Starting a new journey is usually a natural combination of two things: excitement and nervousness. New journeys can be exciting because they often involve joyfully conquering a goal about which we are passionate. Somewhere along the way, these new journeys can also unearth our doubts and our insecurities. We begin to wonder if this is the right path, if we made or are making the best choice, if we are even good enough or ready to take this next step. This is the exact reason why we often fear taking the big leap to a new journey: self doubt.
If you think back to starting a new job, moving to a new place, beginning a new relationship, taking a new yoga class, or, well, the beginning of anything you’ve ever done, you’ve probably experienced the odd relationship between the feelings of nervousness and excitement. Did you know that feeling nervous/anxious and excited elicit the same physiological responses in our body? Sweaty palms, increased heart rate…
Have you ever let this fear or self-doubt keep you from saying, “Yes!” to what you want in life?
I have. And that’s okay. What is important, is to be consciously aware of the fears and doubts rather than not being aware of them at all.
Choosing to do your 200 hour yoga teacher training* will be no different.
With the start of every yoga teacher training, I have many phone calls, meetings, and conversations with yoga students who want to do the training program. Their excitement for wanting to do the program is palpable and contagious. In many of these conversations, there are questions about logistics, content, and finances. Yet, there are two questions that are guaranteed to come up in most of these conversations, and is a common thread among most prospective students.
By sharing these two main questions with you, it is my hope that instead you will consciously be aware of and embrace these self-doubting fears and transform them into a conscious thought and conscious decision.
1. “I want to do the training, but I’m not as strong/flexible/thin as I would like to be. Should I wait longer before enrolling?”
I hear this question, and I understand. Truly. Yoga teacher training is an investment of time, money, and energy. You want to make sure you get the most out of the experience by being ready not just mentally, but physically, too. Many people, including myself, have goals/wishes/wants for some physical change in their body. Yet how much more flexibility is perfect to begin Yoga Teacher Training? How much more strength is perfect to begin Yoga Teacher Training? Perhaps more strength, flexibility, or another physical goal is something to commit to while in Yoga Teacher Training, rather than having to obtain before Yoga Teacher Training. I promise you will see positive physical results throughout the training and after the training is complete. To be transparent, when we receive an application for yoga teacher training, we consider three main things:
- Logistics - are they able to commit to the hours?
- History - Do they have enough experience with vinyasa yoga?
- Purpose - does their purpose for wanting to do the training align with what we will be doing in the program?
99% of those who applied have been accepted. If if they have not been, it’s because of one of the above 3 reasons.
At the same time, we validate your physical concerns and anxieties about the training. If they are a grave concern, we will schedule a free 45-minute private yoga session with you to practice together, in order to give you our honest feedback about your physical asana readiness***.
Don’t let your fears go unspoken!
They will only get stronger when living in your head. Share your fears/doubts/worries with a yoga teacher, current teacher trainee, or the teacher training school and get feedback and information from someone else’s educated experience and perspective.
2. “I can’t do a headstand/handstand/crow pose yet. Can I still do the training?”
Long story short, yes, you can absolutely still do the yoga teacher training. In so many ways, this question kind of breaks my heart a little. Because handstands, headstands, and advanced asanas are not the essence nor foundation of yoga.
With the rise of social media, destination yoga photos, and some main-stream yoga styles, we often see these beautifully scenic photos with yogis doing advanced poses.
The truth is, one being able to put their foot behind their head while balancing on one hand and smiling does not mean they are any better of a yogi or yoga teacher than you are or will be. It means they can simultaneously put their foot behind their head while balancing on one hand and smile.
In yoga teacher training, you will be learning asanas, their benefit, modifications, and variations. You will be practicing these poses and enhancing your own yoga practice. What we can guarantee is that your yoga practice will transform from that first hour of yoga teacher training to the moment you graduate.
The truth is - what you are afraid of most when choosing to do yoga teacher training, is a shared fear of many training students. The truth is - many students going into yoga teacher training can not do a handstand, headstand, or have never tried one. The truth is - many training students are relieved to learn that their fellow training students are their same “level” of a practitioner.
Many students going into yoga teacher training wish they were stronger, more flexible, or were able to get on their yoga mat more often. The real question then becomes,
“Are you ready to face, challenge, and overcome those fears?”
Doubt your doubts. Surprise yourself. Because you are more ready than you think you are.
- Lindsay Lusignea