6 ESSENTIAL Things to Know Before Taking a Yoga Teacher Training
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
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I went through my 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher’s Training for almost 10 years now. Since then, I have completed an additional 200-hr YTT programs and started my 500-hr YTT. Throughout all training sessions and immersions, I have been asked a few questions on what tips and suggestions I would give aspiring yoga teachers.
I cannot wait to share with you these 6 things you should know before you start yoga teacher training. These are things I wish I learned before I had begun my yoga teacher trainings. These are also the big things I would tell an aspiring yoga teacher in 2020.
1) It will change your yoga practice altogether.
I clearly remember going to Costa Rica for my second Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). It was the second day of the month long immersion and we were asked by the instructor to flow through our sun salutations until she asked us to stop. So, we all started to flow through our salutations and after what seemed like an hour later (it was probably only 5 or 10 minutes in reality!), she told us to stop.
The instructor then walked around and shared the things that she saw many of us doing. Some of us were tweaking our shoulders in chaturanga or dipping into our low back throughout the flow. Having these little things pointed out was so valuable because soon, we were going to teach yoga and needed to know how to safely teach AND practice yoga that would not cause injury overtime. I think we all realized our own little habits we had and finally had the space to shift them to a safer posture.
I used to think that I already knew how to properly do a lot of the poses but upon further evaluation, I realized that I was not practicing these postures in alignment with my body. In this YTT, I learned the importance of alignment and this taught me how to safely guide my students.
During a YTT, you will immensely improve your practice as you learn new and improved ways to execute flows and most importantly, do it safely.
2) It is a life-changing experience.
While your yoga practice may change and the way you flow may shift, your life will also be transformed. You will have a wonderful experience on your mat together with the people that surround you. A YTT is an avenue to create a real connection with people and make life-long friendships with like-minded people. Up to this day, I am still connected with people that I met during my trainings and they have been a huge blessing to me. If you embrace the changes you feel at your YTT, you will definitely leave this training a different and enhanced person.
3) It won’t be easy.
Not only will you be doing A LOT of yoga each day, but there's also the emotional and spiritual level of change and healing that can bring up challenge. Yoga is a powerful practice that asks us to look within and so there may be moments when you want to give up. And this is okay.
This is a place where you will be uncomfortable as much as you feel comfortable. And, it is important to remember your reason in doing all these. Most likely, it is because you want to grow and change. So rub up against that edge and see what happens on the other side.
4) It is more than just practicing yoga.
Yes, there will be a lot of yoga going on! But aside from that, you will also be learning about the different limbs of yoga. Yes, you heard it right! There are actually six limbs of yoga and only ONE of those limbs is actually the physical and sweaty practice that we Westerners know as yoga.
You will dive deep into the history and true wisdom of yoga, the different limbs of yoga and the power that lies beneath the deep layers of breath work, selfless servitude and much more.
5) You'll learn the only one who is holding you back is yourself.
Whenever you feel like you've hit a roadblock during your immersion or if when you feel inadequate, it empowers you to remember that you are the only person who is holding you back. If you are having a hard time, you always have a choice to talk to your teacher or your fellow trainees. Your YTT helps you discover the limiting beliefs that have likely been holding you back for far too long. How can we be comfortable during the hard moments in our lives? Can we find grace in hard moments - whether that's a 3 minute plank pose or a really hard conversation at work?
6) You will create and discover your own personal style.
You will likely find your own flare to your practice. Your YTT will teach you how to conduct a yoga class and create a sacred space, but one thing they cannot teach you is how to find your style. As you grow with your training, you will soon discover and develop your own form and style of yoga and that’s what makes it beautiful. The 30 students who took the same class can teach differently yet equally empowering classes. Believe that you will your own flow that complements the need of your future students.
How exciting is that?!
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We'll see you on the mat!