200-Hour Standards for Yoga Teacher Trainings

Our 200-hour program (RYS 200) will adequately prepare trainees to teach a general adult population and incorporates training hours in the following YA Educational Categories: 

1. Techniques, Training and Practice: 100 hours

  • Minimum Contact Hours: 75 hours
  • Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 50 hours

Topics in this category could include, but would not be limited to: asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, chanting, mantra, meditation and other traditional yoga techniques. These hours must be a mix between: 1) analytical training in how to teach and practice the techniques, and 2) guided practice of the techniques themselves. Both areas must receive substantial emphasis.


2. Teaching Methodology: 25 hours

  • Minimum Contact Hours: 15 hours
  • Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 10 hours

Special Requirement: A maximum of five of the above hours can be counted on the subject of business aspects of teaching yoga

  • Topics in this category could include, but may not be limited to:  
  • Communication skills such as group dynamics, time management, and the establishment of priorities and boundaries
  • How to address the specific needs of individuals and special populations, to the degree possible in a group setting
  • Principles of demonstration, observation, assisting and correcting
  • Teaching styles
  • Qualities of a teacher
  • The student learning process 
  • Business aspects of teaching yoga (including marketing and legal)

The Teaching Methodology category covers a broad overview and analysis of teaching methods, rather than how to practice or teach specific techniques. See the example topics below to help clarify the differences between the Techniques, Training and Practice category and the Teaching Methodology category: 

Example Techniques, Training and Practice TopicsExample Teaching Methodology Topics

  • The Five Categories of Asana: The trainee will practice and learn the key poses in each category of asana (standing poses, forward bends, backbends, twists, and inversions) and will begin to develop a relationship to both the form and the function of these different categories.
  • Maps of Alignment: Trainees will achieve comprehension of the alignment maps for each of the five categories of asanas through observation and experience of how the poses in each category share a common foundation, and how to build upon this foundation.
  • Principles of Demonstrating Asanas: Discuss how effective demonstrations in class can help emphasize an alignment or other focus for the specific pose or sequence of poses. 
  • Learning Modalities: identifying your  dominant style, and learning how to teach based on others’ learning styles
  • Use of Language and Voice: Lecture and discussion on active vs. passive language and the effective use of each; positive and conscious communication, and habitual speech and communication patterns

3. Anatomy and Physiology: 20 hours

  • Minimum Contact Hours: 10 hours
  • Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours

Special Requirements: A minimum of five of the above hours must be spent applying anatomy and physiology principles to yoga

Topics in this category could include, but would not be limited to: human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, etc.) and may also include energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, etc.). Includes both the study of anatomy and physiology along with its application to yoga practice (benefits, contraindications, healthy movement patterns, etc.). 


4. Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers: 30 hours

  • Minimum Contact Hours: 20 hours
  • Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours

Special Requirements: A minimum of 2 of the above Contact Hours must be spent on ethics for yoga teachers

Topics in this category could include, but would not be limited to:

  • The study of yoga philosophies and traditional texts (such as the Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika or Bhagavad Gita)
  • Yoga lifestyle, such as the precept of non-violence (ahimsa), and the concepts of dharma and karma
  • Ethics for yoga teachers, such as those involving teacher – student relationships and community
  • Understanding the value of teaching yoga as a service and being of service to others (seva)

5. Practicum: 10 hours

  • Minimum  Contact Hours: 5 hours
  • Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 5 hours

Topics in this category include:

  • Practice teaching as the lead instructor (does not include assisting, observing or giving feedback)*
  • Receiving and giving feedback
  • Observing others teaching**
  • Assisting students while someone else is teaching

*Special Requirement: Each trainee must spend a minimum of 5 Contact Hours of practice teaching as the lead instructor. These hours may include the time during which the trainee is receiving feedback on his/her teaching. Time spent assisting, observing others teaching, or giving feedback to others is excluded from these hours.

**Evaluation or observation of yoga classes outside of the teacher training program constitutes Non-Contact Hours. 

Remaining Contact Hours and Elective Hours 

The requirements detailed above ensure that all trainees of a RYS receive training and instruction in five educational categories for a minimum number of designated hours. The remaining Contact Hours (55 hours) and elective hours (15 hours, either contact or non-contact) are to be distributed among the five educational categories, but the hours may be allocated at the discretion of each RYS based on their program’s focus.

TOTAL HOURS: 200 hours

  • Total minimum Contact Hours: 180 hours
  • Total minimum Contact Hours with Lead Trainer(s): 65 hours