What is it Like to Become a Certified Yoga Instructor? Advice From Real Teachers



You’ve probably heard that becoming a yoga teacher is a transformative experience.


But students attend YTT for all kinds of reasons, and it impacts every person in a profoundly unique way. In fact, yoga teacher training often ends up changing someone's life in areas they never expected.


To know what its really like to become a certified yoga instructor, you have to ask those who've experienced it. We chatted with six Full Circle Yoga School alumni to learn how yoga teacher training changed their life for good.


Jackie Ruane


How did YTT change you?


I knew I was going to like immersing myself into an environment filled with yoga. However, I did not know how much self-growth would occur within the 2 weeks of the training. I’ve experienced epiphanies before, but not to this extent.


The yoga teacher training was like experiencing a life-changing epiphany, several times a day. My perspective, thoughts, and energy completely transformed. The way I lived every aspect of my life transformed. It felt like I opened my eyes into an entirely different life — a life that I could find happiness in any situation.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to attend a teacher training?


If you are considering a yoga-teacher training — notice if it feels right. If it feels right, do it. The yoga teacher training experience is too profound to worry about the little stuff, just do it!



Don Leslie


What are some of the highlights of yoga teacher training with Full Circle Yoga School?


When I think back to yoga teacher training one of the highlights for me was visiting White Sands Buddhist Temple for their Sunday dharma service and luncheon. It was an amazing experience and the temple is now on my permanent list of things to visit whenever I am even remotely close. Another highlight for me was the full moon drum circle that we attended on the beach. It was a wonderful gathering of people all there to just bang a drum, dance, and just have a really good time under the full moon.


What did you learn about yourself?


During yoga teacher training I learned that I tend to get really anxious leading up to things and almost project an outcome. I learned to live more in the moment and let things unfold as they were truly meant to be, settling my thoughts, learning to love each and every moment life offers.


How did YTT change you?


Yoga teacher training really inspired me to move forward in my journey into becoming a yoga instructor. The support and enthusiasm I experienced by each and every person (Full Circle Yoga teachers/staff, the guest speakers/teachers, each and every student) was truly amazing.


What were some of the unexpected benefits of Yoga Teacher Training?


One unexpected benefit I received from yoga training was learning more about meditation and meditating with mala beads. This is now a part of my regular routine, meditating at least once a day.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to attend a teacher training?


For someone who might be undecided about attending yoga teacher training, first find a reputable school and ask questions. Based on my experience, Full Circle Yoga School was very accommodating, answered all and any questions I had, and provided one of the best learning experiences I have had in my life. Second, remember, great things never came from comfort zones.


Follow Don on Instagram @Bassboomingyogi_DSL or visit his teacher profile



Brittany McGuffin


What are some of the highlights of yoga teacher training with Full Circle Yoga School?


The greatest highlight that sticks out for me from YTT is finding my tribe. I haven’t had the experience of a close group connection since the beginning of high school. When you “grow up” it is more difficult to make friends and find people other than your immediate family that you actually have the time to get together with.


It was an irreplaceable experience to be able to meet beautiful individuals from all walks of life, each going through a variety of life challenges but deciding to engage in bettering themselves through learning new things and seeking a happier, more meaningful path.


What did you learn about yourself?


Going into the training I knew I would have to set boundaries for myself to be able to be fully present and professional, however, YTT taught me more than anything that I am able to not only be present by my choosing, but also to acknowledge where I am at currently in any situation in life and know that I am the most prepared I can possibly be for whatever experience may arise. It is this constant evolution that creates polarity in life.


At the end of YTT, I came to realize this was an experience necessary to become the best yoga teacher I could be for the students I would be able to reach throughout my yoga career and to completely have trust in myself.


What were some of the unexpected benefits of Yoga Teacher Training?


There were so many unexpected bonuses from YTT. To name a few, the overflowing knowledge and wisdom from each instructor was so abundant and I realized quickly that the variety was a rare opportunity.


From Debbie’s knowledge on essential oils and the importance of homeostasis in the body to Jodie’s breakdown on nutrition and a whole foods/plant-based diet, it was an unexpected surprise. Going into YTT I had expected to learn asanas, variations, modifications and sequencing, which is wonderful and very necessary — but Full Circle Yoga School offers so much more on top of this.


Given the opportunity to learn about things I had never heard of like inner Shamanic work, manifestation and the micro movements of the body through each asana, was an absolute blessing and gave me the confidence to truly understand what my purpose is now in each class, with each student through a broader perception.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to attend a teacher training?


If YTT is something you’ve been thinking of doing for a while or even if it just recently has peaked your interest, but you know deep down it looks amazing — just do it. I had been practicing yoga for over a decade before I decided to take YTT, whereas my husband had only been practicing daily for less than a year.


I can easily state from opposite sides of the spectrum that we learned so much in depth about yoga, ourselves & living a healthier life in the YTT process. We definitely loved the experience, especially together!


Follow Brittany and Tom on Instagram @luna_solyoga or visit their yoga website



Roxanne (Roxie) Sudendorf


What are some of the highlights of yoga teacher training with Full Circle Yoga School?


Highlights that stand out to me are the lifelong connections that I made through the training. In the beginning, you live in a house with complete strangers from all over the world. And at the end of training, you become a family.


In the yoga training, you learn much more than just yoga philosophy. You create a meaning for yourself that runs deeper than the physicality of asanas. You learn how to become your truest self, in a way that you are more apt to serve and heal not only yourself, but others.


What did you learn about yourself?


I learned that I create my own reality, and that I can hold a safe space for others even if I am still working on my struggles or suffering. I learned that yoga does not only encompass asana, but it is merely a path to finding your own enlightenment and living your fullest life. However, that path may be different for others.


For me, it’s knowing that life is short, and that serving and healing myself can, in turn, aid in healing others and the world at large.


How did YTT change you?


Yoga teacher training changed and inspired me in more ways than one. I feel that I always knew who I was, but taking this training inspired me to live a life that’s truer to myself, in the aspect of living up to my own morals and beliefs. It inspires you to gain some introspection and take a look at who you are on the inside.


It challenges you, breaks you open, and makes you super uncomfortable. But, that’s where the growth comes. You cultivate an inner sense of peace knowing that you are completely in control of your own reality and life.


I loved learning about the Yamas and Niyamas, and how we can bring those teachings off the mat and into our own lives. I became a vegetarian after my training, and I feel much more aligned in my body and own morale.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to attend a teacher training?


My advice would be to just go for it. If you’re looking to learn more about the history of yoga, yoga philosophy, the 8 limbs, meditation, asana, etc., a yoga teacher training is worth it. Even if you never want to teach! It’s nice to have that anatomical knowledge about the body so that you can practice asana safely, and the pranayama techniques we learned are also amazing as well. f


Follow Roxie on Instagram at @yoga.with.roxie or visit her Facebook page



Judith Radner


What are some of the highlights of yoga teacher training with Full Circle Yoga School?


I experienced the healing of physical and mental stress. I rest more in myself since the education. And it was really great to teach from the beginning of the training. I met so many lovely people at the yoga teacher training and enjoyed the beautiful surrounding of Maui!


What did you learn about yourself?


I have more awareness of my body, and I'm able to stay more centered. I got to know my inner being and respect my own boundaries more.


Yoga teacher training expanded my creativity and flexibility. I can stay much calmer in stressful situations, and I have more energy in my daily life. It opened up my heart center and brought more love and happiness in my life.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to attend a teacher training?


I think the less expectation the better. Be open and free for new experiences and it will be magical.



Lauren Valentine


What are some of the highlights of yoga teacher training with Full Circle Yoga School?


Going to the White Sands Buddhist Monastery and being part of the service and meditating in the gardens! Staying in the group house and having so much fun bonding with my classmates over dinner, stories, homework! Seeing all the different styles and different traditions that the staff brings. They brought so many special touches and insights well beyond asana.


What did you learn about yourself?


The need for more discipline and dedication to myself, keeping my promises to myself. Doing something that makes you a little nervous and vulnerable is always 100% worth it!


What were some of the unexpected benefits of Yoga Teacher Training?


Forever Friendships! Motivation! Humility! Grace. Did I mention forever friends?


What advice would you give to someone who wants to attend a teacher training?


Just do it. I was nervous that I would not fit a “typical yogi” mold or that my practice was not advanced enough. And right away the instructors and classmates make you feel welcome no matter where you are on your journey!


Follow Lauren on Instagram @alma_healing



Have any more questions about YTT? Check out our yoga teacher training page or send us an email at info@fullcircleyoga.school.com — we can't wait to hear from you!


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