It has been an eye-opening experience since completing my (first) 200-hour yoga teacher training (aka YTT) back in 2013 and then another one in 2016. Both experiences have made impressions on me that I am forever grateful for. To reflect back on these very different times in my life and see how I have changed from each of the trainings is surreal.
The first YTT happened when I wanted to learn more so for myself because I wanted to understand how to practice yoga in a safe manner. The second YTT was because I really resonated with the style and wanted to find my voice as a teacher. Both were rewarding decisions I’ve made in my life because it was simply the right place and time.
So if you are interested in signing up for a yoga teacher training, here are questions I came up for you to reflect on before enrolling in one.
Questions to Ask yourself BEFORE signing up for a yoga teacher training
1. What are your intentions for doing this training?
Is it your objective and calling to be a yoga teacher? Or are you looking to just deepen your own personal knowledge in yoga and spirituality? What are you ultimately looking to get out of this experience? Signing up for a teacher training is a huge investment in time, money, and energy. And although it is great to continue to learn and receive more training, just be clear as to why you are doing this. Whatever the right and honest reasons are for you.
2. Is this is the right time for you?
Think about your current mental, physical, and energetic states. How are your finances? Do you have the capacity to give it your all? Can you take an entire month off or do you only have weekends available? Understand that teacher training is not your own therapy session (not saying that it can’t be) but if you have the intention to teach others, it is best to give it your all to soak up all the information being provided. Because teacher training is demanding and there can be unexpected things that arise for you during the process. You’ll be more successful by having the mental and physical capacity, plus resources, to commit to this training.
3. What does yoga mean to you?
Take a moment to really reflect and think about what it is that draws you to yoga. Is it a form of maintenance on your off days from the gym? Or are you filled with joy when you can nerd out about anatomy, philosophy, and everything yoga? If you are driven by eagerness to grow your practice on and off the mat and have a desire to share this love with others, this might be an option for you. Yoga is a lifestyle and there is a beautiful community behind it. Being able to teach something to another is a gift in itself and for others to fully embody and understand it on their own is so powerful.
4. How is your own Yoga practice?
You don’t have to be able to do all of the yoga poses under the sun to be an excellent teacher. But to be able to keep up with the training, having a regular practice in place is quite helpful. You won’t feel like you are starting from zero because you already have familiarity with the poses and philosophy. So whether you practice at home or in studio, you have consistently developed and grown your passion for yoga. And this is what drives you to want to teach this subject.
5. DO YOU CONNECT WITH THE STUDIO, TEACHER, AND CURRICULUM BEING OFFERED?
There are an array of YTTs available and it can be overwhelming to pick just one. Ask yourself questions to find the one that connects with you on all levels, that you feel is right in your gut. Do you want to focus more on anatomy and asana? Are you looking for more emphasis placed on philosophy and spirituality? Do you prefer this style over that one? Or are you looking for a little bit of everything? How many hours do you get to practice actually teaching in front of a class? Take class with the teachers who are co-leading the training and see if you like the way they teach. Check out the studio to see how it will facilitate with how you learn best in a certain setting. This is your choice to make, no one else’s.
6. Is this program Yoga alliance certified?
If you decide that you want to teach, many studios and gyms only accept teachers who are qualified via Yoga Alliance (aka YA). There is an annual YA registration fee of about $100 to continue to stay certified with them. On the plus side of being YA registered: there are tons of perks for yoga teachers!
There are also places who do not require your training to be YA-certified to teach at their establishment. So if you do find a program that isn’t YA approved and everything else aligns with what you are looking for in a training, consider still participating in it.
Consider all the factors and do your research before deciding on a YTT.
Did I mention: DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Again, you are investing a lot of resources into this decision. Talk to the studio about what the program is going to entail. Reach out to recent YTT graduates of the program and ask what their experiences were like. Consider what else is included (or not) in the program.
Feel empowered about this decision because you have the right to ask questions and gain as much knowledge before committing. This is YOUR choice.
If you have any questions about my experiences with YTTs, send me an email and I’ll share some of my insights with you. Good luck!