Even if you’re NOT from Canada, you can still enjoy this practice! It’s fun, a little silly, heating and meant to put a smile on your face. Have you ever done a class called “The Great Canadian Yoga Practice” before? We didn’t think so.
The Great Canadian Yoga Practice
Yoga for Canadians
It doesn’t have to be all serious, all the time! With Canadian Thanksgiving coming up, I thought it would be fun to do a “Canadian theme” yoga practice. Take off your cabin socks, roll out your mat and get ready because this is a super fun, heating yoga practice for all the Canadians out there (and friends of Canadians)
Even if you’re NOT from Canada, you can still enjoy this practice! It’s fun, a little silly, heating and meant to put a smile on your face. Have you ever done a class called “The Great Canadian Yoga Practice” before? We didn’t think so.
We deliver quality yoga education from a heartfelt place
Our goal is to change the way yogis are educated. We aim to lead by example and deliver quality yoga education from a heartfelt place. We believe in spending time in nature in order to feel enriched from the soul outward. We share everything we know with our students and offer the best tools we have to enrich their lives. We help our students discover their passions, live authentically and become the happiest they have ever been. For us, yoga is not just an exercise, a philosophy or a fashion choice. It is our lifestyle.
This is our home base location. Join us in at our private 100 acre retreat center overlooking the ocean at playa maderas. this 200hr Yoga-Alliance Registered Teacher Training is the perfect setting for a yoga training in paradise!
Join us on the spectacular Greek island of Amorgos.The same teachers and same curriculum as our famous 200hr ytt in Nicaragua, only Greekier this 200hr Yoga-Alliance Registered Teacher Training is the perfect foundation for becoming a professional yoga teacher.
THIS 60HR PROGRAM IS A COMPLETE TRAINING ON ITS OWN. IT IS ALSO ONE OF THE ELECTIVE MODULES THAT MAKES UP OUR ADVANCED 300HR YOGA TEACHING CERTIFICATION. AFTER COMPLETING THIS TRAINING YOU WILL BE A CERTIFIED YIN YOGA TEACHER AND COMPLETE PART OF YOUR 300HR YTT.
Join Nicholas Coolridge aka Modern Tarzan for our most playful training! Get Acro Yoga certified! This course is also a module of our ADVANCED 300HR YOGA TEACHING CERTIFICATION. AFTER COMPLETING THIS TRAINING YOU WILL BE A CERTIFIED Acro YOGA TEACHER AND COMPLETE PART OF YOUR 300HR YTT.
Warrior 2: A totally iconic yoga posture! We want you to know how to align yourself properly so you practice safely.
Warrior 2 is a great pose for building strength and confidence. It is heating, energizing and grounding. In the video below, Yoga Academy International founder Lauren Rudick takes you step by step through warrior 2 pose.
Warrior 2 strengthens the legs, is therapeutic for sciatica and flat fee. It tones the arms and helps build focus. It helps open the hips and build flexibility in the groins and adductors.
Be careful in this pose if you have ankle, knee, hip or groin injuries. Remember, always consult with a doctor before taking on a new exercise regimen.
We want to invite you to practice with us from the comfort of your home.
FULL ACCESS to our online studio for only $98 for the entire year.
We have classes in English, French and Norwegian and have just added almost a dozen new practices.
Hundreds of practices available – unlimited yoga for all levels – beginners to super advanced – continuing education for yoga teachers
Whether you are brand new to yoga, super advanced or on your yoga teaching journey, we have practices and classes for you. Our online instructors have been handpicked for their teaching style, commitment to practice and specialty in their individual yoga discipline. We have classes ranging from 2 – 90 minutes waiting for you!
Membership is just $98 per year!
Train with us in person...
in playa maderas
Taking place on the spectacular cliffs of Maderas Beach, this 200hr Yoga-Alliance Registered Teacher Training is the perfect foundation for becoming a professional yoga teacher.
THIS is an amazing course with KPJAY Authorized level 2 teacher Tina Bock! Tina has spent years studying in Mysore, India under Sharath Jois and takes a very traditional but fun approach to Ashtanga Yoga. This program is an ELECTIVE MODULES THAT MAKES UP OUR ADVANCED 300HR YOGA TEACHING CERTIFICATION.
WONDERING WHETHER A YOGA TEACHER TRAINING IS THE RIGHT MOVE FOR YOU?
HERE ARE 6 SIGNS THAT NOW IS THE TIME TO DO YOUR YTT!
7 signs you're ready for a YTT
Wondering whether a yoga teacher training is the right move for you?
Here are 7 signs that NOW is the time to do your YTT!
1. YOGI GEEK
During downward dog you find yourself saying, “are my palms pressed into the mat? Shoulders back? Fingers spread wide? Basically, you can’t stop thinking about the intricacies of each pose the effect of making small adjustments excites you. At YTT, you will learn about the physiology of asana. You’ll get to know alignment and anatomy and you couldn’t be more pumped.
You are ready to expand your yoga community. You can’t wait to be surrounded by like-minded people in a trusted circle. You want to meet others who share your yoga joy and who want to partake in a huge experience. Added benefit of an international YTT — new friends from all over the world! <3
3. spread the love
The way yoga has influenced your life is undeniably amazing and you want to spread the love. Maybe you dream of being an international yoga teacher, headlining at major festivals. Maybe the idea of teaching big classes isn’t your thing, but you want to help others. You could teach family members and friends simple poses to help an injury or relieve some stress.
4. More Savasana
One month. 2 savasanas at minimum per day. Um duh. Why not?! Talk about bliss. At yoga teacher training you will savasana- a lot. Learning how to relax the body and mind isn’t easy. BUT after a month of multiple savasanas a day, there’s no doubt you can teach your body and mind to be wonderfully calm!
5. know yourself better
Know thyself- socrates said that. Yoga says swadyaya (self study) we say, give yourself the opportunity to get away for one month. Spend time with yourself meditating on the beach. Have the opportunity to look objectively at your life. Personal self-reflection is a big part of YTT. You will learn so much!
6. massive expansion
So you’ve been practicing for a few years. You have a really good grip on most poses. Now though, you are ready to expand beyond your mat. You want to learn more about yogi lifestyle. How can you bring more compassion in to your life? How can you open your heart? How can this help off the mat?
7. new adventure
You are ready for a leap in to the unknown! You are ready to take a new adventure! You want to travel but maybe are afraid to go alone. You want to try something totally different because NOW is the time to start living a life of passion.
We know that if it is your time to do your yoga teacher training, you might have no reasons or you might have a zillion of them. When you know you know. If you are reading this, you are probably already feeling the calling that it is time to get up, get out and make a big change in your life. You’re buzzing with that excitement of readiness, you’ve started the google searches and you are already on your way!!
This 60hr program is a complete and wholistic training on its own. It is also one of the elective modules that makes up our advanced 500hr yoga teaching certification. After completing this training you will be a certified Chakra-Vinyasa yoga teacher and complete part of your 500hr YTT.
We recently moved to a new YTT space in Nicaragua. Why? We wanted more space. We wanted a safer place. We wanted more private beaches, more epic sunsets and most of all, we wanted to make a bigger impact on the local community.
At our new retreat center, we are able to do just that! Nicaragua is a stunning and peaceful country in the heart of Central America. The people are warm and friendly and the beaches are pristine. The moment we arrived at Playa Maderas we knew we had found it.
Our YTTs continue to fill up quickly! Our team is stronger than ever and the education continues to lead the way in the yoga world. Put simply, Yoga Academy International is rising to a new standard of education in yoga and we could not be prouder.
Check out these video highlights from our latest training. Then scroll down for photos of our new yoga teacher training spot, the food our amazing chef’s prepare and some of what we get up to at our amazing yoga teacher trainings!
Each time you step into a new studio or room, roll out your mat and place your props at the front as an guide for students to take and use during class, there’s this little feeling, this unspoken energy that you’re not quite sure what to make of just yet. The practice of yoga, as we’ve come to know it in its modern form, is full of nuances and subtleties based on a plethora of factors; teachers, locations, clientele demographics, space, so on and so forth. And many of us as teachers are more than used to hopping between teaching spaces, working to continuously adapt our methods to the individuals in the room in each new location.
The stories I’ve heard from teachers who’ve come and gone from different studios, gyms, and private spaces, range from hilarious to horrendous. Each time that we as teachers step into our role in an unfamiliar space, we are faced with new challenges that spin their way into opportunities, enabling us to grow our own practice as both teachers, and students. New obstacles force us to redefine our “standard” method, and get creative in how we reach out and communicate with those in the room.
This past month I was fortunate enough to teach with Arles Yoga, as a part of their “Professeurs en Residence” (PiR) program; a unique approach to running a studio that counters the current trend we see in major North American “yoga hubs,” where studios tend to selectively hire teachers churned out by their own teacher training courses. Each month, a new prof de yoga comes into Arles Yoga’s space, and teaches 10-12 classes per week, in a variety of styles ranging from a Slow Flow, to a vigorous Yoga Dynamique, and accompanied by Pilates or other speciality classes. Oh yeah, and for those of you unfamiliar with the geography of France, Arles is situated in Provence – translating to blue skies for 30 straight days, temperatures that enable you to never wear more than a light tank and shorts, and scenic views of the Rhones and Roman architecture. Rough life, I know. However, if you haven’t already deduced, there is one key factor I’ve omitted – classes were taught in French.
When I committed to taking the PiR post for the month of July, I was well aware of the fact that the months leading up to my arrival in Arles would be filled with numerous podcasts, instructional videos on yoga and Pilates in French, and some practice lessons with willing friends. And although I prepared to the best of my ability, pre-planned sequences to no end, and essentially committed to memory every one of the Transfert podcast episodes, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of jumping into teaching 11 classes a week in a language that you are far less familiar with than every single one of the people in the room in front of you, that makes you question whether or not the decision you made was well-thought out.
Let’s work through this little journey in a more digestible format, for those of you with limited time, or those of you that may actually be thinking of embarking on a similar path in the not-so-distant future.
Week 1 – The Over-Prep
I’ll preface this section by saying that in the week leading up to my first class in Arles, I pre-planned three full classes, which I RARELY (if ever) do. Although I tend to sequence my classes with a common theme or apex pose, anatomical focus or intention, I rarely pre-plan to the extent of essentially scripting out my sequences. I’m a big fan of instantaneous adaptation, and letting the room guide the class.
During my first week, I woke up early each morning to practice through each sequence, formulate what I wanted to verbalize as instructions, and create options for modifications that I anticipated being necessary based on common physical limitations. I tend to give a significant amount of verbal instructions during classes, and this quickly presented itself as a bit of a challenge, as I struggled to quickly translate what I would normally say in English, into French that made sense and wasn’t a series of strung together nonsense that made my non-Francophone background glaringly apparent.
In addition to the French factor, I was also adjusting to the process of teaching in a new space, to a group of people that I had no previous experience or interactions with. Layer in the significant differences that exist between North American and French yoga culture and expectations, and I had myself a fairly large set of extenuating circumstances cultivating my current environment.
The result? I felt out of place, I questioned my teaching capabilities and methods, and I was anxious before and after each class, worried that I wasn’t providing what was expected, or that I simply wasn’t good enough. This discomfort, though, pushed me to prepare for each class, study and learn during my off-hours, in an effort to ensure that I was the best teacher I could be.
Week 2 – The (Almost) Settling
As you’ve probably guessed, it does get better. If it didn’t it’s unlikely I would be writing this blog post, or at least, it would be released at a much later date when I could look back on the experience as a whole without wincing.
The prep started to become less and less – it was during week 2 that I stopped pre-planning every class, and reverted to my trusty old improv style. Although my level of comfort with the language did play a notable role in this progression towards settling in, the true determining factor was the familiarity with the Arles yoga community. For me, one of the most satisfying aspects of having yoga so engrained in my life is the connections built within the yoga community. I love seeing familiar faces come back to class, progress, and get excited as they see changes happening in their practice. Week 2 allowed me to start integrating myself into the fantastic, accepting community that owners Julia Mitton and Paul Biehn have built at Arles Yoga, and realize that there was no expectation
Week 3 – The Seeking of Growth
During week 3, although I said goodbye to a few yogis who were finishing up their vacations in Arles, I became well-acquainted with the repeat offenders who were showing up to practice multiple times a week, ready for new challenges and curious both during and after class, voicing their inquisitions and seeking answers. This inert desire to know more, to explore and redefine what limitations exist, is a part of human nature that’s really awesome to unearth, yet often lies dormant until stirred or poked.
Suffice to say, during this halfway mark, I started to feel really at home at Arles Yoga. I introduced some more daring variations and apex postures in classes, and let myself adapt and adjust in the same way that I would have during classes back in Toronto.
There was something else that happened during week 3 that has only really become evident as I look back on the experience as a whole – the more I let myself experiment with the language, the less concerned I was with making small mistakes. The initial fear of coming off as very Anglophone, or making verb tense errors when jumping between French and English, started to dissipate. I let myself make little verbal missteps, all the while knowing that the group of yogis in class could care less, and were accepting of the language slips, because in the grand scheme of things, they really didn’t matter. This was a lesson in self-acceptance that runs much deeper than a simple language barrier, and one that I will continue to integrate and acknowledge as I evolve my teaching practice, in addition to internal personal growth.
Week 4 – The Phase of Comfortability
As I wrapped up my residency in Arles, I started to feel (wait for it), a little ache of sadness. I’m generally a fan of the Irish goodbye – rarely will I dwell on the process involved in leaving or moving on. With each class that took place during week 4, the return of familiar practitioners, and the impending event of my final Friday class approaching, I was able to reflect on the experience with an increasingly holistic perspective.
The past month pushed me, made me uncomfortable, forced me to change and experiment with my teaching style, and ultimately allowed me to grow in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I’ve broken down the process in four stages here, but each day was truly its own challenge and voyage. Closing out the week with a final class filled with energy, enthusiasm, hugs, and some “coucous” was incredibly satisfying, and made the pre-work, podcasts and all, so very worth it.
The Lessons Learned
Get acquainted with imperfection
Looking back on some of my (many) verbal missteps that took place during classes, I wince a little with initial embarrassment, but then laugh and appreciate the growth that took place between weeks 1 and 4. We are always going to have classes that don’t feel quite right, that we replay and question, “why did I say that,” or “why did I feel the need to add that movement or posture in when it didn’t make sense.” These are the learning experiences we undergo as we grow and become more comfortable as teachers, and also as students. Mistakes lay the foundation for our continued development; observe them with grace, and reflect on them diligently to avoid repetition.
It’s okay to reverse roles
When teaching in French, as an Anglophone, to a room of native French speakers (with the most melodious French accents, I must note), you’ve got to expect to be corrected. And instead of take offense, or feel insecure, I chuckled and took mental notes (and then transferred these to paper), as a part of the continuous learning process. Never again will I think that wordreference.com is an adequate resource for anatomical translations – because no, tendon de jaret does not translate to hamstring (oouf).
Observe the opportunity in everything
As a proponent of the “free-to-be” sequencing style, I learned a lot by forcing myself to pre-plan and be more structured in how I structured classes during the initial classes at Arles Yoga. Although I may not retain this teaching style as I move forward, it was an excellent opportunity for me to redefine and learn to teach in a new way. Additionally, as someone who tends to pepper class with verbal micro-adjustments and modifications, having limited abilities to express myself forced me to be more comfortable with silence, and to learn how to say more with less. There’s a shiny side to every coin, right?
You are enough
Taken straight from an uninspired Instragram post. But for real, this was probably the most relevant lesson I learned. Every teacher is so inherently different, in method, style, diction, tone of voice, sequencing, influences, and the list goes on. We are inclined to compare ourselves and constantly pick out the areas where we either outshine or fall behind those considered to be our peers. Be content knowing that regardless of a practitioner’s past experiences with other teachers, your style and individual flare provides them with something new and unique, and shouldn’t be graded based on the characteristics of other teachers.
So if you’ve managed to dig your way through this, or perhaps just skimmed, you may now be contemplating this proverbial jumping off point. It may not be directly related to yoga or even a career move, but could encapsulate making even a minor change in your day to day that forces you a little outside of the status quo. Although the process may seem arduous, the ultimate end result will be worth the initial discomfort – I promise.
Growing up with a background in competitive figure skating, Cass’ journey with yoga began at a young age. What started as a way of maintaining flexibility and mobility has since shifted to focus on building strength, by combining elements of functional movement into her practice and sequencing, helping to explore the different ways in which each individual’s body moves and changes shape. Since completing Octopus Garden’s 200 hour teacher training, and Rishikesh Yog Peeth’s 300 hour advanced teacher training program, Cass has pursued Barre and Pilates certifications through Stott Pilates, along with Essentrics movement training. The most important thing she’s discovered along the way is that you’re always a student – be curious, always question, carefully analyze, and continuously seek new avenues towards unexpected answers. ‘Yoga is the journey from cosmetic to cosmic beauty.’
Standing Bow Pose: How to up your (Hunger) game! May this posture be ever in your favor….
You’ve seen it. It’s the quintessential yoga pose. On every mountaintop, beach, and natural wonder of the world, someone has now done a #stopdropyoga and you can bet your bottom dollar that this is one of the most popular choices in the modern yogi’s repertoire. And who can blame them? From beginner yogi to decorated veteran yogi, nobody can deny the beauty and grace exuded in a posture that creates the shape of a bow and arrow -equal parts strength and grace. But how useful is a bow and arrow that isn’t aimed straight or even one that isn’t pulled tight? Don’t know what i’m talking about then ask Katniss Everdeen (from the blockbuster movie The Hunger Games). It wasn’t her beauty or grace that helped her survive the Hunger Games, but rather her bulldog determination to precision, accuracy, and focus, that gave her the upper hand in the biggest fight for her life. Now that sounds pretty dramatic, but this posture was meant to exemplify the intense focus of this primitive sport. And, and as beautiful as this posture may be, if you practice humility and honesty in your daily practice this posture tends to serve up a large helping of “humble pie”. If you go beyond the impressive shape of this posture, it not only takes dedication to alignment but also learning which intricate muscles to relax and which to contract to hit the bullseye of the mental and physical benefits.
The secrets to this posture are found in this precision based sport, so let’s go there for our cues. I will explain this posture on the right side for sanity’s sake so that I can explain using “right” and “left” cues, but this posture can obviously be done on both sides.
Stance and set up: Stand up straight. Keeping the right elbow touching your waist and bend your arm 90 degrees keeping your palm facing up. Keeping the knees together begin to bend your right knee drawing your heel toward your Gluteus muscle. Still keeping the knees together, reach and grab for the right ankle at the inside of the ankle (right where the knobby bone of the ankle protrudes). Extend the left hand up drawing the left Bicep by the left ear. Left palm should be facing forward. Begin to inhale, and you reach your left hand higher as if you are going to touch the ceiling, shoulder coming out of the body. The whole body should feel extended and pulled tight.
Grip: Keep all 5 fingers of the right hand together (including the thumb). Grip should be strong but no break in the wrist. Although the grip is tight (white knuckled), make sure that as you begin to kick back that you do not begin to pull with the strength of the right arm, the bow is drawn with the kick.
Place the arrow on the bow: In this posture, the arrow is formed with the two arms. The bow is formed with the kicking leg. Thus, it is important that the force comes with the kick (kicking is hard and continuous). As you begin to kick back and away from the body, you form the bow and you are also placing the arrow on the bow simultaneously. As you begin to kick back, the arms begin to be pulled into one line, from the left fingertips all the way to the right hand grip. You are working on getting the arms in one line so the shoulders will also be pulled in to one line through the force of the kick. Eventually, the chin will be touching the left shoulder because you have never changed the position of the head but because the shoulders are pulled in one line (from the reaching and kicking actions), then the left shoulder will keep moving to align with the chin (the midline of the body) -not the other way around. In other words, you are reaching so much with the left fingertips that the left shoulder eventually meets the chin, not the chin reaching for the shoulder.
Finger position: Just as all 5 fingers of the right hand are together and touching, same goes for the fingers of the left hand. They are together and the palm is facing forward and rotates down as the body comes down. Also, when looking in the mirror in front of you, the fingertips of the left hand should appear as if they are touching the iris of the left eye; the hand position is much higher than many realize. This helps you keep as arch in the spine and initiates the backbend.
Draw: As I mentioned earlier, the kick is continuous. You need to draw a bow tight in order to shoot an arrow, right? Imagine what would happen if you released the tension in a bow and arrow and then tried to shoot an arrow… the arrow would flop to the ground no matter how good you may be. Same goes for this posture. Keep kicking! Only when you feel that your kick is maximized and you can’t kick any harder, do you even think about rotating the body at all. I often see people begin to let the belly rotate down when there is still some slack in the bow and this is a recipe for misalignment and a wobbly bow and arrow.
Aim: In this posture, everything will eventually line up in one straight line in the front mirror. Look at the picture (below). You will see two feet in one line. Not only that, but you will also, see my chin, left fingertips, gaze, everything in one line as if I am standing between two panes of glass. The only thing that should not be in one line from the front are the hips. The hips should be square to the ground, so there also needs to be a continuous effort to pull the right hip down. This creates a twist in the spine. See how everything is in one line in the picture, below? Except, my hips look like the are next to each other on either side of my body? That is the correct alignment. I often see people opening their right hip to achieve an kick that appears higher, but are really just trading alignment for pseudo-depth. As you rotate your body down, you should rotate as if you are on an axis and there should be no side to side motion. Keep coming down until the belly button is facing the ground (while never letting up on the kick). Hold steady, breathe normally, and keep your eyes focused on your left fingertips touching your left eye in the mirror.
Release: When you are ready to come out, use your inhale to lift yourself back up the same axis from which you rotated down -reversing out the exact same way you came down. Never let your left fingertips come away from touching your left eye win the front mirror. End in the same position you began your set up.
So, go ahead now. Channel your inner Katness, and may this pose be ever in your favor!
Paloma is an avid yoga enthusiast, practitioner, and teacher in Louisville, Kentucky. She created Her Bendy Life as a way to expand on her passion for all things yoga. She has found that yoga is a very personal journey and she wanted a create a space to share some of the experiences, tips, and tricks from her dedication to her ever evolving practice. She received a 200-RYT certified from Cindy Lunsford in Hot Vinyasa Yoga and also traveled to Cabo San Lucas to train with Tony Sanchez in the Ghosh Lineage. Paloma took her practice to new heights in 2016 when she placed 1st in the Yoga Federation’s Regional Competition in Chicago Illinois and 9th in the 2016 National Yoga Championship.
Paloma’s teaching emphasizes using the planes of the body to achieve proper alignment, allowing students to achieve the full therapeutic benefits of yoga. She believes in adapting postures to each students ability (whether beginner or advanced) while maintaining physical alignment. Paloma believes that yoga should never be dogmatic and that students should only go as far into a posture as what is comfortable for them. She helps students find modifications that help them safely progress. Paloma lives with her husband George, her Labrador Retriever Belle, and her Pug Piper.
10 things you need to know about yoga teacher training
Have you been practicing yoga for a while and want to take it to the next level? Doing a yoga teacher training is an amazing way to deepen your own practice, learn new things about yourself and gain the practical skills to teach yoga to others.
If you’re not sure what to expect, let me share 10 things with you that are worth taking into account before embarking on your first course.
1. You don’t have to be “perfect” at yoga
Before signing up for my own yoga teacher training, there was a voice in my head saying: “You might not be good and flexible enough to do a yoga teacher training, let alone teach yoga to others.” I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that voice and proved it wrong! You don’t have to be the most advanced yogi in order to do a course. In fact, asana is only ONE part of yoga teacher training. Learning more about the roots of yoga, meditating, chanting and personal development are huge factors as well. If you’re a bit insecure, let me assure you that you will walk out of your training with a new sense of what your body and mind are capable of – and a big boost in confidence.
2. You will make lifelong friends
Practicing, studying, eating, talking, laughing and crying with a group of likeminded people leads to a deep way of connecting with them. There will be a few special souls you will form real friendships with that will last long after your course has come to an end. It’s not easy to part ways after such an intense time, but luckily distance doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch and see each other again.
3. You will have to sit – a lot
I’m going to be honest – you will sit much more than you practice asana. Yes, friends. You will meditate for long hours. Chant mantras. Listen to your teachers and take notes. Learn about the history and philosophy of yoga. Read. Write. It’s all part of the process.
4. Your intention of doing a yoga teacher training might change over time
Maybe you’re doing the training purely for yourself. In order to deepen your practice, develop a spiritual connection, learn more about your body and mind. And that’s completely fine and amazing! But who knows – you might develop a love for teaching others during the course (it happens to a lot of students!). The opposite might happen as well: Maybe you’re sure that you want teach after your teacher training and suddenly that idea isn’t as appealing anymore. Just be open for changes. Go with the flow – no pun intended.
5. You will be in pain
Be prepared to be sore. Sitting on the floor for long periods of time and practicing for several hours every day fatigues your muscles. I actually felt like I was getting stiffer each day. But what helped me was getting massages on the weekends, drinking lots of water and just accepting it – knowing that it is part of an intensive course and only makes your body and mind more resilient.
6. You will learn a lot about yourself
One of the best parts about yoga teacher training for me personally was that I got to learn so much more about myself. I thought I already did, but teacher training showed me even more facets about my mind and body. Committing to a yoga teacher training means you’re also committing to doing the work. And by work I not only mean studying and learning about yoga and teaching others, but also doing the work within yourself. You will learn about your limiting beliefs and what’s holding you back. About how to overcome those beliefs and gain more confidence in certain areas. You will learn more about your body and your weak and strong spots. About the tendencies of your mind, especially during meditation. And most importantly: You’ll learn that you’re capable of much more than you thought you were.
7. You will be very emotional
There will be a lot of crying during teacher training. And that’s completely normal. Tiredness, discomfort, new insights about yourself (negative or positive) and overwhelm can lead to unexpected emotions. One day you’re flying high, the next day you want to quit. But remember, you are on a journey of growth and in-depth studying. So don’t be too hard on yourself and see it as a part of it all. Which brings me to the next point…
8. You will have to take good care of yourself
In order to enjoy your yoga teacher training and stay strong and healthy despite physical discomfort, information overload and lots of emotions, make sure you’re taking good care of yourself. For me, that meant relaxing on the weekends, spending time with my loved ones, not talking about yoga, getting a spa treatment, having early nights and lots of sleep and nourishing my body with nutritious food.
9. You will have to confront different personalities
As much as we want to get along with everyone – especially as yogis and in a group of likeminded individuals – it’s very important to remember that our personalities are still very different. Everyone comes with their own baggage and sometimes other people’s egos can be hard to deal with – especially when we spend long hours with the same group of people. However, this can also be great opportunity for us to practice tolerance and to dig deeper: Oftentimes, having difficulties with someone means that a person triggered something in us. By taking an honest look at ourselves, finding out what it is that we are dealing with and beginning to work on it, we can then show up as better versions of ourselves.
10. You will have to let go of expectations
Despite sharing a few things that I find important to know before embarking on your teacher training, you can’t really prepare for what lies ahead. Every journey is unique and no one can tell you what will happen or how you will feel. The most important advice I can give you is to let go of expectations, be open for everything and fully committed. And I promise you, your yoga teacher training will be an amazing and life changing experience.
Now it’s over to you: Are you thinking of doing a teacher training and do you have any questions? If you have gone through training, what would you like others to know before they start?
Miriam is a Holistic Yoga and Kids Yoga teacher whose mission is to help people find optimal health and balance through personalised yoga, Ayurveda and health coaching. She offers online and private classes as well as Yoga and Life Coaching Retreats with her partner. Miriam is originally from Germany and currently lives between Bali, Morocco and Germany.
I am not flexible and I teach yoga. I used to feel like a complete sham, being a yoga teacher and not able to express full hanumanasana (the splits) …
Over time and with a lot of forgiveness, I have allowed this to become a strength rather than a hindrance. Due to an inability to demonstrate some poses in their fullest, I had been forced to improve my understanding of anatomy, my communication skills,
and my explanations of postures. Comprehensible and down-to-earth analogies were needed in order to safely guide students in an out of complicated asana.
I had to let go of a tremendous amount of ego watching my students advance and surpass me in their bendtacular physical abilities. Rather than envy or jealousy, I was filled with enormous amounts of gratitude. It’s a truly humbling experience to watch your students surpass you. I felt privileged to be their teacher.
When my stiff body does manage a touch of suppleness, it becomes a fantastic victory. Years ago, while teaching gomukasana (cow face yoga pose), I was demonstrating how to position the arms when suddenly my fingertips grazed each other for the first time ever.
I almost stopped the class to shout, “Hey everybody! My fingernails just momentarily brushed each other!! Wooo hoo!! Did anyone see that!?!? I am usually not a flexible yoga teacher”
Which would have been both inappropriate and ridiculous in a room full of clasped hands behind backs.
But there’s something more here: When tickling fingertips together draws such awareness and excitement, suddenly little things in life offer us so much encouragement.
This small victory made me feel like I could accomplish anything! The intense sensation of joy and triumph in that moment gave me so much empowerment.
Once I had let go of the goal-oriented nature of my practice and the negativity I had let myself experience for being Inflexible, my personal asana practice flourished.
Today my yoga practice is about joy. It is about love. It is so much less about the asana. When I step on my mat, I close my eyes and I move my soul with breath and posture. I let my heart pour out on the rubber floor. Whatever I am feeling I just let it be.
I have become so much more compassionate and forgiving of myself on the mat that it has permeated other areas of my life too-less judgment, more being okay with others as they are. By allowing expression and removing rigidity from my personal yoga practice, my body has opened up as well.
Today, not only can I do the splits, but lotus, arm balances, fallen angel, full dancer, have all become part of my regular practice. Oh, and gomukasana too! I can totally grab my hands and even reverse prayer these days! I never in my life thought I would be able to express these asana!
For anyone who is not a flexible yoga teacher or student, step on your mat. Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Ask yourself, “what is possible?” You might be surprised with the results, I know I was!
Lead teacher and founder of Yoga Academy International, Lauren is a globally celebrated yoga instructor. She has been teaching yoga for nearly a decade and comes from a variety of lineages and traditions. Lauren’s appetite for yoga and travel are insatiable. She continues to study with world-class instructors whenever possible, all the while leading her own yoga retreats and workshops. Lauren has solid roots in Hatha yoga with continued studies in Vinyasa flow, Anusara, Ashtanga, Restorative and Yin Yoga. She is inspired by teachers who tell stories. She has studied under Seane Corn, Chris Chavez, MC Yogi, Susan Cohen, Nancy Goodfellow and many others. Lauren is passionate about sharing yoga from an authentic and soulful point of view. She believes that yoga practice can help uncover the veils that hide us from achieving our full potential.