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.
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.
When not teaching yoga, Lauren can be found, snowboarding, beachbuming, surfing, hiking or snuggling her dog.
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