You may have read about Stephanie Bartley’s experience taking a Yoga Teacher Training intensive, sharing her wisdom here at Big Bear Yoga Festival. Now she gives tips how to decide if Teacher Training is for you and what to look for in a program.

Is Teacher Training for You?

Even if you don’t intend to be a yoga teacher, teacher training could be good for you if you:

  • Want to better understand the “yoga lifestyle” and meditation.
  • Are interested in living simply and genuinely through yoga.
  • Want a deeper relationship with yourself.
  • Know you need to look within or resolve some deep-rooted issues, and maybe even discover some new things about yourself.
  • Are looking for meaning or guidance in your life.
  • Feel like you’re not exactly who you want to be and doing what you were meant to do in this world.

Questions to Ask

Thinking about Teacher Training? Not all schools are the same. Here’s what you might want to explore first.

How big is the class size?

Look for smaller classes sizes, ideally 10 or less. You’ll have the best shot at asking questions and it creates an open, trusting environment you’ll need to connect with the teacher and your fellow teachers-in-training.

What type of certification will I receive upon successfully completing this course?

You may want training from a teacher certified by a nationally recognized association, one that sets minimum standards for teachers if you’re looking to make a career out of it (mine is through Yoga Alliance.) It may not matter as much if you want to deepen your personal practice.

What will I need to do in order to complete my certification? What do you look for in a successful yoga teacher training graduate?

You will probably have to take a written exam and teach a full class. This is a bit exaggerated, but make sure you’re going to be held to more than just memorizing a script.

A successful teacher training graduate projects confidence (even if, as a new teacher, you’re totally freaking out inside!) He or she can teach a well-flowing class and develop sequences on their own. A teacher knows anatomy and prioritizes safety in instructing students, and sets students up to be successful. Consider attending a class taught by a newly-certified yoga teacher.

What kinds of tools will I gain from this class that will help me be a strong teacher?

Look for:

  • How to sequence a class, especially why certain poses go together
  • Learn different ways to give students “adjustments” when they are in poses
  • Cuing and seeing lines of energy
  • Know how to instruct a beginner yogi with no yoga background – teaching beginners is much more challenging than advanced yogis!

How will this certification and training help me build my business or career as a yoga teacher?

The program should set YOU up for success! If you’re looking to make a career change or become a yoga entrepreneur, a good teacher training course will cover the business aspect of how to market yourself, generate opportunities for private sessions, and get involved in the yoga community.

What support will I receive after completing this training course?

A great teacher training course allows you to stay connected to your leaders. You might have opportunities for advanced training and credit hours to build your skills, but also ongoing support from your guide or studio. This might mean further instruction as you have questions or maybe just an open ear as you continue to grow in your practice and as a teacher.

Curious What Yoga Teacher Training is Like?

Read Stephanie Bartley’s insights and experiences with a Yoga Teacher Training intensive on Big Bear Yoga Festival’s Wisdom pages here.

About: Stephanie Bartley is an engineer-turned-health nerd. She is as a functional medicine health coach in Orange County/Big Bear Lake, using yoga, mind-body, nutrition, and lifestyle changes to help heal clients with chronic illness.

A former ultra-marathon runner, Stephanie found yoga on her personal journey with illness; today, she has fully reversed autoimmune thyroid disease, despite being told it was “the impossible.” When not practicing yoga, you’ll find Stephanie making jewelry on Etsy (shop: TheOtherStephanie) and run-hiking the Big Bear trails with her husband and four-legged fur baby.

Connect with Stephanie and

If you would like to teach at an upcoming Big Bear Yoga Festival, you can fill out an application here!