Thinking about becoming a Yoga Teacher? Both my 200 & 300 hour trainings completely destroyed me. They broke down naive, stubborn, denial loving me, and replaced her with someone I never knew existed. If that scares you, then perhaps it’s time to begin your training.
You know how some people have allergic reactions to pollen or gluten? I’m pretty sure that’s what happens to me when I sign up for yoga teacher trainings. My system goes, “wow, what is this obnoxiously large dose of truth and introspect you’re feeding me? Make it stop! I don’t like it! Ignorance is bliss!”I do believe we are brought to the right places, experiences, and people at the right times in life, even if it’s difficult to accept that at the time.
I remember the specific day I decided to become a yoga teacher. I had just graduated college, and a new studio opened directly across from my work. The studio was next to a sandwich shop and smelt like cookies and fresh baked bread. It was small, simple and clean. I had been going to the same teacher, and one day at the end of class she read the most lovely poem about patience. After that class, I googled “yoga teacher trainings in Connecticut.” I picked the Lotus Gardens Training because it was one weekend a month. I was still very much a broke college kid, and I knew I couldn’t take every weekend off of work, or go to Costa Rica for a month or anything like that. Stumbling into the Lotus Gardens Training was the best by chance choice I have ever made. I can not believe what an impact this program has made on my life both personally and professionally.
I was 22 and I had no idea what to expect. During the first weekend, I was surprised at how little I knew about yoga. I knew far fewer poses than I thought I did. I had zero clue about history or theory. My saving grace was I went to college for dance and had taught throughout college, so at least I had some teaching experience to help me. Each weekend we focused on different elements. We went over different types of yoga, history, sequencing, injuries, breath work, meditation, special populations, and so much more I’m sure I’m missing. It was a lot of information, and while it was absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever decided to do, I was spectacularly unprepared for it in so many ways.
What was interesting to me was that I grew as a teacher but more so as a human. The transformation that happened out of the classroom was way more profound than the time spent “on mat.” At the time I chalked it up to being young. That was certainly part of it, but once I began my 500 hour training at 28, I had confirmed that yoga teacher training was in fact what had destroyed me. Yoga teacher training made me question if I was living authentically in every sense of the word. If my work was honest and purposeful, if my relationships were healthy and meaningful, if I was genuinely happy with who I was. I guess that’s part of that whole, “living your yoga” shebang that we talk about. If you’re truly practicing yoga, it’s impossible to keep that contained to the 4 corners of a mat. This didn’t mean I suddenly become the healthiest eater on earth, meditated morning and night, and stopped feeling anger or resentment. For me it meant that I started to feel all the cracks and potholes along the seemingly flawless roads I was traveling along.
“Yoga teacher training made me question if I was living authentically in every sense of the word. If my work was honest and purposeful, if my relationships were healthy and meaningful, if I was genuinely happy with who I was. I guess that’s part of that whole, “living your yoga” shebang that we talk about. If you’re truly practicing yoga, it’s impossible to keep that contained to the 4 corners of a mat. This didn’t mean I suddenly become the healthiest eater on earth, meditated morning and night, and stopped feeling anger or resentment. For me it meant that I started to feel all the cracks and potholes along the seemingly flawless roads I was traveling along.”
My advice to you if you are thinking about enrolling in yoga teacher training:
- Do it!!!!
- You will never be ready. Do it anyways.
- Find a training that is reputable. There are so many trainings out there. They are not all created equal.
- Having a certificate in your hand does not mean much; sorry to burst your bubble on that one. As a studio owner, I want to know that you can actually teach. I want to know that you understand how to guide safe and engaging classes.
- Find a training that aligns with your interests and goals post training. For example, if you want to teach restorative, don’t sign up for a training that is strictly Vinyasa based. I am a fan of trainings that introduce you to a variety of styles, but that’s just my opinion.
- Be prepared to be comically unprepared.
- Embrace how little you know, and celebrate all that you learn. When it’s done, embrace how little you still know, and celebrate the beauty of doing something for a living (that means more than money) that you can never run out of new things to learn about!
- Stick it out. It’s so easy to let life get in the way. Keep going! It goes by faster than you think.
- There will always be someone who knows more than you. There will always be someone who knows less. Learn from others and share what you know as well.
- Practice as much as you can! If you don’t use it, you lose it. Practice teaching friends and family. You can also video tape yourself teaching! This is super helpful.
- Keep a journal. It’s really cool to look back at your growth!
- Update me on your experience and thoughts. I’d love to hear from you!
I highly recommend the Lotus Gardens Yoga School for 200, 300, and continuing education trainings.
Visit my Yoga & Pilates Studio in Seymour, CT PhoenixYogaCT.com
Photo by Laurenhowland.com