6 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Yoga Teacher Training
It's been almost 7 years since I took my first 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training. In that time, I've completed two 200 hour RYT programs and begun my 500 hour RYT. Through all of these trainings and immersions, I've been asked what tips or suggestions I have for people who are wanting to become yoga teachers but don't know where to begin.
I'm excited to share with you 6 things I wish I knew before I started my yoga teacher training! These are things that I learned along my journey and things I would share with other perspective yoga teachers.
1. It will completely change your yoga practice
I distinctly remember going to my second Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in Costa Rica. It was the second day of the month long immersion and the instructor asked us to flow through sun salutations until she asked us to stop. So myself and 30 other people began to flow through our sun salutations. After about 10 minutes, she finally asked us to stop.
The instructor walked around the room and told each of us what things she saw us doing and some of the incorrect postures and movements she saw us practicing. This was really important 1) because we were going to soon learn how to teach yoga and certainly need to know how to safely and correctly move through each pose but also 2) she wanted us to be aware of our bad habits and some of the unsafe things we were doing.
There were many poses I thought I knew how to do well but upon further inspection, I saw they were not done with integrity. In this YTT, I learned how key alignment is and how I had been practicing without my spine or low back in mind.
Within a YTT, likely your practice will change dramatically as you learn better ways to flow AND how to keep your body safe.
2. It will completely change your life
Yes, your postures will change but what will really change is your life. You'll find life changing experiences on your mat and with the people surrounding you. A YTT is an incredible space to meet like minded people and create lifelong friendships. I am still connected with many of the people I've met along my trainings and it is such a massive blessing.
Know that you will leave the training a different person, if you allow change to happen.
3. It will be hard
This was one I had to learn on my own! While I assumed a YTT would include lots of... you know, yoga, I wasn't quite prepared for just how much physical and emotional practices we'd be doing. At the month long immersion training I did in Costa Rica, we worked up to 4 hours of physical asana a day. That's a $#%@ ton of yoga.
But perhaps even more than the physical, you will be changing emotionally. You'll find yourself in downward dog for 5 minutes and want to storm up to the teacher and slap them. You'll find yourself in a vulnerable space and want to run out of the room crying.
This is your space to get comfortable in the uncomfortable and remember why you are doing this work. Likely it is because you want to change and grow.
4. It's far more than just practicing yoga
You will be practicing a lot of yoga, but you'll also be learning about the other limbs of yoga. Yes, that's right! Did you know that there are 6 limbs of yoga and only ONE of those is the actual sweaty physical practice us Westerners call yoga?
You'll learn about the history of yoga, the true wisdom behind it, the beauty of all limbs of yoga, the power behind deeper layers of breath work, selfless service and more.
5. The only person in your way is yourself
If you find yourself hitting a brick wall during your training or feeling inadequate, it's powerful to remember that you are the only person in your way. If you are struggling, talk to your instructor or your fellow students. See this training as not only a training for yoga but also a training for life. Can we get comfortable in the hard moments in life? Can we remain balanced through chaos, whether that chaos is 3 minutes of plank or a difficult conversation at work?
6. You will develop your own personal style
Lastly, know that you will develop your own personal style and flare within yoga. While your YTT will teach you how to guide a yoga class and offer a healing space, they cannot teach you how to find your own style. As you practice throughout your training, know that you will discover your own form of yoga and I think that's what makes yoga so beautiful. 30 students can all take the same training and all teach different, yet equally powerful classes. Trust that you'll find your flow and that it will be exactly what some future students of yours need.
If you are thinking about becoming a yoga teacher, I highly recommend it! It's an incredible journey that will certainly change your life.
GoddessCeremony will be leading month long immersions abroad that focus on the Divine Feminine as well as the ancient practice of yoga within the next year so stay tuned! Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when dates are solidified.
Or, if you are wanting to get certified sooner than that, I highly recommend Anamaya Resort. This is where I did my second 200 hour RYT and it was FANTASTIC. Highly recommend it!
Sending you love on this amazing journey.