Has the thought of teaching yoga ever crossed your mind? Do you want to deepen your practice on a physical, intellectual and emotional level? Have you been considering applying for a teacher training for some time now, but just feel that you’re “not ready yet”? You may be more ready than you think…
10 Reasons You’re Ready for a Yoga Teacher Training:
- You’re Curious About What the Word “Yoga” Really Means. You’ve been going to yoga classes for a while (maybe months, maybe years), and you sometimes hear your instructor in class talking about the Yoga Sutras or the Yamas and Niyamas. You like what they’re saying, but you have no idea what a Yama is! If you’ve been having the desire to dig deeper into the world of yoga philosophy, then a yoga teacher training is the place for you. The word “yoga” can have several translations, but Pantanjali’s Sutra 1.2 tells us that the definition is “quieting the mind chatter”. If you’ve been wanting to live a more peaceful and mindful life, a teacher training can help provide you with the tools to do so.
- You Have a Passion and You Want to Share It. Whether you’ve been practicing for a few months or several years, you know how you feel about yoga. You LOVE it! You recognize all the benefits it’s brought into your life, and you can’t help sharing your thoughts about it with friends and family. When friends ask you to go to Happy Hour on Friday night, you find yourself suggesting a yoga class instead. It’s a discipline that’s brought you a lot of health and happiness, and you’re eager to stay on the path, learn more, and perhaps share the teachings of yoga with students of your own.
- You Love to Learn. You consider yourself a “student of life”, but your day job takes up most of your time and you’ve been wanting to get back into a learning environment. Maybe a small part of you misses the days of “homework”, or you love to read and/or journal. Perhaps you’re interested in philosophical discussions. Or you’d love to learn about the mechanics of the body and how the different parts work together in a specific yoga pose. Whatever you’re interested in, a teacher training will impart a wealth of knowledge on you!
- You’ve Been Waiting for the “Right Time”. Sutra 1.1 says that “Yoga begins NOW.” There’s no better time to begin a teacher training than when it feels right to you. We never regret the things we’ve done in life, only the things we never did. If you’ve been saying, “Someday I’m going to take a yoga teacher training, or “it’s been on my list…” start doing the research for one TODAY. You’ll thank yourself later! In the words of Hugh Laurie, “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.”
- You Meditate or Want to Learn How To. Let’s dispel some rumors about taking a YTT. You don’t have to already have a meditation practice to participate in a training. You DO have to have a desire to add meditation into your life. You will learn how to meditate during the training, it may come easily to you or it may not. Eventually, it will become a new habit – a habit that will have you feeling amazing! You’ll be surprised how quickly it’ll become a part of your daily routine.
- You Can’t Do a Handstand to Save Your Life… but You’ve Mastered the Art of Child’s Pose. Another big misperception about what it means to be “qualified” to attend a yoga teacher training is that you have to be able to achieve supposedly “advanced” postures like handstand or side crow. Inversions and arm balances don’t make you an advanced yogi! A much bigger indication that you’re ready to attend a yoga teacher training is that you are able to listen to your body. You follow your breath, and you know when to drop into a child’s pose when you need a rest. Yes, you may get closer to mastering inversions and arm balances during the training, or you may not. Either way, it won’t define your capabilities as a future teacher.
- You Want to Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People. If you’ve been yearning to deepen your practice surrounded by an amazing community of people, there’s no better place than a YTT. You’ll meet people that are as equally motivated as you to learn more about yoga and to share their practice. They will provide you with more inspiration then you could have ever imagined. And they will be there to lift you up when things get challenging. You will spend lots of hours together, and form an inseparable bond. When the time comes to say goodbye at the end, you’ll find you’re leaving with new friends for life.
- You’re Up for a Challenge. Whether you’re looking into taking a YTT locally or overseas, on the weekends over the course of 6 months, or during a one-month intensive, you’re up for the challenges ahead! You’re willing to step out of your comfort zone, both physically and emotionally. You’re open to embracing new ideas and to trying new things. A yoga teacher training will challenge you in every good way possible. (And even if you don’t think you’re up for the challenge, you’re most likely more ready than you realize!)
- You’re Ready for a Change in Your Life. If you’ve been feeling like there’s something “bigger” out there, if you’ve been wanting to dig deeper into yourself, if you’re ready to make changes in your life, a yoga teacher training is for you. While many people attend a YTT to become teachers and share their practice with others, many others attend to deepen their own personal practice, without the intention of teaching afterwards. Provided you are open and eager to embrace change, you will begin a yoga teacher training with one mindset, and end it with a transformed one. There will be a shift in your life, it may be subtle or it may be big, but it will be there. I can only describe it as a life-enhancing experience!
- And You Want to Change the World Too. Have you had the thought that you’d like to be doing something in life that benefits others and/or our environment? It took me years to realize that if we want the make the world a better place for all beings, the best place to begin is with ourselves. Ed and Deb Shapiro, in their book on meditation, Be the Change, say that “When we open to transformation within ourselves, so society also transforms – every change that each individual makes creates a chain reaction that is beneficial to all. Then, instead of focusing on the problems, we can start to live the solutions.” After having completed my yoga teacher training, nothing feels more true than those words. If you want to change the world, begin with changing yourself.
Author’s Note: I completed my YogaWorks teacher training in Bali at the end of October 2015. Prior to applying, attending a YTT and becoming a certified yoga teacher was something I had dreamed of for several years, but I had never felt ready for it. I finally decided, there really was no such thing as “ready” and took the leap. It was the best thing I did for myself in 2015! I began my training with the intention of “deepening my practice” and of becoming a yoga teacher “one day.” I honestly never believed I would be able to lead a class after just one month of training… but I was so wrong. My teachers Alicia Cheung and Oliver Reinsch, along with the YogaWorks format of teaching, provided myself and my fellow students with all the tools and confidence we needed to excel as teachers. As a newly certified teacher, I’m so grateful to have experienced this training, and so excited to share this amazing practice with others.