Over the past few months I’ve had several people asking for advice on doing a yoga teacher training and helping them make the decision around whether they are ready or not to do it. I’ve loved helping them and have captured some of the guidance I’ve been giving below. Let me know if there is anything unanswered and I will add it on!
1. Do you want to deepen your own practice?
Undoubtedly you’ll realise that doing a 200 hour (or more) yoga teacher training course will be heavily focused on learning about yoga. Hope I haven’t spilt too many beans there. Be prepared, you’ll learn about the history of yoga, correct alignment, mediation, breathing, anatomy, philosophy, all sorts!
However, this is FULL ON for some. Some people on my course weren’t prepared for this depth. This isn’t the only way to deepen your yoga practice. It could be that a yoga retreat or yoga holiday is a good next step for you to learn more, meet others interested in yoga, spend time with an experienced teacher and decide if you actually want to teach yourself. Message me if this sounds like the right next step for you in deciding whether or not to invest in a yoga teacher training (YTT) course.
2. Do you enjoy teaching others?
This is a crucial part of becoming a yoga teacher. It is less about doing fancy yoga poses yourself, but more about helping others improve themselves and feel good.
In my classes I spend 70% of the time approx walking around adjusting people and pushing them deeper into poses. Therefore it isn’t like I’m just doing lots of yoga classes and people are following along with me – I personally don’t think this makes a great yoga teacher as it could be a Youtube video!
On my teacher training course approx 90% of people now DO NOT TEACH. They probably went into the training thinking it would be nice to teach and learn more. However, they could have saved some money, effort and time by going on retreats, spent time at yoga studios or yoga holidays – where they still could have developed their yoga practice, met new people and learnt more, without the pressure of exams.
3. Are you ready to commit?
On my own teacher training course, there were a few people who dropped out mid way as they didn’t truly want to commit to becoming a teacher. They didn’t have enough ‘skin in the game’.
Again, it is worth considering WHY you want to do the training and if now is the right timing. Is it likely you will finish the course and start classes? Are you instead just looking for a break or to figure out what you want next in your career? A few hours with a career coach could be a great next step for this.
4. Are you open to constructive criticism?
During my training there were many times when my teaching techniques, tone of voice, positioning, way I was delivering were critiqued. If I wasn’t open to listening to this criticism and changing I wouldn’t have developed into the teacher I am now.
Along with this, after each of the classes I teach I ask people to share any feedback they have (positive and negative) – without this info I won’t improve as fast! Treat feedback as a gift.
5. Do you want to learn about the other parts of yoga, not just the pretty yoga poses!?
The asana (poses) are just one of the eight ‘limbs’ of yoga. Other ‘limbs’ include meditation and breathing techniques. Learning about these other areas is crucial to pass your exams and to be a great yoga teacher (IMO).
Many of my favourite yoga teachers are ridiculously flexible – ankles wrapped around their eyeballs, whilst balancing on one hand types of yogis. It isn’t just about the asanas.
6. Have you decided what kind of schedule you’d like?
Basically, the choice is often whether you’d prefer to do a 30 day intensive course or weekends over a longer period of time. I opted for the intensive course, as this allowed me to get close to a new group of people, immerse myself in a new lifestyle and I love the excitement of properly focusing on sometime for a period of time. However, I think there are positives and negatives of both options and worth considering what will fit your lifestyle and your style of learning.
7. Is there a location you’d really like to spend time in where you could do your YTT?
For me, it was Goa. I didn’t even consider other places and I’m not sure why I just felt the ‘need’ to spend time there. Wherever your location of choice may be it can be a great way to tie in travel with learning something new.
I did my course at Kranti Yoga School, and it was amazing but by no means do I think that is the only amazing course out there. Everyone seems to come back loving their course!
Of course, your commitments may not allow for foreign travel and a school closer to home may be best for what you need.
Prior to doing my YTT I’d been considering it for a year or so. However, I’m definitely glad I waited until I REALLY wanted to do it, otherwise I wouldn’t have been as deeply ingrained into the course and I probably wouldn’t have come back and started classes right away.
I’m glad that I went on retreats and took classes in all different kinds of studios and with different teachers before taking my 200 YTT course, so I really knew what I was into and the style I’d be learning.
Message me any questions, I’m always happy to help or have a look at a potential YTT course for you and let you know my thoughts. Peace out yogis! xxx