Difference Between 200, 300, and 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification

Difference Between 200, 300, and 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training

You are planning to start your career as a Yoga Teacher? That’s wonderful! And, congratulations!

Now, you need to figure out which YTT course to enroll in, in order to get the maximum value.

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    Well, every YTT course has its own purpose and value: but it eventually boils down to your immediate necessities and future plans.

    The 200-hour course covers all the fundamentals of yoga, in terms of practice, theory, anatomy, teaching practices, and philosophy.

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    The 300-hour course covers the same fields of study as the 200-hour course—except this time you will need to go deeper into each topic and get different hour-allocation for each field of study. Additionally, the 300-hour course has more provisioned hours on an elective field of study. This helps you specialize in a particular aspect of yoga or a particular style of yoga—for example, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha, Kundalini and so on.

    Finally, the 500-hour YTT course is simply a combination of a 200-hour YTT course and a 300-hour YTT course. The 500-hour course allows you to learn, in a single go, from the basics to the advanced.

    **Note: It is important to note that the above-mentioned information is only in the context of Yoga Alliance, which is one of the most, globally, trusted organizations for acquiring Yoga Teacher training standardization, certification, and registration.

    What are the Differences Between YTTC, RYS, and RYT?

    If you have stumbled across a few other URLs on the difference between 200, 300, and 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training course—then you have probably stumbled across a few other terms as well. Terms that on the first look may appear confusingly similar—YTTC, RYS, and RYT.

    • YTTC—Yoga Teacher Training Course
    • RYS—Registered Yoga School
    • RYT—Registered Yoga Teacher

    So, how are these terms related?

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    The best way to understand how these terms come together is to understand how to become a Registered Yoga Teacher from Yoga Alliance, with 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training.

    A registered yoga teacher with 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training, is termed as RYT 500, and the following are the requirements:

    • Has either, completed a 500-hour YTTC from a Yoga School registered with Yoga Alliance to provide a 500-hour course (RYS 500).
    • Or, Has completed a 200-hour YTTC from a RYS 200, and has also completed a 300-hour YTTC from the same RYS, or a different RYS registered as RYS 300.
    • Has a total minimum of 100 hours teaching experience, either after completing 200-hour YTTC, or directly after completing 500-hour YTTC.

    200-Hour YTTC: Foundation and Beyond

    The 200-hour YTTC provided by Yoga Alliance is the most fundamental course for anyone who wishes to start their career as a Yoga teacher.

    • Eligibility: There is no formal pre-requisite for this course. However, considering how this not a foundation course in yoga—but a foundation course for teaching yoga—it is only natural to assume that one must have prior experience in practicing yoga, and a sound mind and body to pursue Yoga Teaching as a career.
    • Duration: The 200-hour YTT course typically Spans between 3-4 weeks with most of the Registered Yoga Schools.
    • Fees charged by the RYS for training: 600 USD to 800 USD (For online classes or fees without accommodation.) 1200 USD to 3000 USD (For offline classes with accommodations.) Fees in INR—20,000 Rs to 30,000 Rs for offline training. And, 45,000 Rs to 1,00,000 Rs for offline training with accommodations. 
    • After training: Once you have completed the 200 YTTC, you are automatically eligible to register yourself as an RYT 200, and you could potentially get hired by Yoga studios globally to instruct beginner-level and general yoga classes. It is advisable to get yourself accustomed to a few one-on-one classes before taking on full-fledged group sessions. Alternatively, you could also go on to pursue the 300-hour YTTC.

    Note: For offline classes, food is mostly included. And, the fee for offline classes varies a lot, from school to school, depending on the quality of accommodation and facilities provided. Ideally, the training quality doesn’t vary much with fees because every RYS needs to maintain very strict training standards in order to maintain their registration with Yoga Alliance.

    200-Hour YTTC Course Module

    • 100 hours of techniques, training, and practice—on different standing poses, forward bends, backbends, twists, inversion poses, pranayama, yogic kriyas, chanting, mantras, and meditation. 
    • 20 hours on teaching methodologies—including communication skills, time management, attending to student needs, principles of demonstration, observation, assisting, and correction, teaching styles, qualities of a teacher, and the student learning process.
    • 20 hours on Anatomy and Physiology—physical anatomy and physiology, energy anatomy and physiology, contradictions, healthy movement patterns, etc.
    • 30 hours on Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, and Ethics—including the study of philosophies and literature like Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradapika, and Bhagavad Gita.
    • 10 hours on practicum—which includes practice teaching, providing feedback, observing other teachers, and assisting students for other teachers.
    • 55 hours of electives that can be distributed as per choice among the above disciplines.
    • 20 non-contact hours—which are training-related hours that are conducted in the absence of an instructor. These include personal reading, Svadhyaya, webinars, written assignments, group activities, etc.

    300-Hour YTTC: Advancing Expertise

    This is the course you would be looking for if you have basic teaching experience and are planning to take on more advanced (or style-specific) yoga sessions. 

    • Eligibility: Apart from being well-versed in practicing yoga, you must have also completed the 200-hour YTTC. There is no teaching experience required to pursue this course and you need not be a RYT 200. But, definitely, having a minimum of 100 hours of teaching experience would be a plus—as it would help you get registered as a teacher directly after you have finished this certification. 
    • Duration: The 300-hour YTT course typically spans between 4-5 weeks with most of the Registered Yoga Schools.
    • Fees charged by the RYS for training: 600 USD to 800 USD (For online classes or fees without accommodation.) 1200 USD to 3000 USD (For offline classes with accommodations.) Fees in INR—20,000 Rs to 30,000 Rs for offline training. And, 45,000 Rs to 1,00,000 Rs for offline training with accommodations. 
    • After training: If you have a prior teaching experience of 100 hours, you could directly get registered as an RYT 500 and start teaching advanced groups or style-specific classes. If you don’t have prior teaching experience, the obvious pathway after this course would be to acquire a yoga teaching experience of a minimum of 100 hours.

    300-Hour YTTC Course Module

    • 50 hours of Techniques, training, and practice
    • 5 hours of teaching methodology
    • 15 hours of anatomy and physiology
    • 30 hours of Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, and Ethics
    • 30 hours of Practicum
    • 140 hours of elective
    • 30 hours of self-practice and self-learning activities

    If you have noticed both the 200-hour and 300-hour courses have the same subjects, one major difference, is the hour distribution. In the 300-hour course, the elective is 140 hours, allowing you to specialize in a particular aspect. Additionally, the 300-hour course also goes in-depth with each sub-discipline of yoga teaching. For, example the 300-hour course deals specifically with alignments of many advanced poses like Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana, Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana, Pincha Mayurasana, Eka Hasta Bhujasana, etc. 

    The 300-hour course also tackles anatomy, as well as philosophy, in detail. For example, while the 200-hour course covers basic philosophies like Ashtangas, Pancha Vrittis, and such—the 300-hour course digs deeper into nuanced philosophies from Upavedas, Shada Ripus, Puranas, Bhagavad Gita, Sadhana Chatushtaya, Shad Darshanas, Antahkaranas, etc. 

    500-Hour YTTC: From Basics to Mastery

    If you are thinking long-term, and willing to learn from the very basics to absolute advanced—then this is your course.

    • Eligibility: Since this course is a complete course, ranging from beginner-level training to advanced conditioning, the eligibility criteria are very similar to 200-hour YTTC.
    • Duration: The 300-hour YTT course typically spans between 8-10 weeks with most of the Registered Yoga Schools.
    • Fees charged by the RYS for training: Around 1000 USD (For online classes or fees without accommodation.) 1600 USD to 4500 USD (For offline classes with accommodations.) Fees in INR—50,000 Rs to 70,000 Rs for offline training. And, 1,00,000 Rs to 2,50,000 Rs for offline training with accommodations. 
    • After training: If you have directly joined the 500-hour YTTC, then you probably have not managed to acquire your minimum 100-hour teaching experience. So, after completing this certification, getting your teaching experience will be your first priority. Next, will be to get registered as RYT 500.

    500-Hour YTTC Course Module

    • 150 hours of Techniques, training, and practice
    • 30 hours of teaching methodology
    • 35 hours of anatomy and physiology
    • 60 hours of Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, and Ethics
    • 40 hours of Practicum
    • 145 hours of elective
    • 40 hours of self-practice and self-learning activities

    As you have guessed by now the hour-allocation and subject depth in 500-hour YTTC is an integration of the two—200-hour and 300-hour—courses. 

    Which Yoga Teacher Training Course Should You Choose?

    Yoga Alliance training courses are very flexible. They allow you to pursue your career in a variety of ways depending on where you are in your life/career. Below are some ways you can consider when selecting a YTTC.

    • 200-hour YTTC + 100-hour teaching experience + RYT 200—If you are an absolute beginner to teaching yoga, and looking to start your teaching journey, then this course is where you need to start. And, then follow it up with a 100-hours of teaching practice. And, then finally register as RYT 200 to continue teaching with various yoga studios.
    • 300-hour YTTC + RYT 500—If you have completed the 200-hour YTTC and have been teaching for some time (100 hours of teaching experience,) then this is where you need to start. After you finish this course getting the RYT 500 registration is the common pathway.
    • 500-hour YTTC + 100-hour teaching experience + RYT 500—If you are just planning to start your teaching career, but, you want to start strong—you want to get trained in everything there is to Yoga Teacher training, then this is your course. You will, by the requirement of Yoga Alliance, have to acquire a 100-hour teaching experience before being eligible for RYT 500 registration. Once that’s done you will be set to conduct both beginner-level and advanced yoga sessions.

    A Look into the Future—Upgrading Your RYT Registration to E-RYT

    Yoga allowance allows experienced teachers to upgrade their certification. Once you gather a teaching experience of 1000 hours and have been teaching for over 2 years, you can upgrade your RYT 200 registration to E-RYT 200, and your RYT 500 registration to E-RYT 500.

    Continuous Development and RYT Renewal

    Remember yoga is a field that requires constant learning and growth even from teachers. Svadhyaya, or self-learning, is one of the most important aspects even in Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. You will not only continue to uphold the integrity of your teaching quality, but you will also need to maintain the standards set by Yoga Alliance to be able to renew your registration every 3 years. 

    All the best on your Yoga Teaching Journey. May you get to nurture many souls into beings with pure energy!

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