1) Know if the program is Certified: First, visit the following website https://www.yogaalliance.org and determine the location of the program in which you would like to enroll. Although not required, you would want to attend a Yoga Alliance certified program because most health/fitness facilities would want you to have participated in a Yoga Alliance certified program. In most cases, you will have a large number of programs to choose from.
2) Know the Reputation: Read the previous yoga participants review regarding the program listed on https://www.yogaalliance.org
3) Know the Location: Visit the program location and ask to speaker with the yoga instructor. Confirm that the program is taught in the facility in which you are visiting (make sure that the program location is in writing and in the training program contract that you sign). This is very important because some programs may change their teaching locations and you might wind up driving any extra hour to participate in a remote location.
4) Know the Instructor(s): Take at least three or four classes that the yoga instructor currently teaches (this will help you determine if you like his/her style). If you are not impressed with his/her teaching style, you will be disappointed in taking his/her training program. Also, find out all of the instructors who will be teaching the program so that you understand whether you are under the tutelage of 1 or more instructors. Ask to meet all of them.
5) Know the Customers' Perception: After you take the class, make sure you stick around and speak with some regular participants and learn the teacher's reputation. If the feedback is overall positive, then you are on the right track.
6) Know the Teaching Philosophy: Ask to review the course syllabus or curriculum and ask the potential instructor how much time will be dedicated for you to teach "mock" classes during training. There are some programs that only cover yoga philosophy and do not provide any time for you to teach classes. Ask them for their yoga teaching philosophy and ask them to contrast their philosophy to their competitors.
7) Know the Alumni: Ask for a list of previous graduates from the program so that you can reach out to them and find out what their experience has been to date and whether they have been able to secure teaching opportunities.
8) Know the non-Yoga Obligations: Ask what amount of time is based on instruction and how much volunteer or "karma" work is expected or required. There are some facilities/programs that may take advantage of their yoga teachers in training and require that they volunteer and work in the yoga studio doing administrative work or other non-yoga teaching activities. Most reputable programs do NOT required such non-yoga activities and if there is a karma project, these reputable programs let you decided which not for profit organization you would want to volunteer to work with. Make sure you have them include this in the program contract/agreement so that you are not blindsided by this requirement.
9) Know who else is participating: Ask to find out if you can speak with the list of anticipated yoga participants before you sign up so that you can determine if this is the right group of colleagues you would like to spend time with. You will spend more than the minimum 200 hours with these colleagues and hopefully become lifelong friends. It is important to get to know at least some of them in advance before you commit to the program.
10) Know the graduation/completion rate: Find out if anyone ever "fails" or are denied the program completion certificate and if so, find out why. I have a friend that spent thousands of dollars and time enrolled in a program just to have the instructor tell her at the end that "she is not the right fit for teaching yoga." She has since complained to the Yoga Alliance organization (which does not have any jurisdiction over any yoga programs) and have filed a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau (however, the yoga program has since been rebranded to another name so her claims remain outstanding).
11) Get as much as you can in writing: Most of us enter a yoga program because we are attracted by the practice of yoga and want to leave worldly paranoias and nuisances behind. However, it is just being a smart shopper to get everything you expect in writing. If the instructor or potential school is hesitate in providing this in writing, then walk away.
12) Know the refund policy: Enroll in a program that provides a refund policy so that for whatever reason within the first 1-3 classes you do not feel it is the right program for you, you are given an opportunity to back out and receive your money back. Again, most reputable program offers a refund policy (and might just charge a cancellation fee) so that you are protected if you decide it is just not the right environment or program for you.
Once you have completed the above, you will have peace of mind as you start down the exciting road of becoming a yoga teacher. If you have any additional experience/feedback you would like to share with other prospective yoga teachers, please feel free to post your comment in the comment below. Thank you!