I have been there, you get really into yoga, you end up going most days of the week. The teachers seem so cool, calm and collected. They give you worldly advice and can do some amazing things with their bodies.
You have decided that you want to teach, but what is the first step?
In the modern era of Yoga there appears to be one main route to teaching, the 200 hour teacher training (YTT) course. Maybe in the future there will be more offerings than a 200 hour teacher training, like apprenticeships, who knows, historically you would shadow a teacher for years to become a yoga teacher.
A month-long intensive course in an exotic country practicing yoga, sounds dreamy… you’re going for it. Whether you need to quit your job to do this or you have the ability to allow them to give you the time off, you’re SOLD!
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WHICH yoga teacher training to pick?
I know, there are THOUSANDS, there are multiple websites just dedicated to listing TT’s, the compare the market of YTT. It really is a tough decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, as you are going to spend at least £3k and a month with these teachers. First bit of advice, do as much homework on the course as you can.
Go past the website and what THEY tell you, go do a workshop or a class with the lead teachers if you can, reach out to past graduates, find people who have been there and lived it. Get them to give you an honest account of the course, the good & the bad.
The more people you can talk to the better. When I was searching for my teacher training course I asked my FAVOURITE teachers where they did theirs, all 4 of them said the same place so for me it was a no brainer.
It made sense for me to go to the same place that my teachers went to as I enjoyed their style and quality of Yoga, which they will have picked up in part from their YTT.
What is a 200 hour YTT really like?
There are a lot of misconceptions from students who are about to embark on their YTT, I know because A) I had ALL of them, and B) my students, who are going or have been, came to me with the same questions and thoughts that I had.
A few misconceptions that I had before I started my YTT were; you’re going to go and everyone is going to be super “advanced”, On my TT alone there were people who had been regularly practicing yoga around 3 months, for me I had only been practicing a year and a half and others 10 years.
There will be a big disparity initially, but not everyone who goes wants to be a teacher, some use it as an alternative way to improve their own practice of yoga after exhausting retreats, workshops and classes, they go on teacher trainings.
By the end of the training everyones practice will have improved immensely.
The next misconception is that you will go and it’s going to just be learning how to do the asanas (poses), a few Sanskrit (the language that yoga poses are in) words and how to lead a class. BUT it is soo much more, yes you learn the above (on a GOOD YTT), and more. But you go deeper than that.
On our first day we were asked what chakra we were working on, I’m there thinking, “what is a chakra”, after this I knew I was in for something completely different to what I expected
My experience and that of almost all my peers is that you are on a month long group therapy session, through hearing about philosophy, practical examples of how the chakra system is developed and affects who we are, suddenly over the course you find yourself questioning everything, your relationships (with yourself and others), your beliefs, your values, and who you THINK you are. Now I am not saying that everyone will go through this but I certainly did and for the better and it made me a much better person.
I had no clue going into the course that it would be anything like what I experienced, so whilst I was prepared physically for the course, mentally it demanded more.
You will make lifelong friends and really strong bonds, but also be prepared that you might come back and not feel like you can sit in the same circles as you once did. I expected to improve in my Yoga ability and have a physical discovery, I also embarked on a mental awakening.
Once, you have been woken up, it is difficult to go back to sleep!