Yoga teacher training programs need a better name. Yes, they prepare you to become a professional yoga teacher, but they do much more than that. They should really be called “200-hour Inward Journeys” or “Human Training.”
You will undoubtedly learn practical yoga skills like alignment, body awareness, anatomy and class sequencing, but the most profound parts of a yoga teacher training go beyond the physical. Here are 10 ways to know you’re ready to take a yoga teacher training.
1. You’re ready for a change in your life.
Once you’ve taken a yoga teacher training, you will view your life as “before training” and “after training.” Who you are will change. You cannot anticipate, control, or project what the change will look like, how long it will take, or who you will be after. If you’re ready for a change, a yoga teacher training will give you that in spades.
2. You want to deepen your yoga and spiritual practice.
It goes without saying that your yoga practice will change. The extended and more frequent training hours, the increased awareness, the dissection of poses anatomically and sequentially will refine your existing practice. You will become stronger as you practice consistently over a period of months. Your body will become more limber and your movements more fluid as you refine the linking of breath, body, and mind. Spiritually, you will dive deep. For perhaps the first time in your life, you will be meditating regularly and asked to observe your mind and your actions. The ethical principles of yoga are one-quarter of the practice of yoga. You will see your actions from an entirely new perspective. This may be the beginning of growth you’ve been longing for, growth based on spiritual or ethical principles that before teacher training, loomed out of reach.
3. You seek a more empowered connection with yourself.
Modern society is built on a disconnect between the human spirit and the human body. We toil at jobs we have moral ambiguity about. We keep ourselves awake with coffee and sugary foods. We tolerate relationships that don’t make us feel very good. The split between the body and the mind is so typical, most of us don’t know how to identify it or realize it’s happening to us. We may, however, that we are longing for something else. We may feel we don’t really know who we are. When asked “how do you feel?” we may have a hard time answering, or we don’t really want to confront the answer. Over the course of a teacher training, you will examine the “shoulds” that control your life. You will develop an empowered connection to yourself.
4. You want to understand how the mind works.
If you have ever suffered from anxiety, depression, confusion, or boredom, you have experienced what yoga would call “the whirling of the mental machinations.” The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali barely covers the physical postures of yoga, but it goes deeply into the study of mind. If you’re curious about your moods, and the connection between your thoughts and feelings, a yoga teacher training will give you ample opportunity to both observe your mind and learn how the mind works. Modern yoga is built on the ancient texts of yoga supplemented with current neurobiological and neurophysiological research. You will come to understand the workings of the human mind in an entirely new way.
5. You want to share yoga with others.
When people experience the fantastic results of yoga, they want to tell everyone about it. They want to share how they are less stressed, happier, more optimistic, less reactive, stronger and more flexible. They may like to show off with a pose or two. And most of all, when they encounter a friend or family member that they know could benefit from yoga, they can’t help but blurt out “you should try yoga!” If this has ever happened to you, you’re definitely ready for a teacher training. Yoga builds community. When you take a yoga teacher training, you’re equipped to contribute to your family, your community, and your social circle in increasingly positive and nurturing ways.
6. You long to express yourself in new and refined ways.
As a yoga teacher, you use your body, your voice, your breath, your energy, and your mind in a coordinated way to lead a group of people. Practicing this has a radical effect on how you express yourself. You’ve probably noticed that yoga teachers are different. They talk and move differently than most. They weren’t born that way. The became that way. The same thing will happen to you.
7. You want to be part of a tribe.
You will become part of a community united in the shared goals and values of love, integrity, growth, and service. You will speak a new language and be part of a culture shared by other yoga teachers. You will be part of a community that supports you, understands you, and inspires you. You will be part of a tribe that is continuously learning, evolving, and growing. You will never lack inspiration as long as you remain open to those around you.
8. You’re ready to make an investment in your future.
Completing a yoga teacher training is an investment in your future. How? Perhaps you have invested in yourself in the way of formal education, job training, resume re-writing services, make-overs, personal training, or a new wardrobe. All of those were probably done with a goal in mind. If I do X, I should get Y. Yoga teacher training is a non-quantifiable investment. What each person gets out of it will be what they need. You will become a better communicator. You will express yourself more clearly. You will clarify your values and ethics. You will have a better understanding of your body and mind, and by extension, the bodies and minds of others. You will know how to teach, not just yoga, but anything, as pedagogy, is a transferable skill. You will enter into a community and culture that encourages and supports growth and evolution. You will see yourself as valuable.
9. You’d like to be more equipped to handle work, dating, marriage, parenthood, aging, the apocalypse, or just tomorrow.
So much of teaching yoga is holding space. As a teacher, you hold space for the student to have any number of rich inner experiences. Imagine holding space at work, in your relationship, for your family, or during a crisis. A yoga teacher training brings out the leader in you. You will learn to observe and listen with greater presence and respond authentically. The world needs more of this.
10. You want to find out what you really have to offer the world.
If you apply yourself and listen carefully, you will discover your gifts and start to understand how they can be utilized in the world. This is something that usually takes a lifetime to figure out. A teacher training gives you a considerable advantage by sorting this out in a relatively short period of time. Letting go of worrying and fretting over what it is you’re meant to be doing recovers vast amounts of energy.
If you find yourself reflected in these statements or are interested in what else a yoga teacher training could offer you, come to one of our info sessions, held at Beloved World Yoga, 317 Central Ave. Light refreshments will be served.
Monday, June 18 at 7:30pm
Saturday, July 14 at 11:30am