You don’t have to be an aspiring Sharon Gannon or Seane Corn to attend yoga teacher training. In fact, more and more yoga enthusiasts are attending teacher training to take their passion to the next level, whether they plan on teaching or not.
And when you think of going to yoga school, big-name brands like Pure Yoga, YogaWorks, and Jivamukti immediately come to mind. But come September almost every New York studio hosts a teacher training—including niche studios with their own style and special appeal.
We scouted them out and found lots of specialized offerings—from a brand-new fitness-focused program to an affordable training for 20-somethings—that will have you hitting the (Sanskrit) books before you can say Namaste.
Keep reading for our four back-to-yoga-school picks. —Lisa Elaine Held
Photo: Flickr/Alexandra Snowdon
Exhale launched its official yoga program one year ago, and this fall, it introduces its first-ever teacher training.
While you won’t be trained to teach Core Fusion, the brand’s signature barre workout will be part of the overall experience, as teachings will have a strong emphasis on the importance of a strong mid-section (and free classes for trainees include both yoga and Core Fusion!). This is also a good pick for the rhythm-oriented, since Exhale is known for vinyasa sequences that flow perfectly with a playlist.
September–March, weekends, 200 hours, $3,500, www.exhalespa.com
Both the faculty and students tend to be young and energetic, creating a tight-knit community of spiritually-conscious 20-somethings. And a handful of marquee-name yogis like Alison West, Alan Finger, and Barbara Verrochi pop in as adjuncts.
The training comes under budget, compared to the other trainings, and you can count on the studio to seriously invest in your success. Recent trainees get to teach weekly donation-based Community Classes in order to gain experience, and many graduates’ names also end up on the schedule.
September–December, weekends, 200 hours, $3,000 ($2,500 before August 26), www.yogavida.com
Celebs can vanish into diva land once they reach a level of fame, but Yoga Shanti owner Colleen Saidman Yee and her husband Rodney Yee (arguably the most well-known modern yogi in the world) have their feet planted firmly on their mats.
The couple’s teacher trainings are one of their most focused pursuits, and they pass on their Iyengar- and healing-based approach to yoga using an in-depth, hands-on approach. In addition to their knowledge, they tap their network to bring in an impressive roster of guest lecturers, like Richard Freeman and Susan “Lip” Orem.
Plus, who wouldn’t want to spend one weekend a month in the Hamptons?
October–May, one weekend per month, 300 hours, $5,250 ($4,750 before September 1), www.yogashanti.com
Photo: Hamptons Magazine
The Hell’s Kitchen studio has been certifying teachers for more than ten years, and lots of skilled teachers we (and likely you) know are graduates.
Its faculty of Shiva Rea proteges will help you gain more advanced knowledge of anatomy, yogic philosophy, Ayurveda, flow sequencing, and more.
September–June, select weekends, 300 hours (for 200-hour certified teachers), $3,900–$4,308, www.sonicyoga.com