Yoga teacher training is a transformative endeavor that affects students mentally, spiritually, and physically. When you’re ready to embark on this adventure and you’re seeking out a teacher training school, it can be hard to know where to start.
Taking time to clarify your intentions, expectations, and goals can make sure that you choose a training course that’s right for you. Before jumping into a course, ask yourself these 5 important questions.
What theories, techniques, and practices do you want to learn?
Deciding on asana styles is an important decision when choosing a yoga teacher training course, but it isn’t the only one. Consider the spiritual, philosophical, and historical knowledge you’d like to learn. Perhaps you want to learn more about reiki, energy healing, and chakras at your teacher training. Or, maybe you’re particularly interested in the business of yoga or hosting destination retreats. The more specific you can be about what you’d like to learn, the easier it is to narrow down a list of schools that are right for you.
Does the yoga teacher training school reflect your values?
There are thousands of options for yoga teacher training programs around the world. Unfortunately, an oversaturated market of yoga schools has led to the development of programs and individuals whose intentions aren’t always honest.
When weeding through the many options available to you, be sure to do your research. What have past students said in school reviews? Does it seem rooted in your personal and spiritual growth? Are there signs that past students have found fulfillment through the training?
This is an important element of yoga teacher training that prospective students often miss, but go with your gut when vetting options — it’s a great opportunity to start tapping into your intuition to make decisions that serve you.
Are you open to changing your daily routine?
Attending a yoga teacher training school means adopting a yogic lifestyle. This may mean getting up before 6am, practicing morning asana before eating, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
Many YTT programs also recommend an overhaul of your eating habits, which may mean excluding meat and dairy products, refined sugars, and processed foods. Making an abrupt change to your eating habits can make you feel tired and irritable. This, coupled with intensive days of learning and practice, may make you feel more worn out than usual.
It’s absolutely fine if you don’t already have a daily yoga practice – but signing up for a YTT is a great reason to start. Your teacher training program will be filled with long days of learning and practicing yoga. Amping up your yoga, meditation, and healthy eating routine in the weeks leading up to your training will ensure that you’re mentally and physically prepared.
How will you feel if your expectations of yoga teacher training don’t match reality?
It’s easy to be lured by photos of beaches, luxury accommodations, and rainbow smoothie bowls. But it’s important to differentiate between these expectations of your yoga teacher training, and the actual experience. Yoga teacher training is certainly a blissful and transformative time, but it also requires determination and hard work.
Setting high expectations for an entirely new journey can lead to disappointment and setbacks. One way to get the most out of the experience is to set intentions rather than expectations. Who would you like to become after your training? What aspects of your mind and spirit would you like to transform or change?
Can you move past your ego to work through your emotions?
Yoga teacher trainings are an opportunity to awaken your spiritual side and become more connected both to yourself and the world around you. To truly work past your traumas, fears, and doubts, you’ll need to have a mind that’s clear and open. This means checking your ego at the door and welcoming new opportunities to learn, grow, and accept yourself exactly as you are.
Everyone starts teacher training at a different point in their lives. You’ll be surrounded by fellow students of different levels, beliefs, and backgrounds. Stay open to recognizing the beauty of these different paths and you’ll free yourself of competition and judgement. Humility is not easy to practice, but it can be absolutely life-changing — especially when cultivated during a yoga teacher training.