If you are considering taking a kids yoga teacher, the one you choose is an important decision for the short term and long term.
We’ve been a Registered Children’s Yoga School since 2012. And we have seen a lot of schools come and go in that time. We’ve stayed up to date on the most current Yoga Alliance standards and navigated our way through the pandemic.
In this article we share our experience to help you choose the best training FOR YOU, even if it is not our training, so that you can become a confident and qualified children’s yoga teacher.
This is a long one, so grab a cup of tea and enjoy the read, so you can make the best decision for you when it comes to teacher training.
Here are 9 Steps to help you determine the best kids yoga teacher training for you in 2022.
Step #1: Educate Yourself on the Different Levels of Certification for Children’s Yoga Teachers
A lot of people who first decide to teach yoga don’t know what type of training they need and are surprised to find out that yoga is an unregulated industry!
This means you can teach yoga to children or adults without a certificate.
Then why do people bother to get a Certificate?
For a few reasons:
- Because they don’t know how to teach a kids yoga class.
- They want recognition to put on their resume, in the form of a Certificate that attests to their training, to help them get jobs.
- They want to get insurance for their business and they need a Certificate to get it.
- They are life-long learners who enjoy taking courses to learn new activities and connect with other teachers and trainers, so they earn the Certificate and get to keep learning too.
You don’t have to get a Certificate to teach, but if you decide to get one, you want to choose knowing what doors it will open. This is where the different levels of Certification come in.
The very basic level is getting a certificate for a short training. Shorter training certificates are often between 8 – 20 hours.
The 95 Hour Training:
Often those who want to teach yoga to children, and not adults, aim for the 95 Hour Certification. 95 Hours is the number of hours Yoga Alliance (YA) established for training in the specialty of children’s yoga. Usually this number of hours is with a YA Registered Children’s Yoga School (RCYS), but not always. Make sure the course/school is actually listed on the YA website.
You Can’t Combine Training Certificates
Also note that for YA to accept the specialty training, the 95 Hour Certificate must come from one school. You can’t combine or add up Certificates from different schools till you get to 95 Hours. This is because an RCYS makes sure you’ve covered all the different curriculum requirements, like practicum and anatomy, and if you are combining certificates, they won’t know that you’ve learned all the core competencies required by YA.
RCYT: Highest Designation for Children’s Yoga Teachers
According to the Yoga Alliance standards, the RCYT designation (RCYT stands for registered children’s yoga teacher) is the gold star!
To get the RCYT designation you’ve completed:
- 95 hour certificate
- plus a 200 hour yoga teacher training
- both trainings are with YA registered yoga schools,
- and you’ve taught 30 hours of kids yoga classes after you graduate from the training (so this designation means you have experience too).
All of these requirements are part of the self-regulated yoga system at YA.
Remember, you don’t need to have them to teach, but they become part of your resume and they’re an investment in education.
You want to be aware of what other teachers will have and what doors will open because of the training you choose. You may limit yourself with your choice of training. Many people have completed our training simply because their initial training was not registered with Yoga Alliance and it was limiting their long term option of becoming a Trainer.
You can find out more details about the impacts of the level of Certification you choose here.
Do You Have other Qualifications
Some people have other diplomas or certificates that will complement their children’s yoga training. For instance, they may be an early childhood educator, a school teacher, a therapist, or a dietitian who works with children.
If you have other Certificates it can help you feel more qualified as teaching children’s yoga and mindfulness. However, we’ve found that most people with other diplomas or certificates, understand the value of the full 95 Hour Certification and are often among the trainees earning the highest level.
Recommendation: We recommend that if you are starting out, choose a training that allows you to register with Yoga Alliance because it will give you the most long term opportunities. If you don’t choose a Yoga Alliance training, there needs to be be some very compelling reasons to close that door.
Step #2: Consider How You Learn Best
Yoga training has changed since the COVID pandemic and the way you can learn in 2022 is different than the way you could learn before 2019.
There was a time when only in-person training counted for the 95 hour certificate. Since the pandemic, Yoga Alliance now requires a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning in every training.
Synchronous learning requires real time interaction. Examples are in- person or live training on Zoom, where you are required to show up at certain times for the training. People don’t have to be in the same room, but everyone is together at the same time. That’s synchronous.
Asynchronous learning is also permitted by Yoga Alliance, which is a change since the pandemic began.
With Asynchronous learning, you can learn on your own time. It’s also known as self-paced learning. You might watch recordings of a training or do assignments, and it happens at the time you choose.
Yoga Alliance requires that schools have a blend of both synchronous and asynchronous learning. However, there is no minimum number of hours required for each type. As long as there is at least one hour of each type the training can receive the online training exemption with Yoga Alliance.
This opens up a lot of options for training!
The question is how do you learn best?
Are you good at completing training on your own time? One way to get a true gauge of your aptitude for synchronous or asynchronous learning is by looking at your training history.
When you look back on other courses you’ve taken, which ones did you successfully complete? Were they synchronous or asynchronous?
Have you signed up for a live training event and not been able to make the dates?
Have you singed up for a self-paced training and never complete it?
On a side note: I don’t allow myself to sign up for self-paced courses anymore until I complete the ones I’ve already got. I now know I’m more successful completing synchronous courses, but that’s just me.
Other people have signed up for our self paced training and completed it within a month.
Be honest with yourself about your learning style and what training style lights you up.
Recommendation: Let your past behavior guide you and make a choice that will make it easiest for you to follow through, so you actually graduate form the training you choose!
Step #3: Weigh the Pros and Cons of the Live Training Options
When it come to live training, some people thrive on interacting with others while other people find it stressful.
Challenges for In Person Training
Even though you miss it, you may not feel comfortable going into a studio and training in person.
If you are considering in person training, assess your comfort level around:
- mask or no mask
- class size
- studio screening policies or ventilation
I don’t have the right answer for these questions. Only you can decide what makes you comfortable.
Live Zoom or In Person Training Options
On the other hand, you may want a live training where you learn from home using your computer software like zoom. This gives you interaction with other participants but you are not in the same room with them. For live zoom find out:
- how long will you be looking at the screen for each session
- will it be recorded for you to watch again (that may be a bonus)
- is the frequency something you can handle
Looking at live training, there are still a lot of options.
Recommendation: Consider In Person training if that is how you learn best and your must have’s for an in-person training. What is the class size, what happens if you are sick during the training? Consider both your live-zoom and in-person options for an interactive training.
Step #4: Weigh the Pros and Cons of the Self-Paced Training
If you want a self paced training, you also have choices around how you can train.
Some self-paced training consists of the trainer looking into a camera telling you things about being a kids yoga teacher.
Other self-paced recordings are of a cohort taking the training. You’re hearing your trainer and also listening to the discussion and questions from students, which feels more like a live training.
When a trainer is talking into a camera camera, the information is usually direct and you won’t have the same tangents that happen in a live training.
However, the tangents can be interesting things that inspire you. You get to hear other people’s ideas and suggestions.
And you just may find it easier to listen to a group talking versus listening to one person talking into a camera.
Recommendation: If you want a self paced training, find out what kind of videos you’ll be watching.
When comparing different trainings, watch the sample videos that are provided. You’ll see how easy they are for you to complete. If you can’t get through the sample video, just think how hard it will be to get through 95 hours of this type of video!
Step #5: Review the Training Curriculum
Each training has its own personality in how it organizes all the topics that are covered in a Kid’s Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Training.
Go onto the website where the training is offered and review the curriculum of the training to see if this is what you want to learn.
Does the training cover all the topics you want to learn?
Does it cover special needs?
Does it offer trauma informed principles?
Does it cover the age group that you want to teach?
Recommendations: Find where the course is hosted and review the training curriculum in each course. You’ll get an understanding of the training curriculum to choose the best training for you.
Step #6: Read the Reviews
Check the training website for reviews and recognize that these are curated and include only the best reviews.
Recommendation: Check third party reviews on Yoga Alliance or Google.
The third party reviews will give you a more honest picture of the training. We all know most people read the most negative reviews first, so check it out and get a feeling for what any of the issues were. Even if a school has a lower review, the comment will tell you if the problem would be an issue for you.
If there are number of low scores, buyer beware!
Step #7: Know what is Included in the Training
Each Training offers different extras. Some include printed manuals, but no PDFs. Some include PDFs but no printed manuals.
Check the refund policy and transfer policy.
How is the course organized for you to access the instructions, printable resources, and replays (if any).
You also want to know what kind of support you get during and after the training. Do you have direct access to the trainers to ask questions that come up? Does the training require you pay an ongoing subscription after you graduate?
Can you connect with other participants in the training? What kind of groups do you become part of during and after the training?
And finally, be sure you know exactly what courses you are getting.
For instance, if you sign up for a 95 hour training, does it include all the modules. Are there any extra charges for the mentoring, extra courses, or for your final certificate.
Recommendation: If you aren’t sure what you are getting with the training, email and ask. That way you will have a document of exactly what you can expect.
Step #8: Look at Your Budget
Once you’ve got a list of all the things you want in a training then check the price of that training.
Can you afford it?
Do they offer plane payment plans?
Do they offer scholarships?
Recommendation: You are going to invest both your energy, time and money into this training so take one you are excited about, but it should also be something you can do within your budget.
Step #9: Make Your Decision and Enjoy
Recommendation: Once you move through the above steps, trust your instincts and make a decision. Then start the training.
Give yourself a pat on the back for making the best decision you could with the information you had and avoid second guessing yourself.
Immerse yourself in the training, learn everything you can from it. Take advantage of all the resources offered to you.
Teacher training is such a special time, you may be sad when it is over, so enjoy it while it happens.
And most importantly, start teaching what you learn to the children in your life as soon as possible. This will really help you integrate the training and what you have learned.
The next thing you know, you will be a more confident and skilled children’s yoga and mindfulness teacher.
If you have any questions about choosing the right training for you in 2023 you can contact us and we will happy to help you figure out what’s best for your situation.
Kids Yoga Teacher Training
Self-Paced, Live-Zoom, or In Person
- Yoga Literacy with the Yoga Alphabet (16 Hour Certificate)
- Themes and Dreams (16 Hour Certificate)
- Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Training- School Age (8 Hour Certificate)
- Chakras for Children (4 Hour Certificate)
- Family Yoga (4 Hour Certificate)
- Mindfulness for Children (16 Hour Certificate)
- Inclusive Yoga (16 Hour Certificate)
- Level 2: Mastermind Curriculum Design and Business Planning (16 Hour Certificate)
- All Modules = 96 Hour Certificate