Deciding to do yoga teacher training is a monumental step in a yogi’s practice. Something inside you is calling you towards training. The appeal of knowing more behind the history and the postures seems exciting. Or maybe you just want to be able to teach yoga.
One day in quarantine I randomly felt called to do yoga teacher training. Before March 2020, I had been practicing consistently twice a week for 4-5 months and stopping didn’t seem to bother me. But after a few months of not practicing, I decided yoga was where my heart was. Now originally I wanted to go to Bali, but Covid had other plans and it didn’t seem like that was going to happen anytime soon. By January 2021, I got an email about teacher training from my studio and I decided to go for it.
I had read tons of blog posts over the months leading up to training, viewed various programs and what they offered, and even some posts of how amazing training was and how it changed their life. Which was dandy of course but what I didn’t get was the intensity of it all.
Things to consider:
✩ Lots of yoga
This may seem a tad bit obvious. But I honestly wasn’t prepared. For my training, we had to complete a total of 55 classes (that didn’t include practice classes during training sessions to prepare to teach). Now 55 didn’t seem like a lot but 55 classes in 12 weeks really put some strain on my body. My specific program allows you to finish requirements up to one year after enrolling, but if you wanted to get it done within the 12 weeks, you had to be practicing yoga once or twice a day. And let me tell you… back to back classes are definitely exhausting.
The best part of so much yoga in such a little time was how deep my practice got. It became natural to flow where my body wanted, take what I needed and I really became aware of where my body was in space. I would honestly recommend teacher training just for this benefit.
✩ Amount of information
There’s way more information and details behind just practicing yoga. Which I understood going into training, but the 8 Limb yogic path, chakras, mythology, adjustments and more all adds up. To be quite honest with you, if the final exam wasn’t open book, I would have failed. Thankfully, training wasn’t about remembering everything you learned all at once, it was about how best to share the practice with your students.
All the details about chakras, 8 limb path, mythology does become easier to remember the more you learn about it. Just because I have completed training doesn’t mean I stopped learning. I’m taking classes to see what other instructors have to share, googling topics that interest me, and reading different books.
✩ Some of it will be ~boring~
Oh dare I say it. But let me tell you, the mythology was not my favorite part. Didn’t want to listen, did not want to remember it. The chakras though, I loved every second of it. Some parts of training, you’re going to find more exciting and retaining that information is going to seem natural. Other parts like memorizing Sanskrit… not so much.
I would say when you get to a topic that might not be as intriguing, ask the questions you have. I have realized my least favorite parts were the portions held online so that was probably a huge factor in my interest levels. Looking back I could have asked questions about the topic I had to get myself more engaged and that probably would have helped. Just listening and thinking “this is boring” was not going to steer the topic in a direction I wanted to know more about. But hindsight is 20/20.
✩ Time commitment x 10
Again, V obvious but I fortunately wasn’t working during my training so I could work on my homework assignments, practice and take classes at the most random time of day. But during the 12 weeks, there were a lot of times that I had to say no to friends and say “sorry, I have to go to yoga.” Taking classes became a priority. Before you enroll be ready for that level of commitment. I did plan out my week ahead of time and even created a rough outline of the months ahead at the start of training. Breaking it down by about how many classes I would have to do that month to stay on schedule. This really helped when I skipped a class or needed an unexpected rest day because I could see where I would have to add that class on. It also helped me see where I could skip a class to get lunch with friends rather than take a class. All about yoga/life balance. This planning ahead will be upmost important if you are working full time.
Those are some important things to consider when picking a program or deciding if it’s the right season for you to enroll in yoga teacher training. *hint: if you’re called to do it… it is*
But I don’t want teacher training to seem scary or have those details hinder you from going forward with it. So like all other yogi’s on the interweb telling you why training is amazing, I’m going to share my favorite parts about it too.
Why you should do YTT:
✩ Meet like minded people
I made friends!! I became even more immersed into the yogi community and love every second. I found a support system and people who continue to lift me up. I take my leader’s classes as often as I can because seeing them simply make my day brighter. I still keep in touch with a girl from my training and I would have never met her if it wasn’t for it.
✩ Appreciation grows
I loved yoga before teacher training but now after? I really love it. It’s a part of me I never want to lose. I got to discover all about the history of yoga and appreciate where it started but also learned why I get that mental relief in my 60 minute practice. Instead of it being a form of exercise that I do multiple times a week, I get to appreciate the culture and history of it all and that makes practice 100x more special.
✩ Your practice grows
It’s not about getting into the splits or being able to do a handstand, but practicing so often definitely improved my flexibility and strength. I walked away from training feeling bendy and strong. This is rather obvious but the more you practice the deeper it gets.
Basically, bottom line, do the teacher training. If the desire was put on your heart, I can promise you, you wont regret it.
Yoga teacher training was sunshine for the soul for me; maybe it will be for you too.
✩ How to Start a Yoga Practice : Know a new yogi? Give it a read to pass along the tips!
✩ Comfortable vs. Fear: A Wake up call to stop doubting yourself and align with your true self
✩ Affirmations List: Incorporate Affirmations into your life too see the changes you want happen.Free PDF List of my 50 Favorites included 🙂