I know that thinking about starting teacher training can be as nerve-wrecking as it is exciting, but trust me when I say it is one of THE best decisions you will ever make.
I’m not saying this just because I’m the owner and creator of red lila yoga Teacher Training School, but as a fellow yogi. A person who desired to take a leap, trust myself, and share what I love.
Year after year, many yogis do take this leap and enroll in teacher training school. At the start of each training program, I hear many reasons why people decide to pursue their yoga teacher training experience and certification. Many of them say they knew they wanted to do the training for years, yet they never seriously considered enrolling. Many share that they want to do the training to enhance their personal practice, knowledge of yoga, and gain a deeper understanding of their passion. Of course, there are many students who begin because they have the desire to share and teach yoga within various groups of the community.
Along with the students’ “why” behind doing yoga teacher training, I am equally fortunate to hear what they get out of the training and the benefits they have experienced. So, how do you decide if teacher training is right for you?
There are so many benefits and reasons why people enroll, ages 18 to 65, that it seems almost impossible to put them all into a numbered list that doesn’t cascade down a flight of stairs in scroll-like fashion.
And, I will list a couple that I have experienced and often hear myself.
1. The physical: strength, flexibility, and a deeper understanding of your own body.
During your yoga teacher training, you’re going to develop a deeper core strength and physically transform yourself. That may have already started to happen as you began your yoga journey however many years or months ago.
When I say “physically transform,” I don’t mean “every single person walks out with a six-pack” (because is that really the point anyways?). You will learn amazing functional techniques to aid your body as it is today through the understanding of yoga anatomy and proper alignment. You will notice and breakthrough the boundaries you placed on yourself and will learn new and challenging poses.
2. The mind & spirit: expand your possibilities and bring more stillness to your mind.
As much as I love the physicality of the yoga practice, it is the Philosophy of yoga where I completely geek out as a student and as a teacher. Perhaps it’s my innate love for learning about the mind, which called me to pursue and complete my Masters in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, or that yoga at it’s core is an inward practice of the mind.
Through reads, discussions, meditations, and self-reflection, we will study the Yoga Sutras and delve into yogic philosophy. In this process, you will learn obstacles that we all face with ourselves and with other people, how to practice yoga off the mat, and how yoga can shift your perspective to improve happiness and peace in your daily life. As a result you are going to develop an awareness about yourself that is more profound than when you first walked into yoga teacher training. Teacher Training can help you move through the challenges and transitions of life with less stress and instead with more honesty, joy, and ease.
3. Communication: Express yourself
Ever taken a yoga class where you have no idea what the teacher is trying to explain? Well, we cover that in Yoga Teacher Training. We practice various teaching skills to improve our communications and cues as a yoga teacher– cues to make a difference, power of a pause, projection, animation, the list goes on and on. But not only will we learn to express ourselves and grow as teachers, but we’ll learn how to express ourselves in a deeper sense– to listen to and speak from the soft inner voice. We’ll learn to become aware and intentional with what we say as we learn to teach classes, and we’ll also learn effective communication techniques. Ones that we’ll carry with us from our last teacher training class to our last day on earth.
4. Confidence: Step into leadership
Part of enrolling ourselves in Yoga Teacher Training is wanting to deepen our practice, but the other, as I mentioned, is wanting to learn more about ourselves through means of our bodies, mind and expression. Through your training, like I and many have experienced, you’ll begin to feel more at home in yourself, learn what it means to accept yourself and love yourself.
This confidence won’t rear its head or show itself as arrogance, but as pure and beautiful self-confidence. We’ll be practicing teach and reach feedback exercises– putting ourselves in uncomfortable positions and what may seem like situations, yet creating such a safe and nonjudgmental environment that nothing can deter us. We’ll step into leadership roles and from our very first class, begin along the journey to gain self-assurance and learn to trust ourselves.
5. Growth: Overall development of your mind, body, and spirit.
Yoga Teacher Training is a journey into the body, mind, and spirit. And, if I may be honest, this is not an easy task! It is 5 months of commitment to showing up even when you are tired and want a break, challenging your perceived mental and physical barriers, and stepping outside of your comfort zone. This requires self-discipline, persistence, and trust.
Where else in your life would you like more self-discipline, persistence, and trust? Because what you practice in yoga teacher training will inevitably transfer into different domains of your life outside of training, as well. Growth on the mat generates growth off the mat and into your everyday world.
I hope this list illuminated the many wonderful reasons why I and so many others have taken this path and that you find these helpful in deciding whether or not to take your own teacher training leap. Wishing you a happy holiday season and a relaxing start to 2017!