Everything You Need to Know About Yoga Teacher Training Scholarships

Do you dream of becoming a yoga instructor but worry about the high costs of yoga teacher training? 

There is no denying that yoga teacher training can be expensive. For many people, saving up to do their dream course takes several years. For others, the steep fees can be off-putting enough to make them feel like yoga teacher training is not for them.

However, many budding yogis don’t realize there are ways to get a discount on yoga teacher training or even attend the course for free. This is thanks to the introduction of scholarships in yoga schools worldwide.

So what is a yoga scholarship, and who can apply for one? Let’s find out.

What is a Yoga Teacher Training Scholarship?

Yoga Teacher Training Scholarships are designed to help budding yogis with financial restraints pursue teacher training to share the power of yoga with others. In addition, scholarships make yoga teacher training accessible for all so that these life-changing experiences are not just for those with economic, social, and racial privileges.

The availability of yoga teacher training scholarships is slowly growing, but they each have their own criteria. Therefore, these scholarships are not open to everyone and are not a way to “win” free teacher training. 

Some scholarships are aimed at BIPOC individuals, others are for people suffering economic hardship, and some are open to people passionate about bringing yoga to underprivileged communities. 

Not only will it help you during the course, as you'll have basic knowledge already, but it will help you understand if sharing yoga is really for you.

Where Can You Get a Yoga Scholarship?

Not all yoga schools offer scholarships; you can typically only find out about them on the school's website. Here are a few we found:

School Yoga Institute

School Yoga Institute runs YTTs worldwide, including Bali, Costa Rica, Greece, India, Guatemala, and Peru. They offer a yoga scholarship program to BIPOC individuals and members of marginalised communities. 

In return for free training, you need to offer your skills in exchange. They are specifically looking for people with experience in social media management, blog management, photography, videography, graphic design, and more. 

Soma Yoga Institute

Soma Yoga Institute offers 200-hour and 300-hour therapeutic teacher training in multiple locations, including Costa Rica, California, Hawaii, and Greece. They also run online-based YTTs for people who are unable to travel.

Soma Yoga offers three distinct scholarship programs. The diversity and partial support scholarships are available for online teacher training courses, while the work trade scholarship program is for in-person training.

The diversity scholarship is for students from historically marginalized populations, such as BIPOC, Latinx, LGBT, and Veterans. If accepted, you could receive 80% to 100% of the course costs covered.

The partial support scholarship is for those with financial hardships and offers up to 60% of tuition costs. The costs covered for the work-trade program are case-by-case, depending on the skills you can offer. 

Sri Yoga Ashram

Sri Yoga Ashram in India offers scholarships to a select number of students facing financial issues. Their scholarship program is open to yogis of all countries, ethnicities, and cultures, and places are offered monthly on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is advised you apply at least 6 months in advance, and you may be asked to prove you have genuine financial problems.

Tips for Applying for Yoga Scholarships

If you qualify for a yoga scholarship and want to apply, here are a few tips for increasing your chances of being awarded one.

Show You are Serious About Yoga

Most schools that offer scholarships favor yogis who have practiced for at least 1 to 2 years before applying for the program. This is because they want to ensure that the people they give free or heavily discounted training to are serious about becoming yoga teachers and bettering themselves. 

Thus, if you have little or no previous experience, I recommend studying and practicing for a while before applying. Not only will it help you during the course, as you'll have basic knowledge already, but it will help you understand if sharing yoga is really for you.

There are many free and low-cost ways to learn more about yoga, such as via Youtube, apps like Insight Timer, and borrowing yoga books from a library. 

Include a Letter of Reference 

Reference letters are commonly used for applicants applying for jobs. They can help prove that you are a committed, serious, and trustworthy person and worthy of a scholarship. 

You can ask for a reference letter from a yoga teacher you have attended classes with. Alternatively, if you know someone who has studied or worked at the school you are applying for, you can ask them to be your reference. 

Text Everything You Need To Know About Yoga Teacher Training Scholarships

Talk About Your Volunteering Experience

If you are applying for a work-trade scholarship program, sharing your past volunteering work will significantly help your application. This can be any volunteering, both official and unofficial. 

So think about ways you have given back to the community or helped those in need. In addition, be sure to outline the qualities and skills you have to offer their community and what unique way you can help the school.

Include Photos and Videos

Finally, to stand out, make your application visual. Including photos or videos of your practice makes your application more personal and shows you are passionate about yoga. Better still, make a short video where you talk about why you love yoga so much, why you'll be a great instructor, and why you are worthy of receiving a scholarship.

What If You Don’t Qualify For a Scholarship?

As mentioned, most scholarships are typically reserved for people who meet specific criteria. However, if you don't meet that benchmark, there may be another way you can get a discounted rate on your YTT. 

Some schools offer discounted rates to students who volunteer there. For example, Samma Karuna, an established yoga school in Koh Phangan, Thailand, offers students 20% off the course price if they stay an extra 4 weeks to volunteer before or after the course.

While this may not be ideal if you cannot stay away from home for eight weeks, it is a good option for those that plan to hang around for a while after the course ends. 

During the 4 weeks of volunteering, you'll have free shared accommodation at the school and can attend unlimited classes there for free. In return, you'll be expected to volunteer in various ways around the school for about 4 hours a day, giving you plenty of time to explore the island. 

Final Thoughts on Yoga Teacher Training Scholarships

Doing yoga teacher training doesn't have to be a pipe dream. With scholarships, work exchanges, and volunteering programs, there are now many ways to do a YTT at a price that is affordable to you. 


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Gemma Clarke
Gemma Clarke is a yoga and mindfulness teacher and freelance wellness writer. She’s passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience through movement and words. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma is an advocate for stray cats and fosters orphaned kittens for a local animal rescue center.

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