Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training: Intensive or Non-intensive?

So, you’re thinking about or have already decided to enroll in a new yoga teacher training course. You might have had some considerations at first, but you have come to realize that becoming a yoga teacher and sharing the practice you love with others speaks to your heart. The next step is to find a training course that is suitable for you and your needs. Maybe you are finding yourself overwhelmed by the great variety of styles and time formats out there. And you are definitely not alone! It’s absolutely normal to feel confused in the beginning and need to take some time to do some good research.

Signing up for a yoga teacher training is undoubtedly a big decision. After all, you’ll need to invest a considerable amount of money, time and effort. And this is why it’s important to consider the different options you have and find the one that best suits you. When it comes to the time frame, you’ll find that there are two categories; intensive and long-term yoga teacher training courses. Some that involve a few weeks of daily tuition and others that have a more extended format, requiring attendance on weekends or even once or twice a month over the period of a year or so. 

In this blog, we are going to take a closer look into these two different types of yoga teacher training courses and what they have to offer. Hopefully it will help you on your way to making the right decision for you! 

Nobody can tell you that the one or the other method is the best, just because it worked for them.

Why Go Intensive

An intensive yoga teacher training course is pretty much a bootcamp. First of all, you need to be able to get some time off work and other duties (usually 3-4 weeks). Then, it requires your full dedication during that time. It sometimes is more expensive because you might have to also book flights or pay for accommodation. And for some people, having little to no time between meetings to digest and practice what they’ve learned might be too intense. But there are some good reasons why pick an intensive course:

  • Intensive yoga teacher training courses are called intensive for a reason. Regardless of whether they are conducted on-spot or online, they obviously involve some full-time deep dive and have a shorter duration. This makes them really fast-paced transformational, both physically and mentally. And it also means that they allow for getting your certification as a yoga teacher much more quickly.
  • An intensive yoga teacher training course can be taken at your hometown, a different part of the country you live in, or abroad, which gives you a really wide range of options to choose from. And who knows? You might find the perfect training for you taking place in an idyllic setting!
  • Such a training is also like an extended retreat. So, it gives you the opportunity to kind of combine work with pleasure, as, no matter how demanding the procedure might be, leaving everything behind for 3 or 4 weeks will somehow feel like a holiday.
  • Enrolling in an intensive course goes together with staying away from the worries of daily life, leaving work, family, friends and pets behind. Which actually means that you will be able to really focus on what you are doing and the goals you have set, while enjoying this transformational experience with no distractions.
  • Intensive training courses are full of people from different places and different backgrounds that come together and share the same experiences, the same laughter and tears, the same worries. So, you might be leaving your loved ones behind to attend an intensive training, but you will form close bonds with people that will most likely become friends for a lifetime.  

Text Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training Intensive or Non intensive

Why Take Your Time

Long-term yoga teacher training courses are the exact opposite of intensive ones. They might not include vacation at some idyllic place. They don’t give you the opportunity to focus on your goal with no distractions around. And they won’t quickly grant you the certificate you are longing for. But this slower and more progressive method also has a lot of supporters and some important advantages.  

  • Attending a long-term course will make it easier for you to form some local connections in the area you would like to teach after the training is over. At the same time, you will make some good friends too, and you will support one another throughout this life changing journey. 
  • This type of course is ideal for people who can’t take one month off to go and train as yoga teachers. As work, family and other responsibilities make such a break impossible for many, long-term courses allow for them to move on with their daily lives as usual and really enjoy the whole experience during their free time.
  • A long-term yoga teacher training course is most of the times less expensive, as it usually doesn’t require any travel, accommodation and meal expenses. Additionally, some long-term courses offer an installment option, so you can spread the total cost over the duration of the training. 
  • This slower, more progressive style of training offers you enough time to rest and recover, both mentally and physically, in between the different modules. Moreover, it gives you the opportunity to gather all questions that arise and discuss them with your trainers at the next meeting. 
  • Another important feature of long-term trainings is that they offer you plenty of time to process all information that you will receive during your training. You’ll get to study and practice what you’ve been taught between training days. And this study and practice time will help you really delve into yoga. After all, the real challenge, when you decide to make yoga your profession, is establishing your own practice.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing from an intensive or a long-term training format, there is no right or wrong. Nobody can tell you that the one or the other method is the best, just because it worked for them. You simply need to consider your existing schedule and ask yourself if you can perform better while learning under some pressure or at a slower pace. And of course, trust your guts!

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Magda Chatzinaki
Magda Chatzinaki is a writer and yoga teacher, on a mission to spread the bliss! She believes that there is great joy in the little things in life. When she’s not writing or practicing yoga, she’s probably somewhere biking, enjoying nature or hanging out with her loved ones.

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