You have done your 200 hour yoga teacher training and now you`re addicted. You want to know more. No training will ever be the last one because there`s always more and more to know. There`s so many types of trainings you could take to dive deeper into specific topics! Of course we cannot list all the trainings here, but we can do an outline of what`s out there. That will definitely start an inner dialog for you to see what`s your interest, what do you feel closer to your heart and what types of continued education courses speak to you. Let`s dig in and see your options.
Yoga Alliance regulations
Yoga Alliance is the organisation in the yoga world who works as a kind of quality control. According to Yoga Alliance, upon completion of your 200 hour teacher training with a YA approved school, you can register yourself as a RYT (registered yoga teacher). This is your first step. In order to stay a RYT, every three years all teachers must complete at least one, 45 hour YACEP course (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Program) to stay in the designation of RYT. Here are the categories that count as YACEP:
Of course you can do as many courses as you wish, and keep track of all of them in your Yoga Alliance account.
Who can do a short module course?
It varies from school to school and training to training. There`s usually two options:
1. Anyone who`s interested in the topic of the training can do it
Certain schools have short module courses that aren`t only for people who are already certified as yoga teachers. These you can usually find in local studios where they`re catering to the need and interest of their regular students.
2. Only people who already have their 200 hour teacher training can do it
There`s of course those short module courses that require the participants to already have a basis they can build on. These schools will ask for your 200 hour certificate before accepting your application. ATTENTION! Just because they ask for proof of your previous education, doesn`t mean that the course will be accepted as a YACEP with Yoga Alliance. If you need your continuing education to be Yoga Alliance approved, please ask the school if they provide that. Most of the time if they do, it will be mentioned on their website. You can always look for this icon on schools` websites that will determine that they registered the short courses with Yoga Alliance:
I`d like to highlight here that no matter what paper does a school give you, knowledge is something that no one will ever take away from you. If you find a course that speaks to you and you feel like you`d like to embody what it can give you, just go for it. In the end not the paper will matter, but your knowledge. Of course we all have to deal with certificates, bureaucracy, etc, but a true teacher will always be the one who can embody their knowledge.
Teaching children and adults is very, very different, and it is true for yoga education as well. Most of the time you don`t need to already be a yoga teacher to take a kids yoga teacher course. These courses vary from 50 – 200 hours of training. In these training the main focus won`t be on the technical details of anatomy, but mainly teaching methodology. Of course you will learn much more than these two aspects, but here are a few main points that you must be looking for in a kids yoga teacher training:
- Benefits of yoga especially for children
- Calming and engaging exercises with body and breath
- Child friendly postures and poses that can be done with a partner or a group together
- Chanting, singing together
- How to use creative stories, techniques to create an engaging and beneficial sequence for children
- How to get children to relax
One can say it is a form of art to engage a group of kids, give them something without them knowing they`ve been learning, and make them relax in the end. This is why a course dedicated to this art will give you a clear idea of how to do it all with a lot of creativity and pursue a beautiful career of guiding the next generation of people on a path of meditative and healthy life.
Pregnancy and the times before and after pregnancy are a very important part in every woman`s life. Even those women who don`t do any exercise, yoga, or health related activities in their normal lives will want to make sure they`re healthy and fit before, during and after their pregnancies. As all these stages are very different and require different care, so there are different courses to support these stages.
A period full of constant change, different needs, different bodily and emotional changes requires gentle knowledge of how to guide women in this tender part of their lives. Not only physically will they feel completely different and will need different movements to make them feel good and prepare their bodies for giving birth, but also emotionally is a challenging time. At a good pre-natal teacher training you should definitely look for the following things to be covered:
- Different gentle and restorative approaches to the yoga practice for all trimesters separately
- Anatomy of a woman`s body during pregnancy
- Deeper knowledge on the concept of pregnancy – scientifically and spiritually
- Modifications for high risk and no risk pregnancy
- Limitations and benefits of yoga practice during pregnancy
- Practices to get ready for giving birth and becoming a mother
Probably the most tender period of life and motherhood is the period after giving birth. Physically and emotionally challenging but overpowering with joy at the same time. What are the main points you`ll be given at a post-natal teacher training to be there for your students the way they need to be guided?
- Create pelvic floor tone, core strength again
- Physical, hormonal, emotional and spiritual aspects of birth and the time period after
- Asanas recommended throughout recovery
- Relaxation and meditation for new mums to find serenity even when they`re needed 24/7
3. Pregnancy yoga – pre- & post-natal
Of course there are courses that are including both the pregnancy and the postnatal stages of motherhood in their course. Might as well get the 2 in 1.
4. Baby yoga
The cutest of all – mum & baby doing yoga together. What a sweet way for bonding! There`s so many types of baby and toddler yoga you can find out there, it would be impossible to list all different methods, baby massages etc, so trust your intuition on this, and choose the training that speaks to you!
Yin yoga is becoming more and more known and popular, and for a good reason! Yin yoga is a slower, more meditative practice where postures are held for minutes, allowing the muscles but also connective tissue, and the fascia to release and let go. This is a more intimate practice where you are with yourself silently, giving space for sensations and emotions to come and go. As in today`s world coping with stress, not being able to relax, and never allowing time just for ourselves are epidemics, a practice that can potentially be a cure to all of these is becoming more and more important.
There are modules starting 50 hours up to 200 hours on yin yoga, and all of them should include topics like:
- Concept of yin yoga
- Yin postures with all their modifications for people with different levels of practice
- Meridian lines and how are they related to yin yoga
- Teaching methodology
Yoga therapy is often misunderstood and thought to be a type of yoga that only “people who need therapy” should do. Therapy in this context doesn`t mean what we usually understand as therapy. You don`t need to be recovering from anything to do yoga therapy. Yoga therapy is a very gentle style of yoga that focuses on using all muscles and joints according to their natural range of motion in order to protect and strengthen them to their best potential.
Of course there`s many different modules to cater to different conditions and give actual therapeutic approach complimenting the process of healing. Again such a vast topic to look into! I recommend you either finding a professional who you`d love to learn from, or find that specific topic that is closes to your heart and go deeper in that sector.
Of course it would be impossible to list all the existing trainings in the world, so I would like to invite you to do your research using the key words that interest you the most and see what training calls you. There`s many trainings apart from the above mentioned topics in:
- Different styles of yoga (restorative, aerial, hot, etc)
- Modules that are going deeper in one specific topic you`ve already studied at your 200 hour training (for example anatomy, meditation, etc)
- Yoga to support different types of sports
- Yoga for people with special needs
I encourage you to listen to what feels like a calling for you, and dig deeper in that topic. You might find parts of you that you never know existed :)