From less than $1,000 to upwards of $8,000, the cost of yoga teacher training programs is all over the board. How much do yoga teacher trainings cost? is an important question to ask when doing your research before committing to a YTT, especially if it’s your first.
Why are some trainings so expensive? Does it makes sense to save money on YTT, or is it all about getting what you pay for? The range in teacher training costs can be confusing to certified-yoga-teachers-to-be, but it doesn’t have to be.
(Drum roll please!)
I’m excited to share this blog post that’s related to all things yoga teacher training money, honey!
I’ll cover what a teaching certification costs and why, how to consider the cost versus value of your dream YTT, as well as ways to finance this first big step in your yoga teaching career so that you can choose the best yoga teacher training for you.
How Much Do Yoga Teacher Trainings Cost?
Let’s start with one of the first questions that comes out of every would-be yoga teacher’s mouth:
What does a yoga teacher training program cost?
While this post will focus on the cost for a 200-hour yoga teacher training, I’ll give you a brief overview of the range of costs that you can expect to pay for a 200-, 300-, and 500-hour yoga teacher training program:
- Price range for 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings: $1,000 up to $7,000
- Price range for 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings: $2,000 up to $7,000
- Price range for 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings: $3,000 up to $8,000
Yoga teacher training courses priced at the lower end of the range might be shorter with fewer “extras”, while training programs on the higher end might include more instruction hours, be led by more highly visible or experienced teachers, or be immersive in-person retreat types of trainings that include meals and accommodations.
Why Online and Hybrid Yoga Teacher Trainings Often Cost the Same as Live Trainings
Since now there are many quality yoga teacher training courses being offered online—WOOT!— the next question is often:
Why do online trainings cost so much?
Shouldn’t they be cheaper than in-person trainings? Many people prefer online trainings because they typically offer more flexibility than live trainings. But is an online training even worth the investment?
As the founder of the Uplifted online yoga instructor certification program, I can give you inside access to exactly what’s behind the cost of many online yoga teacher trainings.
First, let’s clarify the difference between an online yoga teacher training and a hybrid yoga teacher training.
Online Yoga Teacher Training
An online training takes place solely online. It could include some pre-recorded materials as well live-online classes and group calls designed to prepare you to teach yoga both online and in-person.
Hybrid Yoga Teacher Training
The hybrid yoga instructor certification model typically means that some of the training is held online and some takes place in-person. The in-person portion could be a few long weekends at a yoga studio or a week-long final retreat focused on live feedback for your yoga practice and practice teaching.
As for the price of online trainings, here are some costs that online and hybrid trainings need to cover in their price:
- Virtual studio cost; The training space is important even virtually as the background needs to be clean, functional, and distraction free. This requires renting a space or the cost to create a virtual yoga studio.
- Virtual materials; Having quality pre-corded video content requires a proper recording studio with top-notch lighting, sound, video, and editing equipment makes the materials user friendly and easy to digest. Video content also needs to be supported with other digital materials such as corresponding PDFs, interactive quizzes, printable materials, etc. to enhance online learning. Typically this requires hiring a staff to create these materials and it takes a lot of time to create content for a 200-hour training. The great thing about online content is you usually have lifetime access to it to come back to whenever you need to, which is something that typically isn’t available for in-person trainings.
- Online course platforms; to make the course easy to navigate, online trainings require an online course platform that helps to organize the content, provides a dashboard, tracks course progress, facilitates communication, etc. This usually requires the cost of utilizing the platform as well as hiring someone to build and manage the platform interface.
Yoga Teacher Training Costs Breakdown
Because satya (truthfulness) is an important part of yogi life, I’m going to further share with you exactly what you are paying for when you invest in a yoga certification program (there’s actually so much to it that I never would have thought of before running my own Registered Yoga School!) Here are some of the things that are typically covered in your yoga teacher training cost:
- Paying the teachers; Your training leaders and guest teachers have invested a lot of time and money into their own training and building their unique skill sets and areas of expertise. You are paying for their time, knowledge, and feedback. And believe it or not, since only a portion of the training cost goes to the teachers, when you calculate all of the hours that teacher trainers put into developing and leading your yoga teacher training, it’s likely that you’re paying them only $2-$10/hour.
- Marketing costs; Trainings can’t happen without enough students and marketing is the necessary tool that helps fill trainings and it usually require ads and a marketing staff.
- Certification; Trainings are more than just retreats. Whether you become a certified yoga instructor or a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher – remember, you don’t need to be an RYT to teach! – you leave with a new and valuable skill set that allows you to go into the world and seek yoga teaching jobs.
- Taxes; Trainings might lose a large portion of the cost to taxes and so some trainings increase the training cost to account for this.
- Props and materials; In-person trainings at resorts or yoga studios provide you with props and things you’ll need to practice and teach comfortably such as blankets, blocks, belts, bolsters, etc. In-person certification programs also need to print your manual and anything else you might need.
- Meals and accommodation; Intensive in-person trainings that take place at a destination will usually include the cost for meals and accommodations in the training cost.
Additional Factors That Influence the Cost of Yoga Teacher Training
Other things that affect the cost of yoga teacher training courses include:
- Yoga Alliance registration; Registered Yoga Schools pay an annual fee for their YA membership that could be reflected in your tuition. These trainings could also be considered higher value as they allow you to become a Registered Yoga Teacher (a Yoga Alliance certified teacher with a Yoga Alliance directory listing).
- Yoga style; While Hatha yoga is one of the main styles that people train in, Vinyasa is a type of Hatha, if you decide you want to train in something more specialized like Ashtanga yoga or yoga therapy it could increase the training cost.
- Teacher experience and credentials; You may pay more to train with a highly experienced teacher with many credentials and years of experience teaching and practicing yoga, and of course this increase in cost will be matched with an increase in the value you receive as a student (more on that next!)
Cost Vs. Value
Cost and value are very different! While cost is what you give or pay, value is in essence what you receive (and these aren’t always proportionate). Measuring the cost versus value of potential yoga teacher training courses is a personal and important step that will help you choose the best yoga teacher training for you.
The cost of a teacher training course includes more than just the sticker price, but includes the cost of potentially lost wages from the time you have to take off work, paying for childcare while you are in training, as well as any required travel costs, etc. In light of this, it’s worth taking the time to run the numbers as an online training with a higher cost at first glance might actually cost less than an immersive training that might come with travel expenses, lost wages, and childcare.
The value of yoga certification programs is determined by what you get out of the training. Investing in a high value or quality training is one thing that can start to separate the best yoga teachers from the rest. Things that add value to your training include:
- High quality instruction; Very experienced and world renowned yoga teachers will often have a high level of depth of personal practice and many years of teaching experience that you will directly benefit from.
- Ongoing support or one-on-one mentorship; A 200-hour training that offers additional post-graduation support or mentorship during or after the training can be especially beneficial to help give new yoga teachers support and confidence on their path.
- A comprehensive curriculum; A diverse curriculum that includes plenty of hands-on training, yoga philosophy beyond just the yoga sutras, and holistic yogic lifestyle practices will help ensure you have a robust foundation for personal practice and teaching.
- Lots of training hours and practice teaching time; Some trainings will just do the bare minimum in terms of training hours and practice teaching time. Those that go above and beyond the 200-hour mark and that ensure you get plenty of practice teaching full classes will more profoundly deepen your practice and better prepare you to teach.
- Emphasis on personal practice and growth; At its essence, yoga is an inner journey and trainings that emphasize the aspects of self-growth and personal practice often lead students to breakthroughs and life changes that come from increased self-understanding, confidence, and clarity. And so the journey to becoming a yoga instructor can help you do more than just teach yoga classes, but it accelerates your pace on the path of self-realization and this personal transformation is hard to put a price on.
Paying for Your YTT Might Be Easier Than You Think
Let’s be real, dropping $1,000-$8,000 is a big investment for any income bracket. But don’t let the sticker price scare you! Where there’s a will there’s a way and there are options that can help fund your yoga certification.
Check Out Work-Exchange & Scholarship Programs
There are many yoga schools out there that offer variations of work exchanges where you might be able to help with social media, videography, cleaning, general support, cooking, you name it, in order to partially fund your yoga certification program. You can also find schools that offer scholarships based on need or merit (you might submit an essay or project for example). You can search for these types of offers directly and I also suggest reaching out to any yoga courses that interest you as even if they don’t have the offering yet as they could be open to it for the right candidate—which could be you!
Sign Up for a Payment Plan
A payment plan allows yoga-teachers-in-training to pay in installments instead of all at once. You may be able to break the full cost into multiple payments or pay on a monthly basis over a set time period. If this is an important option for you, search for trainings that offer this but I also would suggest asking the yoga centers you’re interested in whether they offer payment plans or if they’d be willing to.
Get On Mailing Lists
Believe it or not, many yoga teacher training programs offer discounts for mailing list subscribers! And they also sometimes have an early bird discount that subscribers get access to first. Some yoga schools also allow subscribers to get a discount when they bundle together trainings in different yoga styles. For example, you might be able to bundle on a meditation teacher training program, yoga philosophy course, or hot yoga instructor certification to your 200-hour training and get a discount on both.
Of course, you may have to wait for these types of discounts to come around and that might not always align with your own right timing for a yoga teacher training course. But it could also help you save big, so go ahead and get signed up for updates from your favorite yoga schools!
Sketch Out a Post-Grad Business Plan
Last, but certainly not least, an amazing way to fund your training is by creating a business plan to give you the confidence that you CAN and WILL fund your training by teaching yoga classes and putting your training to use! As an added bonus, this will motivate you to reach out to yoga studios and otherwise find yoga teaching jobs and teach your first paid yoga class ASAP to help you get over that freshly-certified-yoga-teacher-shyness that’s so common.
And, perhaps most importantly, creating a business plan even prior to training helps you approach teaching with a business mindset. Since this is often the area us yoga instructors need to work on the most, breaking in your CEO-hat straight out the gate will set you up well for a successful career teaching yoga. So do a bit of research on how much yoga teachers make and let me walk you through creating your first yoga business plan!
Experience 3 Training Videos from Inside My 200-Hour Online YTT