I've been teaching for over 20 years now and I get students who ask me on a very regular basis about how to become a teacher and how to choose which training program is best for them.
While my answer vaires a little from person to person, these two main variables are always heavily involved in helping you choose what's best for you.
There are 2 main ways to get your yoga teacher certification. You can go away for a 2-4 week immersion or you can do program with a local studio and continue your regular life as you learn.
There are pros and cons to each of these and here's my top 3 in each category.
Going away for your yoga teacher training is like a dream. You leave everything behind and go away to focus on yourself and your yoga journey. Often accommodations and meals are included and you stay on location with your fellow teacher trainees.
There are some great pros to an immersion style program:
you are surrounded by others who are doing the same work all day and night.
you don't need to worry about getting the kids from school or picking up the dry cleaning.
you get to focus solely on your yoga journey.
There are also some cons to the immersion style:
your fellow trainees are your students, and rarely do they move like anyone in the general public that you will be teaching when you return home.
you get a lot of information over a short period of time. Making it harder to feel confident about what you've learned.
you have the added expenses of flights, hotel, meals and maybe childcare back home too
Doing your yoga teacher training at home allows you all of the comforts of home while you embark on your learning journey. Sometimes the stars align and your home studio or favourite teacher are offering the training.
The pros to learning at home:
Home field advantage. You know how to get to the studio, you're familiar with the teacher/studio and expectations and if you need to book a chiro/massage etc, your supports are all in place
Allows you to keep up your regular, daily responisibilities.
You can put the things you learn into practice right away. Plus you can ask questions and get guidance when those things don't go exactly as you expect.
The cons of a locally-based training:
Can be left to chance if it aligns with what you really want to focus your learning on.
Requires you to commit a regular amount of time and energy to the training for the duration.
Your real life is still doing its real life things around you.
A word of caution! Doing your yoga teacher training at home, but with an intensive schedule is c-h-a-l-l-e-n-g-i-n-g ! It is very hard to stay focused on the learning when you've got to get the car home for a specific time and you need to call the phone company to figure out why you went over on data etc.
In my experience, if you're home, your family expects you to be home and intensive style yoga teacher trainings require more of your bandwidth than you expect. An intensive schedule at your local studio is doable, but will definitely challenge your schedule, emotions and patience. Before commiting to a home-based training, take a close look at the schedule and make sure it will fit your life.
When choosing a yoga teacher training, there's a lot to consider. I hope this article helped you to make choosing between intensive or home-based training a little easier.