So you’ve signed up for yoga teacher training — good for you! You might be excited and a little nervous as you contemplate the prospect of helping others liberate mind and body through this ancient practice, and you no doubt have done enough of it yourself to recognize its transformative properties for mind, body, and spirit.
Whether you have signed up for a four-week intensive course, or you plan to spread out your coursework and your practice over the course of several months, there are some things that you need to know in order to make your process “flow” more smoothly. Here are some things to expect from your yoga teacher training that I wish I’d known before starting… take a deep breath, center yourself, and dive in!
1. You will have “off” days during your training time and beyond
There will be days when practice will make you feel as if you are floating on a cloud, and there will be other days when you feel like you want to strangle the person on the mat next to you.
Keep showing up, keep committing to go inward and figure out where these toxic feelings, sore muscles, and resistance are coming from, and you will push through it. Have as much grace and patience with yourself that you do with your clients, and you will grow no matter what kind of day it is.
2. You will get stronger…a lot stronger
Yoga practice will challenge your mind, tickle your emotions, and push you farther past your self imposed physical limitations than you’ve ever been before. As you complete 2 and 3-hour classes, expect to be tired, sore, and downright crabby, but this is evidence that you are getting stronger in every way.
Celebrate what you are doing for yourself now and what you will do for others later; it’s life-changing work.
3. You will meet like-minded people
It is likely that the people you train with will become life long friends. Yoga bonds us in a way that few other activities do, and these others training with you are here for similar reasons; they have a passion for diving into themselves, they want to help others, and they wish to connect as well. Look for opportunities to network and develop rich friendships that will benefit you personally and professionally.
4. You will be uncomfortable
The pathway to becoming a yoga teacher is not easy; you will be challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally as you reach for new heights with your practice and work to shed self-consciousness and doubt that go with a new endeavor.
The element of study and proficiency is a bit daunting for some as well, as most practitioners have been out of school for a while before going into training. Great rewards come with taking risks; push through the discomfort and see what heights you can rise too.
5. You will become a more effective communicator
Most of us don’t have an appreciation for the amount of skill that goes into effectively communicating the nuances of a pose in such a way that others understand it; it takes patience, time, and lots and lots of practice.
Through your training, you will learn how to use direct, positive, affirmative speech and an authoritative nuance to your voice that will make you an effective teacher and a better communicator.
6. You will learn that yoga is so much more than postures
Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh is so much more than optimizing the physical body – it’s foundation lies in philosophy, spirituality, and a connection to all things in the universe that make it truly magical and transformative.
While you might feel as if your head will explode at the thought of memorizing Sanskrit words, know that the implementation of philosophy into your practice will bring with it only what you need, and others in your studio can find their individual transformations and reasons for practice as well.
7. You might not feel ready to teach after completing your training
It is expected that you will be hesitant to jump in and take over your own studio after completing a training course; rest assured, you have the basic foundations in place. The rest will come with time, passion and practice. The more you practice, the more you will become the teacher you’ve always dreamed of becoming.
8. You’ll get out exactly what you put in
Yoga is not something that can be approached lackadaisically; it is something that you do with your whole heart, mind, and body. You will get out of your practice and your training exactly what you put in.
If you want to teach with integrity, then you must practice and train with integrity, and the rest will follow. You deserve to give yourself the gift of your best effort – you’ll see benefits in every area of your life!
Get ready… here we go!
You are about to embark on a very exciting and transformative journey toward health and wellness. Expect the following to occur:
- Your life will be changed significantly
- You will cry tears of sadness and joy
- You will experience some weird stuff!
- You will move into true friendships
- You will question your reality
- You will become a better person
If that isn’t enough to get you started, I don’t know what will. Embrace your journey!