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200 HR & 500 HR

This is not a shameless plug for Purple Lotus Yoga’s programs. It’s a FAQ I receive from clients.

When the Yoga Alliance (YA) was formed, they created a minimum set of standards for yoga teachers. They believed that a teacher with 200 hours of training in specific areas of yoga was qualified to adequately & safely teach others.

After a few years, and observing the growing popularity of yoga, the YA decided they needed to create a higher designation, and so the 500-hour was born.

“Is this another 500-hours on top of my 200-hour?”

Nope, it’s really more like an upgrade.

If you already have your 200-hour certificate then you’d complete a 300-hour approved teacher training program which would enable you to to upgrade to the 500-hour CYT/RYT designation. Some studios offer a 500-hours in a single program & I’m often asked why more places don’t offer one.

It’s really a matter of practicality.

Let me use Purple Lotus Yoga as an example. When I first sought YA approval, the only standard available was the 200-hour. Only after I’d been providing teacher training for several years did the 500-hour standards become available. Therefore it was more practical for me to do two separate programs.

Additionally, it’s more practical for teachers to get their 200-hour. This certification is more than adequate to help teachers find gigs & not every teacher wants to commit time, money and energy into a long, arduous 500-hour single program.


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Shannon with Purple Lotus Yoga
Hi! I'm Shannon

For 20 years, I’ve helped women of all ages and sizes to realize their dreams of becoming inspiring yoga teachers. 

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