With stress and burnout at all-time highs, more and more people are delving into the physical and spiritual practice of yoga, and it’s not hard to understand why: Yoga is thought to decrease stress, alleviate anxiety, fight depression, increase physical fitness, and improve the overall quality of life.
An increasing number of yoga students means there’s an increasing demand for qualified yoga teachers, so there’s no better time to consider a career as a yoga instructor. As an instructor, you can opt to work at a studio or diversify your income by creating content, hosting live classes, or selling courses online.
If you’re ready to start your career as a registered yoga teacher (RYT), read on for our expert-researched list of the best yoga teacher training for beginners, advanced practitioners, and more.
Best Yoga Teacher Training Programs for 2021
- Best Overall: YogaWorks 200-Hour Teacher Training
- Best Online-Only Course: YogaRenew 200-Hour Teacher Training
- Best Intensive Course: Himalayan Institute
- Best for Low Commitment: East+West Yoga Foundations Training
- Best for Beginners: Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health 200-Hour Teacher Training
- Best for Experienced Practitioners: American Viniyoga Institute 500-Hour Teacher Training
- Best for Vinyasa Yoga: My Vinyasa Practice
Best Overall : YogaWorks 200-Hour Teacher Training
Why We Chose It: YogaWorks offers in-person and online formats, 30 years of accreditation, locations around the world, and more than 15,000 alumni.
Students can choose from the online format or in-person courses around the globe
5-star status with Yoga Alliance
Doesn’t offer accommodation assistance for traveling students completing weekend or week programs
Requires purchase of additional reading materials
The YogaWorks 200-hour training can benefit true beginners as well as advanced students who’ve decided to finally dip their toes into teaching. The course covers asana, pranayama, anatomy, bodily mechanics, sequencing, adjustments, props and modifications, history, philosophy, and business best practices.
One notable feature about the YogaWorks RYT program is that it offers several course formats, making it easy to select one that works for you. YogaWorks hosts weekly training in which students attend training Monday through Friday for six weeks; weekend-only training in which students attend lessons on Saturday and Sunday for three to six months; and all-inclusive, global training that lasts four to five weeks.
The pricing varies depending on which course format you choose, and attending in-person comes with additional travel costs. The current calendar includes training with costs ranging from $2,500 to $4,000.
Best Online-Only Course : YogaRenew 200-Hour Teacher Training
Why We Chose It: The surprisingly low tuition covers study materials, on-demand options, and lifetime access to all materials and is available for multiple levels of practitioners.
Very affordable tuition and on-demand learning
12 extensive course sections covering more than the basics
All course study materials included in tuition cost (with lifetime access)
No in-person classes can feel like there’s a lack of connection
Online formats aren’t the best for learners who aren’t self-directed
YogaRenew offers an affordable online-only yoga teacher training great for beginners and intermediate yogis. Advanced practitioners may find this training too easy or repetitive with regard to their current knowledge and skills, although it could serve as a great refresher.
In any case, the YogaRenew online training establishes a strong foundation for yoga instructors with its robust curriculum that includes asana, pranayama, anatomy, history, philosophy, meditation, business and marketing, mudras, teaching techniques, sequencing and structure, chakras, styles of yoga, and a unique module called “Beyond The Mat,” which covers ethics, confidence, and other important factors that go into yoga teaching.
With a tuition cost of $437, this yoga teacher training is highly affordable compared to most others. The online-only format makes it a great option for self-directed, committed learners who have busy schedules.
Best Intensive Course : Himalayan Institute
Why We Chose It: You’ll enjoy three straight weeks of immersive training at the Himalayan Institute in rural Pennsylvania, complete with instruction in anatomy and physiology, breathing, asanas, meditation, philosophy, diet and lifestyle, teaching methods, and more.
In-person, immersive experience facilitates connection to nature, self, and others
Decades of teaching experience; advanced teachers
Offers 200- and 300-hour programs, plus a meditation teacher training program
Accommodations not included in tuition price
Emphasizes physical and structural teaching over spiritual aspects, which isn’t a fit for all yogis
The Himalayan Institute offers 200- and 300-hour yoga teacher training. The 200-hour training in particular is a great choice for people looking to kick off a career as a yoga instructor.
With a decades-long teaching history and a robust curriculum, the Himalayan Institute provides an exceptional education for aspiring yoga teachers. Unlike some of the other courses on this list, which offer on-demand learning or extended formats to accommodate busy schedules, the Himalayan Institute training requires three weeks of on-campus learning.
The time commitment is hefty, but if you’re looking for an immersive, in-person, on-campus experience in the U.S., there’s no better option. Tuition for this yoga teacher training costs $2,699 and accommodations are not included.
Best for Low Commitment : East+West Yoga Foundations Training
Why We Chose It: With only 10 hours per week required, it’s great for yogis wishing to deepen their knowledge but who aren’t ready to commit to a full 200-hour training.
Minimal time commitment
100% live, online classes (currently facilitated through Zoom)
Doesn’t certify you as a registered yoga teacher (but hours can go toward a 200-hour certification from East+West Yoga
While not a full 200-hour yoga teacher training, the East+West Yoga Foundations Training has a lot to offer. You’ll study Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and focus on hatha yoga, as well as Buddhist and Vedic meditation. Students graduate with a foundation certification, which can be applied toward a future 200-hour certification from East+West Yoga.
The curriculum covers ancient yoga wisdom, history and philosophy, modern practices and methods, and how to use yoga as a tool to fight depression, anxiety, loneliness, and more.
This program requires just 10 hours of your time each week and classes are delivered fully online. Tuition for the Foundations Training costs $1,350, and you can opt to add on two more training modules later in the year for an additional $1,200 (total of $2,550), which completes your 200-hour RYT training.
Best for Beginners : Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health 200-Hour Teacher Training
Why We Chose It: The Kripalu School of Yoga provides beginners with an extensive yet refined set of skills needed to effectively teach yoga to others.
Kripalu has a long history of successful teacher training
One of the most well-known and respected yoga schools
Allows you to advance to 300- and 500-hour trainings from Kripalu if desired
Doesn’t allow the transfer of hours from other yoga teacher training centers
Teaches only Kripalu yoga methods, which may not be a fit for everyone
The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health has a long history and is highly respected in the yoga community as both a center for professional training and a center for retreats. The 200-hour teacher training at Kripalu is the perfect way for beginners to start their yoga career.
With a Kripalu education, you’ll earn a respected certification and feel confident in your abilities as a yoga instructor, even as you’re teaching your very first classes. The Kripalu curriculum includes five primary learning modules: asana, pranayama, philosophy, anatomy and physiology, and relaxation and meditation.
While Kripalu usually hosts in-person training at its Massachusetts campus, the school is only hosting online programs due to COVID-19. Tuition for the online version of Kripalu yoga teacher training is $2,500.
Best for Experienced Practitioners : American Viniyoga Institute 500-Hour Teacher Training
Why We Chose It: For advanced yogis yearning for deeper, broader knowledge, the American Viniyoga Institute utilizes a comprehensive approach that covers multiple facets of yoga often taught in separate courses. It’s also a stepping stone to a clinical yoga therapy certification.
Comprehensive coverage is challenging even for advanced yogis
Allows students to advance to clinical yoga therapy for more career opportunities
Highly qualified faculty
Tuition cost doesn’t include accommodations
Significant emphasis on physical and structural components of yoga, which may not fit with those looking for more spiritual instruction
The American Viniyoga Institute applies an approach that combines the elements of yoga—asana, pranayama, bandha, sound, chanting, meditation, history, and literature—into one advanced training. This program is quite intensive, requiring a significant financial and time investment, so it’s best for current or soon-to-be instructors serious about advancing their careers.
The institute runs the program at the Ancient Yoga Center in Austin, Texas, and each session runs for 12 nights. Tuition costs $3,250 per session (you must complete sessions one and two for the 200-hour training, one through three for the 300-hour training, and all four for the 500-hour training). So, if you opt for the complete 500-hour training, expect to remain on the campus for 48 nights and spend $13,000 plus some for lodging, travel, and food.
The American Viniyoga Institute expects students to have a consistent yoga practice of six to 12 months under their belts.
Best for Vinyasa Yoga : My Vinyasa Practice
Why We Chose It: This training dedicates 30 hours of the 200-hour curriculum to Vinyasa sequencing while still providing ample time to the history of yoga, yoga anatomy, the business of yoga, meditation, and more.
Offers one-on-one mentorship at no additional charge
Great option for yogis who want to focus on Vinyasa
Flexible learning environment
Vinyasa focus isn’t for everyone
Limited in-person enrollment due to COVID-19
This standard yoga teacher training provides you with everything you need to know to start as a yoga instructor with an emphasis on Vinyasa yoga. Notably, My Vinyasa Practice guarantees job placement after graduation. The school is registered with Yoga Alliance, and students qualify to register as an RYT after completing the 200- or 300-hour yoga teacher training.
The 200-hour syllabus covers the yoga sutras, history of yoga, meditation, yoga anatomy and physiology, sequencing, restorative techniques, and business training, as well as a practicum at the end. The 300-hour training builds upon these elements and introduces RYTs to clinical yoga practice concepts, including advanced anatomy, advanced sequencing, and working with special populations.
As a COVID-19 precaution, you have the option to study online for both training programs. With a full tuition cost of $1,800 for the 200-hour training and an additional $930 for the 300-hour training, this yoga teacher training is relatively affordable, especially compared to the training that requires travel and lodging.
All course study materials are also included in the cost of tuition.
|Yoga Teacher Training||Why We Chose It||Format||Location||Tuition Cost*|
|YogaWorks 200-Hour Teacher Training||Best Overall||Online and in-person||Multiple||$2,000 to $4,000|
|YogaRenew Teacher Training||Best Online-Only Course||Online||Remote||$437|
|Himalayan Institute||Best Intensive Course||In-person||Pennsylvania and New York||$2,699|
|East+West Yoga Foundations Training||Best for Low Commitment||Online||Remote||$1,350|
|Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health 200-Hour Teacher Training||Best for Beginners||Online or in-person||Remote or Pennsylvania||$2,500|
|American Viniyoga Institute 500-Hour Teacher Training||Best for Experienced Practitioners||In-person||Austin, Texas||$3,250|
|My Vinyasa Practice||Best for Vinyasa Yoga||Online or in-person||Remote or Austin, Texas||$1,800|
*Keep in mind, tuition costs may not include other costs students may acquire, such as travel, lodging, and food.
The best yoga teacher training program for you depends on your goals and budget, as well as the time and travel commitment you’re able to give. That’s why we separated this list into yoga teacher training for specific scenarios, which we hope gives you a clearer idea of what you’re looking for in a training program.
However, if you’re looking for a place to start, YogaWorks 200-Hour Teacher Training is our best overall option due to its availability in-person and online, comprehensive curriculum, and multiple time options for attending the course.
What Is a Yoga Teacher Training Program?
A yoga teacher training program is a training program for people who want to become yoga instructors. Specifically, a yoga teacher training program allows you to become a registered yoga teacher (RYT) of 200, 500, or 1000 hours (the more hours, the more advanced the teacher).
RYTs register with Yoga Alliance, the accrediting agency for yoga teacher training programs and schools. Yoga Alliance provides curriculum standards for yoga schools to abide by, ensuring quality instruction across programs.
According to ZipRecruiter, full-time yoga teachers make about $46,000 to $64,000 annually, depending on the state. Part-time yoga teachers can expect to earn an hourly wage of about $20 per hour to about $31 per hour, according to the ZipRecruiter data.
Do I Need to Get Certified to Be a Yoga Teacher?
The yoga industry isn’t regulated by any governmental body, so, no, you technically don’t need to undergo training and registration to be a yoga teacher. However, your chances of scoring a job and becoming a respected instructor diminish without proper training.
Yoga studios want to see certifications and educational backgrounds when hiring new instructors, and students want to know they’re in the hands of a qualified professional. Plus, yoga teacher training will expand your knowledge of yoga as a practice and as an industry, thereby increasing your ability to make money outside the studio (for example, with online yoga courses).
How Much Does a Yoga Teacher Training Cost?
Yoga teacher training can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Ultimately, the cost of yoga teacher training depends on several factors, including:
- How many hours the training is
- Where the training is located
- Whether the training is all-inclusive (cost includes food, lodging, etc.)
- If the training is for beginners or advanced practitioners
- The style of yoga
Remember, yoga is an unregulated industry, so there’s no pressure for companies to keep yoga teacher training within a standard pricing schedule. This is why it’s important to do your research and understand exactly what you’re getting for the price you pay.
Does Yoga Teacher Training Guarantee a Job?
Earning a yoga instructor certification certainly improves your job prospects, but it does not guarantee you a job. Your ability to get a part-time or full-time job as a yoga instructor depends on several factors, including your certification, your skills and knowledge, yoga teacher openings in your area, and whether or not you can find a studio that’s a good fit for you.
Remember, though, that becoming a registered yoga teacher also opens up self-employment possibilities. Many yoga instructors make money by creating content online for Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and blogging platforms. You can also create your own website to host live yoga classes or sell yoga courses and programs.
How We Chose the Best Yoga Teacher Training Programs
To compile this list of the best yoga teacher training, we scoured the Yoga Alliance directory of accredited yoga schools. From there, we combed through the finest details of more than 40 yoga teacher training programs and created a shortlist of 15 programs based on location, tuition cost, COVID-19 precautions, 2021 availability, and more.
Each yoga teacher training had to meet the following criteria to make this list:
- Registered with Yoga Alliance
- Minimum of five years in business
- Majority positive reviews
- Tuition cost of less than $5,000
- U.S. based
- Curriculum transparency (full curriculum or extensive summary online)
- Has courses available in 2021