Teacher Training Program Frequently Asked Questions
If you are interested in becoming a yoga instructor, take a look at our FAQs.
Are you interested in becoming a yoga instructor and helping others reap the many benefits of practicing yoga? At Sunrise Yoga Studio, we proudly offer several yoga teacher instruction programs, and you can find out more about them by reading through the FAQs listed below. This page is a great resource to refer to during your training and even after if you want to continue your education. Like always, feel free to reach out to our studio in Winston-Salem, North Carolina if you can't find the information you're looking for on this page.
What style of yoga is taught in your teacher training programs?
We offer training in alignment-based yoga.
Can I sign up online?
All of the information you need to submit an application is available online, including entrance requirements, application forms, policy handbooks and the curriculum calendar. You will need to schedule a personal interview with Program Director Valerie Kiser and attend either a Teacher Training Open House or one of Valerie’s yoga classes prior to acceptance in one of our programs. Specific requirements for each program are described in their respective policy handbooks, available on our website.
How much does it cost?
Our website hosts a page for each of our teacher training programs. Those pages include a link to the Handbook that lists the costs associated with each program, payment plan options, and the discounts that are available for early bird registration. Please visit the page for the program of your choice for details.
When are classes held?
Our website hosts a page for each of our teacher training programs. Those pages include a link to the Handbook that lists the dates associated with each. Those seeking continuing education opportunities can attend the 200- or 300-hour session of their choice.
How do the 200 and 300 Hour Programs differ?
The 200-hour program is the first level of training and is where all students start the teacher-training journey. It must be completed before enrolling in the 300-hour program. The 300-hour program takes students to the next level of learning about yoga asana and traditions, covering a broader range of topics and working in more depth.
Do you have a 500 hour program?
There is no “500-hour program”. Students who have completed both a 200-hour and 300-hour curriculum become 500-hour graduates and can register accordingly at Yoga Alliance.
What are your classes like?
Two words describe our classes: informative and fun! We take the responsibility of teaching yoga very seriously, and explore the various categories of asana in great detail so that our graduates can teach safely and with confidence. During our weekend sessions, we cover a wide variety of topics and offer asana practice to support the information covered. The environment is friendly and supportive, with classes conducted in a studio setting that is conducive to learning.
What are some of the topics covered?
In addition to personally exploring the nuances of yoga postures during asana practice, our student learn how to teach. Topics covered by 200-and 300-hour students include:
- Using props to achieve proper alignment
- How to create a lesson plan with proper sequencing
- Working with different kinds of students and bodies
- How to observe your students for postural and prop adjustments
- Working with students who are injured, pregnant, or physically limited in some way
All students, regardless of their program, also embark on a detailed exploration of the some of the traditions and sciences that support the practice of yoga:
- Chanting and meditation
- Yoga therapeutics
- The history and philosophy of yoga
- The Yoga Sutras and other traditional yoga texts
- Sanskrit as part of the yoga tradition
Every weekend session covers a combination of topics, and always includes asana practice. Every session is carefully designed to deliver the information that every serious yoga student and prospective yoga teacher should know.
How long has Sunrise been offering Teacher Training?
Our first Enrichment Program and 200-Hour Teacher Training Program classes graduated in 2010. The 300-Hour Teacher Training Program opened its doors in 2011.
How much previous experience do I need?
All applicants need a basic foundation in the primary yoga postures. Enrichment Program participants need at least six months experience. We require one year of consistent yoga practice before enrolling in the 200-hour teacher-training program. Participants in the 300-hour program will have garnered sufficient experience in their 200-hour training curriculum to meet our standards for previous experience. Every applicant’s prior experience will be discussed during the interview process to determine if it is sufficient for the program they wish to take.
I can't do all the poses. Is that a problem?
No! Proficiency in the postures, especially the more challenging ones, is not required. We do ask that participants in the Enrichment Program have at least six months yoga experience and some familiarity with the Sanskrit names of poses. We ask that 200- and 300-Hour Teacher Training participants have at least one-year experience on the yoga mat.
What if I don't plan to teach?
No problem. You do not need to be planning to teach in order to reap tremendous personal benefits from our programs. Many of our graduates have participated simply for the joy of learning and the opportunity to take their personal practice to a higher level.
What's required for graduation?
Graduation requirements differ for each program and are detailed in the handbook associated with that program.
What if I can't attend all the sessions?
The policy handbooks for each program spell out attendance requirements. We offer twice-yearly make-up sessions for students who are forced to miss a portion of their regularly scheduled curriculum.
Can I practice at your studio during the training?
By all means. To encourage participation in asana classes at Sunrise Yoga, 200-hour teacher training students receive either a 6-class card – a $84 value – or a free month of membership – a $79 value – to support their personal yoga practice.
Is there an age restriction?
Yes. Participants must be at least 18 years of age.
Do I need to buy any props?
No. Not only does Sunrise Yoga provide all the props needed for both your yoga practice and your teacher training experience, we have invested in the installation of 12 yoga walls for both our regular students and teacher training participants to enjoy.
Do I need to buy any books?
Yes. To help you plan for your participation, the handbook for each program includes estimated book costs – $70 for the Enrichment Program, $100 for the 200-hour program, and $200 for the 300-hour program.
How large are your training classes?
We intentionally keep our class size small so that students can receive an abundance of personal attention during their participation. Because we are a Yoga Alliance certified provider of continuing education for RYTs (registered yoga teacher), guest students may also be in attendance on occasion.
What is Yoga Alliance?
Yoga Alliance® is the largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community in the U.S. Their mission is to promote and support the integrity and diversity of the teaching of yoga. Yoga Alliance registration is an important asset for any yoga instructor; it lets your students know that you have pursued your yoga education through a qualified provider.
Will I be qualified to teach yoga when I finish the 200 hour program?
Yes! With the successful completion of all your program requirements, you will receive a certificate of completion of your 200-hour training curriculum. Our graduates typically begin teaching in small studios and gyms. Many new teachers also decide to immediately continue their training by enrolling in the 300-hour program so they can further expand their skills as a yoga instructor.
Can I participate if I am pregnant or become pregnant?
We have had pregnant students in our programs. Whether it’s appropriate for you will depend on a number of things: how you are currently feeling, if there are any special risks involved for you, or if your physician recommends against it. Continuing an established yoga practice during pregnancy is not unusual – many women feel it is in fact beneficial. If you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant during the curriculum year, please discuss the specifics of your situation with the program director.
Can I participate if I have a medical issue or injury?
Absolutely! Alignment-based yoga has a place for every body! In fact, yoga is often used to manage some of the physical challenges that accompany illness or injury. Please consult with your physician and share the specifics of your situation and your concerns with Valerie during the interview process so she can offer you reassurance and guidance about how that might affect your asana practice during teacher training.
What is your refund policy?
The policy handbook for each of our programs provides details about the refund policy, as well as the terms for completing the program at a later date.
Can I take your 300 hour training if I completed my 200 hour training at another school?
Absolutely! If you have successfully completed a 200-hour teacher-training program at any Yoga Alliance accredited school, you can continue your studies at Sunrise Yoga.
What if I miss a weekend or part of a weekend?
Yoga Alliance requires you to complete all classroom hours for the 200 and 300-hour certification programs. We understand, however, that illnesses, family emergencies and other circumstances beyond your control may force you to miss hours. Sunrise Yoga offers twice-yearly opportunities to make up hours missed. Students also have the option to complete missed hours when the same weekend session is offered again next year, or the year after.
How much time should I expect to spend on homework assignments?
Homework assignments are important – they are designed to support the material covered in class and help you integrate what is presented into your own practice and teaching. Students should plan to devote 2-3 hours per week (not per weekend session) on homework assignments that will include reading and preparing for discussion of select yoga books, as well as preparing practice teaching sequences.
If I am certified at the 200 hour level why do I need the 300 hour program?
The yoga learning experience never comes to an end and most instructors find great value in continuing their own studies so that you can teach with an ever-increasing level of authority and knowledge.
How long is the certification valid? When does it expire?
Yoga Alliance certification requires that you keep your credentials current through continuing education courses, which are also available at Sunrise Yoga. Visit the Yoga Alliance website for the continuing education requirements for your level of certification.