Great question! And it’s one of those questionably satisfying answers LOL, which is: It depends.
Depending on the program, it could take anywhere from two weeks to a full year to become a certified yoga instructor depending on the training format and whether it’s a Yoga Alliance Registered School.
The Yoga Alliance requirement for an RYS 200-hour yoga teacher training program is a minimum of 180 contact hours (the Yoga Alliance is currently making some concessions due to COVID-19). The format and duration of delivering those hours is up to each school. Non-Yoga Alliance Registered Schools tend to hover near the 200 total hour mark too, while the time to complete a specialized certification program, like for restorative yoga, children’s yoga, or yoga therapy, varies more widely.
Here’s an idea of some common teacher training formats:
Immersive – All at once
“Immersive” refers to traveling somewhere for full-time study and completing all the training hours in one go. In theory, this means you could crank out an immersive training with 12 hour days and be a certified yoga instructor in 15 days (believe it or not, these are out there!) More common is something like 18-ten hour days with a couple of days off in the middle for a total of 21-24 days.
Immersive – Modules
Another common format is to break the required 180 contact hours into segments or modules where you meet for 5-10 day periods until the hours are completed. With this style, expect to take from six months to one year to receive your 200-hour certification. This format is common if you’re studying to become a yoga therapist, which can take several years.
If you’d prefer to train while maintaining your day-to-day life, some yoga studios offer trainings on evenings and weekends that may take 8-12 weeks complete.