When you hear “yoga teacher training,” the first that comes to mind is, well, teacher training. However, it goes beyond just training you how to become an efficient yoga instructor. If you are inspired to take the next step to teach and share yoga with others, there are quite a few ways it can change your outlook on life.
Yoga teacher training builds your communication skills and confidence level. It helps you find your voice and shows you how rewarding it is to serve others. It also enables you to embrace simplicity, change your perspective, build you up mentally, and create a special connection with others.
There are several benefits of yoga teacher training, and it is bound to change your life in some way or another. In this article, we will show you what yoga teacher training is all about, how it can change your outlook on life, how to prepare yourself for it, and how to choose the right program.
Is it not expected that one is first a student before they become a teacher? Can one teach a practice without first learning it? This is one reason you must take lessons in yoga teaching before taking on students to impart the goodness of yoga into them.
Knowing something is a different aspect of learning from teaching, even though they both involve knowledge. One is giving; the other is receiving.
To be a good teacher (in most parts of the world), you need practical training that gives you the knowledge you need to help your students understand what you have to give. Most times, these training sessions come with certificates as evidence of your expertise.
Yoga teacher training is the theoretical and practical training given to individuals who aim to be tutors to curious people interested in achieving the wholeness of mind, soul, and body through exercises that stimulate these areas through yoga.
The training is suitable for everyone who already knows yoga and is willing to share it with others. Previous yoga teacher training isn’t required!
In different countries, some bodies are responsible for conducting yoga teacher training. While these organizations might also be responsible for issuing certificates to participants after training completion, some have separate certifying bodies.
For instance, in the United Kingdom, the British Wheel of Yoga — BWY — conducts yoga teacher training while BWYQ accredits it. Although now, many schools are authorized to provide yoga teacher training in the United Kingdom.
By now, you’ve probably started searching for programs and exercises you can enroll in to become a yoga teacher. It is not surprising, considering the number of people who currently show interest in yoga. It is only reasonable that the more demand there is for people who want to shed their load and gain more control of their mind, soul, and body through yoga, the more the need for teachers to help them through the journey.
Before you embark on the training, emotions such as fear and apprehension will creep in, no matter your level of experience. These feelings help understand what your students will experience before exploring yoga themselves.
And remember, the best teacher is experience.
There are several ways yoga teacher training can change your outlook on life. Here are some things you can expect from your teacher training program, and these will set you up to be a better yogi and person.
If you want to be an excellent yoga teacher, your communication has to be flawless. Recently, many yogis who’ve become injured during their sessions complained either about their instructor’s inadequate directions in performing some postures or outright incompetence.
Yoga teacher training will help you eliminate your voice’s awkwardness as you pass instructions along to your students. To further help with that, you will engage in sessions that will help you build confidence using your voice, no matter how funny you think it sounds, in front of your peers.
Sometimes during these sessions, you will have emotional outbursts in front of others, and witness others do the same. This experience will help you be more comfortable and fearless. In essence, your confidence will come from overcoming your mistakes!
Finding your voice can be tricky, especially when you are nervous. No two voices sound the same, whether that be pitch, tone, or language quirks. Therefore, the emotion your voice evokes from your students will vary.
In yoga teacher training, your uniqueness is your voice. Be it high-pitched, warm and embracing, or stern, it has a purpose worth serving. You will learn how to use your voice and in what scenario it works best. If you need to work on your voice for certain meditation times, practice during teacher training will help you achieve that.
For a better experience at developing your uniqueness, ensure you choose a program that fits your yoga style, learning style, and how the training fits your schedule.
From the beginning of the training to the end, you’ll hop a ride on emotional rollercoasters. Sometimes you’ll laugh; other times, you’ll cry. You might find solace in the fact that you won’t be alone in that experience. Other students in the class are in the same boat!
Repeatedly chanting meditation citations, sitting for most of the day, learning the chakra system, Sanskrit names, and different postures will take a toll on you mentally. Some of these seemingly simple activities will prove more challenging than you initially thought. Learning ancient stories or the founders and influencers of varying yoga postures can also be challenging.
Students will drop baggage with silent cries; emotions will be lifted with deep and soulful meditations that may make you cry when you least expect it. Don’t be afraid to let your wall down.
You have probably been through some yoga teacher training courses before. It’s safe to say that no two courses give you the same experience. Even though there’s a lot to learn – and this can bring a feeling of inadequacy, especially if you’re struggling to grasp it all at first – the knowledge will outweigh your fears.
You will also get to meet people who will make you think about the company you’ve been keeping in your day-to-day life. Combine their aura with the lessons about the universe and nutrition to your soul and general well-being. Together, this will drive you out of associations that drain your energy and help you mingle with people that help you sustain your positive energy.
In the United States of America, yoga teacher training comes in two categories.
- The 200-hour yoga teacher training course
- The 500-hour yoga teacher training course
In Germany and most other European countries, the European Union of Yoga has set a standard of 720 hours of class instruction spread across four years for yoga teacher trainees. These extensive training hours require a lot of focus and energy and can be quite exhausting. It will require you to dig deep, remain committed, and push the boundaries of your body.
Seemingly endless reading, posture practice, meditations, and recitations will make you almost decide to opt-out along the way. However, the positivity and energy oozing from your teacher will most likely stop you from making that decision, and that only adds to your experience.
Yoga teacher training will help you create the pillars of your passion in life, such as learning that true happiness lies in helping and serving others. You’ll realize how rewarding, empowering, and fulfilling it is to put others’ well-being above your own.
As is often said, “giving is more rewarding than receiving.” Dedicating your time to serving others and teaching them yoga doesn’t only make them better, but it also makes you a better person and yogi. It boosts your health, happiness, and overall sense of contentedness. What better feeling than knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life?
It also gives you a sense of purpose and satisfaction. After the training, whether you decide to create your own studio or not, your passion for yoga only deepens. You begin to see and accept others the way they are and for the path that they’re on. And instead of trying to fix them, you lend a helping hand as they improve themselves.
In yoga teacher training, you will learn how vital basic things are. Simplicity and discipline are some of the core principles of yoga teacher training. You’ll realize that sometimes, less is more. You’ll go through intense training like sleeping in a simple room, living without an internet connection, and eating the healthy food provided.
By learning how to embrace simplicity, you’ll learn gratitude, peace, and happiness because a simple life is also a life of contentment. Yoga teacher training will teach you to slow down and cut back on unnecessary, time-draining habits. When you remove the non-essentials and clutter from your life, there will be room for new things to help you achieve your dreams.
This shift will be a major one after yoga teacher training. Although there may not be a noticeable difference immediately, a pivotal yet subtle change will occur in how you think and act.
If you’re an introvert, the idea of speaking to a group of strangers or teaching them anything may not appeal so much to you. However, with yoga teacher training, you begin to develop some confidence and express your imagination and creativity. Teaching a group of students different poses and things about yoga becomes less complicated for you.
You’ll learn how to manage a group better, give clear instructions, offer and receive constructive criticism, and use appropriate language and word choices. And this change will be helpful in other areas of your life, not just in teaching yoga. You’ll be able to express your ideas more, speak up for yourself, and communicate more thoughtfully in meetings.
Yoga teacher training helps you see the complete picture of yoga. It provides you with a deeper understanding of the philosophy behind it and enables you to focus more on the positive instead of the negative. You’ll learn about different concepts such as karma, helping you understand life from a different perspective.
You’ll also be able to manage your expectations better and avoid disappointments in life. It will teach you that you can’t always control what others do and, instead, help you see things from their perspective. Yoga teacher training lets you understand that some things in life are not permanent, and you need to think of the bigger picture before forming your perspective.
This change gives you a new frame of reference you can base your life experiences on and transfer to others.
One thing that’s certain during yoga teacher training is that you’ll make connections and build friendships for life. Because you’re surrounded by like-minded people seeking spiritual knowledge and growth, just like you, you’ll meet beautiful and amazing people that will go through the same transformation by your side.
The learning environment also facilitates this connection as it is overwhelmingly open, loving, and supportive. As you go through this intensive, transformative period together, you’ll be able to share deep thoughts, experiences, stories, and feelings.
This bond will be special and unique and can last for the rest of your life. In the future, you can always turn to these people for support and advice when you start building your career. In fact, some of them may become closer to you than your family.
Besides connecting with others, yoga teacher training helps you connect more with yourself. It lets you escape the noise of your everyday life and get more in touch with the sacred part of you. Practicing yoga ultimately increases your mindfulness, awareness, and inner balance.
Spending a month in yoga teacher training builds focus and clarity in your mind. This experience, combined with other spiritual practices and personal study, will help you connect with who you really are deep inside.
You’ll go through different challenges during the training that’ll tremendously shape you and improve your personal and mental growth. The training will teach you how to pick yourself up and move on when you fall.
Some of the training sessions will be so intense that they will help you develop your physical and mental strength. This experience will give you the ability to solve all sorts of life problems that come your way. Things will feel less intimidating, and you’ll realize you’re stronger than you think.
Taking part in yoga teacher training every day for a month will remove you from your daily routine, help you break old habits, and work on yourself more. A whole month of yoga and healthy eating will significantly affect your mind, body, and soul. You’ll develop new habits, and you’ll carry them with you even once the training ends!
Apart from habits, yoga teacher training will also help you get rid of emotional burdens that have been following you for a long time. During the training, you’ll go through svadhyaya (or self-study). This part allows you to connect with your teachers and fellow trainees emotionally, and you’ll be able to evaluate your feelings and share them with others.
Sharing these feelings will help you get rid of them from the depths of your soul. Some of these things may have held you back for so long that you don’t even realize how much they affected your life. Releasing them will free up space for growth and help you move forward in life.
Because the training is very comprehensive, the experience can also be a humbling one for you. Realizing just how much you have to learn when you’re only in the early stages can teach you how to be more patient.
Although you’ll gain a lot of knowledge and insight throughout the journey, you’ll understand that this is only just the beginning by the end of the program. You’ll continue learning for the rest of your life, and whatever you venture into later, you’ll remain humble and patient. These new habits will be even more useful when you start passing them on to your future students!
Now, you know what to expect during yoga teacher training and how it’ll change your life for the better. However, understanding and reacting to what you now know are two different things.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for the experience awaiting you, yoga teacher training:
You have expectations, and you have pictured what it will look like during the long hours at your yoga teacher training. The truth is, your expectations might not meet up with reality. The intensity of the physical aspects may far exceed what you envisioned; the reading volume may be more than what you thought it would be.
Nevertheless, keep the positive energy flowing. As we already pointed out, there will be so many emotional outbursts in yoga teacher training, which might lead you to consider quitting at least once or twice. Your positivity is one of the things that will keep you going in those tough times.
Your positivity does not affect only you, and it might not be enough to dig you out of that rut. However, the positive energy flowing from others in the same class will perk you back up, and yours will let them overcome the negativity that they might be feeling, too.
It will serve you well if you learn the ropes before your yoga teacher training begins. The physical demand of 200 hours, 500 hours, or even 720 hours is enormous for the untrained. To curb the overwhelming effect it might have, you should do daily yoga practice in the weeks leading up to it.
Rest assured, the practice doesn’t have to be intensive every day. Engage in more complex training a few days a week and on other days, practice the asana to prepare your body for more challenging tests to come.
The ego — both yours and your classmates’ — is the one thing that can steal from your overall experience at yoga teacher training.
You might have completed the 200 hours of yoga teacher training and wish to further your learning into the 500-hour program. A part of you feels that you’re a yoga “expert” when you’re in class and that attendance is more optional than anything. Curb that ego, and go anyway. You never know what new information you will grasp.
When other people’s ego is the issue, you might feel bitter while working alongside them. Use your knowledge in patience to deal with their strong personality. Expect that there will be people whose persona does not resonate with yours and yours with theirs.
Own your insecurities and work on them as you progress through training. It might be a particular part of your body that you feel insecure about or even your voice. Know that everyone has something they want to hide due to insecurity; you are not alone.
Keeping a journal allows you to manage your time well. For every activity you have to do daily, jot it down in a journal. That way, you can record your progress in the yoga teacher program. When you are struggling to understand certain points or topics learned in class, write them down. You can revisit them later when you’re in a better frame of mind.
The best way to experience yoga teacher training bliss is to accept the process as it comes. Trying to predict what the next activity will be or worrying about the volume of materials you have to read and retain will only rob you of the fulfillment you should be feeling.
From the very beginning, take every breathing exercise, posture exercise, lengthy meditation, uncomfortable class-leading, and tests you barely prepared for one by one.
As much as you enjoy your go-to instructor, attending classes taught by other yogis can expose you to different techniques and teaching styles. By the time you teach your own classes, you can combine these traits to create your own style!
While yoga teacher training is an excellent step after learning so much about yoga for years, it is also a big decision to take. So, how do you know if you’re ready to take the leap? Here are ten signs that show you’re prepared to move up from a casual yoga practitioner to a teacher:
If yoga has become the center of your life and attention, you’re probably ready for yoga teacher training today. You may find yourself inviting friends and family to yoga classes and being enthusiastic about your experiences with them. If you’re already teaching others the little you know about yoga and the various postures, then it might be time to take the next step.
If you’re looking for a new direction in life, yoga teacher training may be the next logical step. You might realize this after a broken relationship, loss of a job, or simply the need to try something and reinvent yourself. Yoga teacher training helps you get away from it all and gives you the skill set you need to pursue a new and better career.
If your love for yoga has gone beyond a few training hours, it may be time to go a little deeper. Do you find yourself questioning some aspects of yoga and wondering what some more complex terms mean? If you’re aching to learn more about yoga and the philosophy behind it, teacher training is a good place to find those answers.
Our daily activities have created a disconnect between our bodies and inner selves. If you’ve been practicing yoga for some time, you understand that this is what it aims to bridge. So, if you’re looking for a deeper connection with your inner self and true essence, then yoga teacher training is right for you.
The training will help to harmonize your body, mind, and spirit, and you’ll be able to dive deeper while you explore who you are and find your voice.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll experience different emotions throughout the training. These experiences will come as buried or unknown parts of yourself are revealed, and your ego’s layers are gently peeled away. While you will gain a lot of knowledge and enlightenment during training, it can also be slightly traumatic. However, if you feel you can handle this emotional load, then you’re ready for yoga teacher training.
Yoga training connects you with a community sharing the same goals and values as you. If this type of community excites you, then yoga teacher training is certainly in the cards. The friends and connections you make during the program will remain with you and support you for the rest of your life and career.
If yoga practice has already changed your life, you may feel it’s time to train to become a teacher. Not every student who participates in yoga teacher training eventually reaches that instructor status, but you’re on the right path if you aim to become one.
By teaching yoga, you’ll help build the community, inspire your students, and serve as a role model to the local community. So, if you’re ready to create a positive impact with yoga, teacher training might be your answer.
You know you’re ready for yoga teacher training if you no longer shy away from challenges and roadblocks. One thing you need to be aware of in teacher training is that it is challenging, and the training is a commitment on its own. You have to be ready to make a physical, time, and financial commitment to get the most out of the program!
If you’ve been teaching your friends, co-workers, and family yoga in every little way you can, you’re probably ready for legitimate teacher training. It’s a good sign that you can teach complete novices the complex postures and explain why yoga is life-changing. Just imagine how great it would be if you learned the teaching methodology and complete anatomy.
There are numerous yoga teacher training institutions out there. But before you invest your time and money in becoming a yoga teacher trainee, here are some tips on choosing the right training program for you.
These tips focus on three things: you, the yoga institution, and the training curriculum.
The important thing is to make sure your preferred institution is accredited. Institutions that are certified do not necessarily give you a better yoga education than one that is not. However, it affords you the luxury of insurance when you start to practice yoga as an instructor later on
In Germany, watch out for institutions that are certified by the German Yoga Teachers’ Union. The European Union of Yoga authorizes yoga teacher training in the rest of Europe. In the United States, lean towards institutions accredited by Yoga Alliance, and in the United Kingdom, the Office of Qualifications and Examination Regulation accredits yoga teacher training institutions.
If you’ve ever had a terrible professor ruin your favorite subject area, you know that the instructor is just as important as the institution. Get to know who the instructor that handles teacher training is and do a little research. Ask people who have experience with the instructor questions on their teaching method, attitude, or philosophy. See if it matches your expectations.
Do they (the instructors) adhere to the curriculum? Do they go out of their way to make the course content understandable, or do they just run through it? Answers to these questions are critical and can make or break your experience!
You have your reason for wanting to be a yoga teacher in the future, and you probably have a little knowledge about some aspects of yoga. You might want to broaden your experience in the area you’ve already dabbled in, or you may want to explore other areas. The best place to learn if your preferred institution offers that is by looking over their curriculum.
Do you want courses that focus on spirituality? Are you more interested in Sutras? Is anatomy what interests you? Make sure the courses in the curriculum agree with your interests and wants.
How well does the timing and distance of the teacher training fit in your daily life? Do you learn better when you leave your home environment to attend retreats or camps? Would it be better for you if you could attend classes in the evenings or on weekends? Would you like to complete the lessons as soon as possible or prefer them spread over a more extended period?
All of these questions influence the yoga teacher training you should eventually choose. If your
daily life negatively affects your learning, you should select training retreats – away from your everyday life. If not, evening and weekend classes will work just fine.
The most important aspect of yoga is how every activity it involves affects your body. Does the training specify if its courses focus on human anatomy? It is crucial that it does to some degree, as it can help you better understand yoga.
Your consciousness while practicing the postures and sitting in meditation is heightened when you know what part of your body each activity should target.
If you have been considering yoga teacher training, it is time to go for it. Not only is it a great career path for you, but it will also change several aspects of your life positively. Most importantly, it will change your perspective and help you create a deeper connection with your inner self.
Remember, yoga teacher training can be challenging, so prepare yourself before starting the program. Remain positive and keep your expectations to the minimum. Also, practice consistently, keep your ego in check, and record all your activities. Lastly, make sure you enjoy the process and training sessions.
- Do You Yoga: 6 Tips for Selecting a Yoga Teacher Training Program
- The Yoga Connection: How to Prepare for Yoga Teacher Training
- Yogi Approved: Considering Yoga Teacher Training? Here’s What to Expect
- Wikipedia: Yoga Teacher Training
- Ironwood Yoga Studios: 10 Benefits of Yoga Teacher Training
- Sivana Spirit: 10 Incredible Ways A Yoga Teacher Training Can Change Your Life
- Do You Yoga: Top 5 Ways Yoga Teacher Training Will Change Your Life
- Sampoorna Yoga: Nine Signs You Are Ready For Yoga Teacher Training
- Book Yoga Teacher Training: 5 Ways to Know if You Are Ready for a Yoga Teacher Training
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