Maybe the title of "yoga teacher" isn't something you see for your future. But as you construct your list of goals for the next five to ten years, don't write off "yoga teacher training" on the sole basis of not wanting to teach your own students.
Many people enjoy teacher trainings as a gift to themselves, as an opportunity to look within, strengthen their own yoga practices, and form lifelong connections.
There are so many shifts that you experience during a yoga teacher training that apply to so much more than just your yoga practice. You can expect to walk away from a teacher training with the following new additions to your soul, spirit, and practice.
1. You will enhance your practice
You will both learn and understand the logic behind correct alignment. You will start to recognize strong (and poor) sequencing when you are in yoga classes as a student. You will learn how to listen to your body, noticing what adjustments you need to make for your own practice without relying on someone else to provide cues.
2. You will learn new skills to incorporate into other parts of your life
Being a yoga instructor is only partially about yoga. It largely involves public speaking, learning about client relations, marketing, finances, scheduling, and business management skills.
Depending on the yoga school, some of these topics are more heavily covered than others, but you can expect to walk away with more confidence and an enhanced “tool kit” of interpersonal and management skills to bring into other areas of your life.
3. You will broaden your worldview.
Yoga teacher training is in many ways a series of lessons on culture and history. You will trace the origins of yoga back to the Vedas. This includes learning Sanskrit terminology for asanas, learning the Hindu symbolism behind many poses, and learning the story of yoga’s migration to the West. You will find how your unique practice fits into these broad lineages of yogis and gurus—and you will bring that into your own world in a whole new way after your yoga teacher training is over.
4. You will make new friends and connections
For one, you’ll be connected to some awesome new yoga teachers in your community whose classes you can take in the future! But aside from the practical benefits of connecting with fellow yogis, you will meet people from all walks of life.
These people may become your best friends, your yoga family, future business partners, or just acquaintances passing through your life like ships in the night. Whatever their role is, you will learn from them, they will learn from you, and your life will be forever changed.
5. You will learn more about yourself.
Though teacher training provides a great deal of objective information—facts about anatomy, how the human body processes breath and movement, the history of yoga—the majority of teacher training is about finding your own voice.
This “voice” doesn’t just mean the words that come out of your mouth. Your voice is your attitude, your pace, your tone, your approach to the world. You look inward to explore who you are at your core, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and goals.
Photo: Ali Kaukas