Yogic science is stimulating and challenging, as it awakens our inner teacher and forces us to give up on our unreasonable limitations and unrewarding beliefs about ourselves.
Yoga teacher training will do all of that in a short span of time, and once you get into the groove of the program, you will be in for a surprise as well as be grateful for your decisions. We might have an idea in mind of what the yoga teacher training course will be before we enter into it. Some may feel it will get them closer to enlightenment, while others might think it will enhance their yoga skills and help them to become a yoga teacher.
While all these things are true, the actual understanding of what teacher training really is, will dawn on you once you immerse yourself into it. Since many of us are unaware of the underlying challenges and twists that lay ahead in a teacher training program, you might hear yourself saying a lot of times that you wished someone had told you these things earlier.
This article is provides some insight to a typical yoga teacher training course. Here are a few pointers you might need to know before you set out on this life altering journey.
Ask yourself: Am I truly ready?
The Western understanding of yoga is often limited to just the poses, but a teacher training will open up new gateways and throw you into the depths of the vast reservoir of yogic wisdom. This might come as a shock, but what you do on the mat also needs to be replicated in your nature, attitude, and approach toward life. This will enable you to comprehend the real power of yoga.
The poses are just a small part of yoga whereas meditation, pranayama, and philosophy forms an integral chunk of the learning as well. To the layman, a yoga practice is just skin deep. We have to dive so much deeper to be able to truly imbibe yoga in our lives. If you plan on becoming a yoga teacher, this is must. You need to merge with yoga and become one. Are you ready?
Do your research.
I cannot place more emphasis on researching which style of yoga is right for you, which yoga teacher training is the best fit, and what teachers will best suit your needs as a practitioner and student. This is the key to learning from the best (for you) and becoming the best. Yoga teacher training is the deciding point. A make or break situation—you would want to be training under genuine, traditional, and authentic teachers, who really devote themselves to yoga, and not consider it just as any other profession. Just like worshiping requires whole heartedness, so does yoga. If you do not dig in deep before you sign up for a specific school, chances are you might be in for disappointment. Spending a fortune on these courses only to come back empty handed is a shame.
The road is long and winding.
Some yogis show up at a teacher training program with a "This is it! I'm going to be teaching right after this!" mindset. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your teaher training diploma does not mark the end of the journey. Actually nothing is ever really the end, and there is always improvement to be made. The reality is that you will not or even should not be teaching right after the end of your training. I recommend first to take a break and catch up with life, and then keep up your personal practice as well as practicing with a teacher, maybe in an apprenticeship program. Although your training will prepare you for what lays ahead remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. A lot of hard work, dedication, and understanding of what it means to be a teacher is required to truly command the classes you are planning to conduct in future.
Prepare to have your endurance tested.
One thing is for sure—once you have emerged from teacher training, you will see things from a changed perspective. The things that attracted you earlier will start to seem either unethical, or as something you can no longer relate to. The program is obviously physically challenging, but it will also challenge you mentally, in ways you never expected. By midway through the program, the demands might have you questioning your decision! You might even regard your previous practice of yoga as shallow. By the end of teacher training, things that were the most challenging will actually be the things you will be the most grateful for. The only thing that will help you sail through is your conitnued dedication and unwavering belief in yourself.
Nothing can ever fully prepare you for the inner detoxification and thought clearing moments of yoga teacher training. Satori, or sudden enlightenment, will come to you when you least expect it.
Photo by Ali Kaukas