching methodologies.
Also, course materials, study materials, and the costs of each yoga teacher training program in full detail below.
Finally, you will definitely learn the business of yoga, too.
Note that different yoga certifications depend on the hours of training.
There’s the RYT-200, RYT-300, and RYT-500.
What’s the difference?
Here, we will explain the difference between yoga certifications in more detail.
The RYT-200 is the basic training, which allows you to instruct and register with the Yoga Alliance as a registered yoga teacher.
The RYT-300 is the next step to advance your certification into the RYT-500.
Because you have completed both programs, you are now eligible to register as an RYT-500, which means teaching yoga with a deeper knowledge and a more advanced skill set.
Note that with each yoga course, you will have the option for both in-person and online classes.
Once certified as a yoga instructor, you may work however you’d prefer to.
You can choose to work either full-time or part-time.
But you may start out part-time at the beginning of your career.
Once certified, you may instruct yoga in commercial gyms, yoga studios, online, in client’s homes, on a farm, or in a corporate setting.
What about overseas, like, on cruise ships?
What yoga certifications are accepted on cruise ships?
As long as you have at least a 200-Hour RYT certification from a Yoga Alliance certified school, then you may instruct on cruise ships.
Are you interested in specific yoga certifications?
Perhaps to become a trainer for aerial yoga certifications may be a thing of interest.
Other popular yoga certifications are as follows:
- Mindful Yoga Certifications
- Neuro Yoga Certifications
- Acro Yoga Certifications
- Caro Yoga Certifications
To learn more about these, visit the Yoga Alliance website, click on the Schools tab!
Yoga Alliance Schools tab will direct you to a school nearby which offers the certification that you seek!
Alright, now let’s explore each of the top yoga teacher certification courses separately!
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My Vinyasa Practice
It was primarily built on the foundation of accessibility and service, and overtimes, it had expanded to offering yoga classes and yoga teacher training courses.
In fact, My Vinyasa Practice offers one of the top yoga certifications in the USA!
You may opt for the RYT-200 or the RYT-300.
This yoga teacher training is registered with Yoga Alliance and also as a Clinical Yoga Therapy program.
Note that the Yoga Therapy program is accredited through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).
Not in Texas?
My Vinyasa Practice offers both in-person and online yoga teacher training courses.
The online yoga teacher training courses are as follows:
- 200 Hour YTT
- 300 Hour YTT
- 500 Hour YTT
The 200-hour yoga teacher training educates you on the foundations of Vinyasa Yoga.
What is Vinyasa yoga?
Vinyasa yoga predominantly emphasizes movement and energy flow, as you sync your mind and body with your motion and breath.
This is also known as a “Vinyasa Flow.”
This mind-body practice of yoga embodies a yogic philosophy that to achieve true balance we must accept change and embrace it
Yogis who practice Vinyasa Flows move through yoga poses as they would move through their outer world and adapt to fluctuations in their environment.
Note that this 200-hour certification course is self-paced and runs on your schedule.
My Vinyasa Practice is a registered yoga school with the Yoga Alliance.
Note that this training certification is the best online yoga teacher training, in that it goes way above and beyond to provide mentorship and quality content.
What about the RYT-300 hour course?
In this 300-hour YTT, you will learn to teach Trauma-Informed Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Yin yoga certifications, Restorative Yoga, Adaptive Yoga, and more!
Trauma-Informed Yoga emphasizes a specific trauma’s impact on the entire mind-body connection.
Yoga Nidra, also called yogic sleep, is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping.
Moreover, in Yoga Nidra, you feel as though you are about to fall asleep.
Yoga Nidra is guided by a certified yoga teacher using meditation techniques.
Yin yoga is a very slow-paced practice of yoga as exercise.
Yin highlights aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with asanas, or “body postures,” that are held for longer periods of time compared to different styles of yoga.
Restorative Yoga is a very restful practice of yoga.
You hold yoga asanas for long durations, and utilize props, such as yoga blocks, blankets, straps, and bolsters.
Like other, different styles of yoga, the mind-body connection and meditation techniques are highly emphasized.
Adaptive Yoga is a practice of yoga that connects your mind, body, and spirit through various physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas), and meditation.
Adaptive Yoga is mostly designed for the elderly, those who have injuries, limitations, or disabilities.
Note that this 300-hour course training is application-based yoga teacher training.
Completed your 300 Hour YTT?
Now you may upgrade your Yoga Alliance membership to the 500 Hour YTT.
Did you know that you may register for the 500 Hour YTT combination training and get both the 200 Hour YTT and the 300 Hour YTT online at a discounted rate?
Now you know!
You have the opportunity to advance your skill set at an affordable cost.
Just like with the other online courses, you may take your time and work through the 200-hour certification before you even start your 300 Hour YTT.
Do you live in or local to Texas?
If so, you may attend My Vinyasa Flow in-person yoga teacher training!
Both 200 Hour YTT and 300 Hour YTT certification courses are available, as well as an IAYT Yoga Therapy Certification.
Additionally, you may check their website for special events, such as the Leslie Kaminoff Workshop and the Nischala Joy Devi “The Secret Power of Yoga” Workshop.
But what does this cost?
Are there payment plans available?
For the 200 Hour YTT, it costs $750.00.
However, you are entitled to 50% off; which amounts to $375.00.
Alternatively, you may opt for the 4-month payment plan of $103.00per month.
Note there is a 10% finance fee applied to the total cost.
The 300 Hour YTT costs $930.00.
However, you are entitled to 50% off; which amounts to $465.00.
You may opt for the 4-month payment plan of $128.00per month.
Again, there is a 10% finance fee applied to the total cost.
Lastly, the 500 Hour YTT costs $1680.00
However, when paid in full, you are entitled to 50% off; which amounts to $840.00.
Alternatively, you may opt for the 4-month payment plan of $210.00per month, plus the 10% finance fee.
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To combine the traditional practice of yoga along with the modern cutting edge exercise science techniques, then you are in the right place.
This certification comes with a free NCCA accredited exam.
It is Yoga Alliance certified, which means that ISSA is currently the only provider of an accredited Yoga instructor course.
Yoga instruction typically leans towards a more abstract, intuitive approach.
The current price of this yoga teacher training is $799.00.
You may view the website for more information.
Furthermore, ISSA aims to add value to traditional yoga practice by fusing natural biomechanics and exercise science principles engaged through the discipline.
The ISSA Certified Yoga Instructor teaches:
- The foundational yoga philosophy
- Yoga history
- Yoga class prep and programming
- Pranayama And Breathing Techniques
- The practice of Yoga
- Yoga techniques and asanas across all levels
Study materials, ebooks, and final exams are all online.
This certification course is self-paced and may be accessed at any time.
Failed the exam?
You are eligible for one free retake!
What makes this the best yoga teacher training online?
First of all, it is NCCA accredited.
Second, you have the option to obtain this certification as part of a package deal from ISSA.
Sometimes, ISSA offers a special discount package, in which you get three certifications for just $999.
This is called the Elite Package, and is comprised of the following:
- Nutrition certification
- Personal training certification
- Yoga certification
Take advantage of this, especially if you seek these other certifications!
Kripalu School of Yoga
Kripalu School of Yoga has held successful yoga teacher training for over 45 years.
In this program, yogis are empowered to explore their unique relationship to the practice of yoga.
Rather than strive to perfect the mechanics of a pose, the Kripalu School of Yoga uses asanas and different styles of yoga techniques to reveal the true nature of our real selves.
What type of yoga certifications are there?
Let’s explore them!
This registered yoga school offers a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training, a 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training, and lastly, a 1000-Hour Yoga Teacher Training.
Did you know about Kripalu’s retreats?
You can choose to go on yoga retreats to South India, and even obtain yoga certifications in India!
The 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training requires yogis to have at least 2 years of experience practicing yoga.
Yogis may send a letter of recommendation from a yoga teacher or someone who can speak about their ability to be certified yoga teachers.
The 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training also requires yogis to have a minimum of 2 years of experience practicing yoga.
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You must send proof of successful completion of a 200-hour yoga teacher training from a Yoga Alliance certified school.
Also, you’ll need a letter of recommendation from either a yoga student (if you have yoga teaching experience) or a yoga teacher.
Note that you are required to have successful completion of the following (in order):
- Foundations of Ayurveda
- Uniting Yoga and Ayurveda: Balancing the Doshas (formerly Integrating Ayurveda into Yoga Teaching)
- One additional approved elective 300-hour Kripalu modules
You have five years to complete this yoga teacher training.
The yoga teacher training in Kripalu’s 1000-hour certification program may also be taken as standalone programs.
In other words, you may apply to the 1000-hour yoga teacher training and retroactively receive credit for your total hours.
However, before registering for the 000-hour track, you will be required to apply and to have been accepted into the certification program.
Additionally, you will need 2 years of experience practicing yoga.
Also, you must provide proof of successful completion of a 300-hour or 500-hour yoga teacher training program from a Yoga Alliance certified school.
Finally, you need to submit a letter of recommendation from either a yoga student or a yoga teacher.
You are allotted a minimum of five years to complete 500 hours of training from the list of 1000-hour–approved training.
What are some yoga certifications online?
Fortunately, Kripalu has the option to train online.
You may select yoga certifications and different levels of training.
Click here to find out more about it!
Overall, Kripalu School of Yoga has pretty reasonable prices.
Half of the total program cost (tuition and housing/commuter fee) is due at the time of registration.
This ensures a spot in the certification program, as well as housing. if needed.
The remaining balance is due five days before the start of the certification program.
Training on campus versus training online has its own unique refund policies.
Be sure to check the website for more detail!
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With YogaFit, there are two options; the 200-hour certification program or the 300-hour certification program.
First, the YogaFit 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training provides you with all you’ll need to become a certified yoga teacher or upgrade your own practice.
In case you were wondering, this is one of the best yoga certifications approved by ACE (American Council of Exercise).
This certification program is ideal for those with yoga teaching experience, yogi practitioners, yoga enthusiasts, personal trainers, and throughout the yoga community!
You are free to choose your schedule from the following options:
The modular training system allows you to complete your yoga certification course at your own pace, and in any location, virtually.
You pay as you go, and may begin the certification program either in person or virtually on Level One.
The RYT 200 Virtual Intensive offers fixed dates and times at a discounted, bundled price.
Note that both the in-person training and training offered live virtually via Zoom count toward your RYT-200.
The curriculum covers the principles of anatomy and physiology, the yoga philosophy and history, the practice of yoga, the business of yoga, asanas, Sanskrit terms, and meditation techniques.
What about alternative yoga certifications and electives?
YogaFit also ofers youth yoga certifications, Meditation and Mindfulness, prenatal yoga, YogaFit Pranayama, YogaFit Yoga Nidra, and YogaFit YogaBarre.
You may even learn more about Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga!
Now that’s cool!
However, note that there is only a SUP Yoga elective, but there are no SUP Yoga Certifications.
If you are interested in attending a SUP Yoga teacher training, check out some of the top immersion yoga certifications from here.
Importantly, YogaFit is Yoga Alliance certified.
But, in regards to continuing education credits, see individual courses for assigned Yoga Alliance, ACE, and Canfitpro credits.
The YogaFit 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training is very much the same in pricing and what it offers.
This program emphasizes restorative yoga, ayurvedic practices, and pranayama practices.
The only thing is that you are required to prove successful completion of a Yoga Alliance certified 200-hour teacher training.
Keep in mind that your YogaFit Level One: Foundations and Anatomy and Alignment I need to be taken if your 200-hour certification is earned from a school other than YogaFit.
Can you get two yoga certifications from different programs?
But mind each certification program‘s policies.
As you know, successful completion of this 300-hour training allows you to register as a 500-hour RYT with Yoga Alliance.
As far as tuition and fees, it varies on what you take and where you take it.
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Alright, yogis – ready for some authentic yoga?
At YogaWorks, that’s all you will ever get!
YogaWorks offers both in-person and online yoga certifications, yoga alliance certified.
No matter your goal, YogaWorks has training for you.
Are all yoga certifications equal?
You may choose from 200-hour, 300-hour, and Specialty Training.
The duration of each training ranges from 25-50 hours in length.
Check the schedule for more information on upcoming in-person and online 200-hour teacher training.
Want to learn about the 300-hour or Specialty Training?
Just click the Teacher Training Tab on the website.
The curriculum has been developed over three decades, and is the most recognized yoga teacher alumni network in the world!
What if you already have 200-Hour YTT?
Do yoga certifications transfer to other studios?
If you are already a 200-Hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher, then you qualify for any 300-Hour YTT, no matter what studio or yoga school you obtain it from!
Also, note that if you have graduated from a previous 200 hour Yoga Alliance registered program, you are eligible to receive 50% off the full tuition price.
Not in the USA?
There are also international yoga certification options and training abroad.
Is it a Yoga Alliance certified school?
YogaWorks emphasizes these different styles of yoga:
- Restorative Yoga
- Yin Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
- Iyengar Yoga
- Hatha Yoga
On the website, you may refer to the Classes Tab and review each one at your leisure!
Brett Larkin Online Yoga Teacher Training
A very popular yoga instructor who offers online yoga teacher training in the USA is Brett Larkin, E-RYT-200, CYT-500.
Note that E-RYT stands for “Experienced Yoga Teacher” and CYT stands for “Certified Yoga Teacher.
Her certification programs offer different styles of yoga, which heavily emphasize both Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga techniques.
Larkin designed the following courses for yogis to choose from:
- Hatha/Vinyasa 200-Hour YTT
- Advanced 300/500-Hour YTT
- Kundalini 200-Hour YTT
- Prenatal Yoga Certifications
There is also an online yoga community, as well as memberships and mentoring for teachers and students.
You have the option to download free sequencing and flows designed by Larkin as well!
In your courses, you will learn anatomy and physiology, the yoga philosophy, proper alignment and asanas, and more.
For instance, Larkin’s programs highlight alignment-based vinyasa flows.
There is a sharp focus on unlocking your greatest potential through the science of yoga.
Other areas of focus include myofascial release, mindset, and translating the yoga philosophy into our current lives.
The predominant style of yoga is the Hatha/Vinyasa.
These flows help enhance your personal practice, and will also help you prepare to teach different styles of yoga.
In addition, there are live assessments.
Student in Brett Larkin’s Online certification programs typically takes 16 weeks to complete the course.
Though your final exam must be taken and passed within 18 months preceding the end of the online certification course.
Pricing for the programs and exams may be found on the website in much more detail.
Pricing varies depending on which certification program you enroll in.
Though overall, the pricing is fair.
Are online yoga certifications worth it?
You may ask yourself if it’s worth your investment to take your yoga certification program online only.
The truth is that it’s all up to you!
Online training offers different, and oftentimes much greater, opportunities that you may otherwise not get otherwise.
It’s no wonder that Brett Larkin’s online yoga teacher training is one of the best online yoga courses!
Located in San Francisco, Bay Area, Yoga Garden SF offers the premier yoga teacher training!
All programs are Yoga Alliance certified.
Yoga Garen offers 200-Hour, 300-Hour, and Specialty Training as well.
You can become a member, and access classes and workshops in person or online.
Yoga Garden’s 200-Hour Teacher Training costs $3,150 in total.
The curriculum includes the following:
- Anatomy, biomechanics, and proper alignment
- The practice of yoga, asana, pranayama, and meditation
- The yoga philosophy
- The yoga history
- Sanskrit, Yoga Sutras, some chanting
- Props, modifications, and adjustments
- The business of yoga
- Career paths
- Online teaching experience
You will also be granted free access to all YGSF yoga classes during your program
Got the PRO-ELITE® MEMBERSHIP?
This costs $475.00 per month for 12 months.
You can obtain your 500-Hour RYT Certification and take it from there!
Classes, workshops, teacher training, and other certifications are unlimited with your membership.
Going for your 500-Hour RYT?
Again, baby steps!
You got your 200-Hour Yoga Alliance certified training.
No, you must just do the following:
- Complete 6 Core Modules in any order (165 hours total).
- Build an individualized focus with 135 hours of elective credits and specialized training to choose from
- Go about the program at your own pace
Here is a pricing breakdown:
A la carte, you pay $3,900 for 6 Core Modules.
It’s $1,800-$3,000 for your required 135 Elective Hours.
Got the PROELITE® LITE MEMBERSHIP?
Now you pay $300 per month for 12 months ($3,600/year).
You get unlimited classes, workshops, teacher training, and your 300-Hour Yoga Alliance certification included in your membership.
THE KAIVALYA YOGA METHOD: Online Yoga Teacher Certification Programs
The Kaivalya Yoga Method is another among the best, self-paced yoga teacher certifications.
Students in this program generally take around 6 months to complete 200- or 300-hour courses.
The Kaivalya Yoga Method YTT program is headed by Allana Kaivalya, Ph.D., known as the Yoga Doctor.
She is a certified yoga teacher for yogis and aspiring yoga teachers.
She’s studied not only in the USA, but also in India, Bali, and Europe.
Graduated from the Kaivalya Yoga Method Academy?
Your accredited certificate is now eligible to register with the Yoga Alliance.
Kindly note that The Kaivalya Yoga Method is a continuing education units provider for ACE.
You get 20 CEU credits are earned for ACE members who complete 200-hour YTT.
Courses focus heavily on Vinyasa, meditation, yoga sequencing, yoga philosophy, chakras, astrology certification program, the business of yoga, and spiritual enhancement YTT.
The pricing is $397.00.
This is fair considering the quality and depth of content of what is offered.
Be & Breathe
Be & Breathe Studio offers phenomenal yoga certifications in West Chester, PA.
Asanas, meditation techniques, and Niyamas are the core practices of Be & Breathe’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training.
This teacher training is Yoga Alliance certified.
You will learn how yoga feels for your body.
You will study human physical anatomy and physiology as it relates to asanas.
You will learn the yoga philosophy and lifestyle, as well as the yoga ethics and yoga sutras.
- The Baptiste Methodology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- The Yoga Sutras, Yamas & Niyamas, Bhagavad Gita
- Yin Yoga
Also, it costs $99.00 for a Be & Breathe membership.
There are generous member benefits and perks.
For other pricing inquiries, yoga classes, and new clients, you may refer here for more details.
So you want to pursue a career as a yoga instructor?
It’s great that you’ve now explored the top-rated yoga certifications!
You have a choice of in-person or online training.
There are different styles of yoga, different types of certifications, and multitudes of specialty training as well.
Specialty training is great when you have a niche!
Like other certifications in the fitness industry, yoga certifications do expire.
Also, how many yoga certifications year by year is up to you to obtain.
Maintain your continuing education credits in order to remain certified.
Overall, pricing on all programs is fairly decent.
Besides, you are your best investment.
And in this case, if you want to be the best yoga instructor you can be, choose the yoga teacher training that best fits you!
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