What are the different kinds of yoga teacher training formats?

By Jade Lizzie | Published: December 7, 2016 | Last updated: December 7, 2016

With yoga teacher training growing in popularity, there is an increasing demand for more flexible training formats. So, when you are researching which program is best for you, consider the different formats available. (Am I qualified to take a yoga teacher training course?) You’ll need to work out when you are free to do the training, how quickly you want to complete it and where you want to train. Below is a list of some of the most popular options available.


Weekend courses are ideal if you need to fit your teacher training around your regular Monday through Friday work week, without having to take any time off. This option is also great if you prefer having some time between training days to absorb everything you’ve learned. You’ll get the added benefit of being able to try out your new skills in your regular weekday practice. The downside to weekend-only courses is that training days are intense and can leave you feeling worn out come Monday morning. (What are the best yoga poses for the morning?)


Yoga teacher training courses that are held during the week may combine full days and evening sessions. Weekday courses are ideal for freelancers, stay-at-home moms and for those of us who work weekends. The upside to weekday-only courses is that you are usually able to complete your certification more quickly than with a weekend-only format.

Intensive Retreats

Intensive training retreats in blocks of two, three or four weeks have become a popular way to train to become a yoga instructor. Sometimes, courses may be split into shorter blocks, with time to complete independent study in between segments. Other programs may do the entire 200-hour training in one go. These trainings allow you to immerse yourself in your yoga studies by devoting an exclusive chunk of time to your yoga practice and teacher training journey. Most of these programs have the added bonus that many are taught in stunning locations like Costa Rica, Bali, India and California. The downside is that these intensives are physically intense. If you prefer to learn at a slower pace, with more time to let things integrate, this option may not be ideal.


Some teacher training programs offer a combination of weekends, weekdays, evenings and intensive blocks. Some even offer a selection of modules that you can take in any order you wish, a bit like designing your own program to suit your needs and availability.


There are now options to do yoga teacher training courses online. Online courses are great for deepening your practice and expanding on an existing knowledge of the physical asanas. Most yoga schools will only allow you to do a partial training online, not the full 200-hour basic training. The benefit of online courses is that they’re flexible and can be studied from the comfort of your home and at your own pace. However, the downside of this particular format is that you will miss out on human contact, the opportunity for hands-on physical assists, and immediate feedback from your instructors.

Final Thoughts

While practical considerations are undoubtedly important, avoid making the format of your teacher training your prime consideration. It’s far more important to find a teacher, yoga school and training that resonates with you. If it’s not the right program, it won’t matter how convenient it is, so hold out for the right one. Enjoy researching the various training programs out there and take the time to find what’s best for you.


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Written by Jade Lizzie | Yoga teacher, writer and health and wellness geek.

Jade Lizzie

Jade is a yoga teacher, blogger and health and wellness geek. Her mission is to share the happiness that yoga has brought into her life.

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