10 Easy Steps to Prepare You for a Yoga Teachers Training
Yoga Teacher Training Course
a life changing, personal and professional journey that a brave and open soul undertakes in an effort to find mindful, non invasive and effective ways of combating change, accessing health benefits and flourishing into their best self.
Summer has slowly simmered to an end and whether you spent these blissful months basking underneath the warm rays of the sun or hustling and grinding daily, I know you too can feel this drowsy atmosphere just as we begin to reflect on summer and look ahead.
For InDepth Yoga Academy, which I am a proud part of, this means teacher training season. A strange name for one of the greatest collections of months in the year for me, it's an exciting time filled with lots of new people, healing, learning, love and so much more. So I thought what better time to help out some of the students we will be seeing in the upcoming year or maybe even someone out there worried about starting their own yoga journey, joining their first teacher training, and flourishing into their own extraordinary lifestyle.
So here is my definite, all-inclusive, and personally tested guide on how to prepare for your yoga teacher training.
From someone who has been there and seen it all from the perspective of both the student and the teacher.
1. Make the right choice.
Especially if embarking on your first training and doing your 200 hours, the school you choose is more than just a training space and much more than just a collection of people that will drill the Sanskrit names of poses and positions of the chakras into your brain. They will be your biggest cheerleaders, your inspiration, your guides and gurus for the rest of your lifetime. Too many times I notice that some students don’t think of their first training as a kind of ceremonial initiation, a new family that they gained not through blood or marriage but a passion for change, a kindness from the heart and the common belief that yoga can truly help individuals. Making the right choice when picking your training can leave you with lifetime friends, a support system that never goes away, a safe haven to return to whenever and so much more.
2. Set an intention.
There is nothing so simple and so vital as your intention. You can even do it right now as you are reading this blog post. Close your eyes and ask yourself “What do I hope to achieve with this teacher training?”
Do you have an answer?
It can be anything at all, don’t try to answer in whatever your perception of yoga or training is, don’t try to answer in a way that is logical or what you think you should say.
Even if your answer was to become flexible. To learn more about yourself. To learn more about the body. It's so vital for us to set that intention going into the training because it will become our rock, the thing that holds us grounded and appreciative throughout the experience.
3. Know that your intention may change. And that it’s okay.
Yes, your intention may change. Mine did! I went into my first training afraid and self-conscious. I simply wanted to improve my health and after a very difficult period of my life – to rebuild my relationship with my body. Halfway through my training, I realized that yoga had the potential to do something completely unexpected and life-changing for me – it had the potential of setting me on a path of mental healing, self-acceptance and emotional growth. It had the potential to give me back my mind. From then on my main intention turned inward and I didn’t mind for a second.
4. Start your reading.
Like today. There is no greater feeling than rolling up to the doors of your chosen school having already finished Hatha Yoga Pradipika, The Bhagavad Gita, and The Autobiography of a Yogi. Trust me.
Starting your reading now even if your training is in December will give you valuable time to begin to digest the material you will be focusing on in the lectures of your training, give you the needed introduction into the most basic yogic beliefs and practices, allow you to feel more prepared and best of all – inspire you and motivate you to learn more further exciting you for your training.
Because in yoga much life in life, you can never read too many books!
5. Don’t try to over-practice.
Hush that little voice inside your head that tells you that you need to be a certain way to be a yoga teacher, that you need to weigh a certain amount or believe a certain thing or worst of all, to be flexible in all kinds of directions.
Don’t bend yourself into a pretzel, literally and figuratively, to prepare for the training. Seeing as how you are embarking on this journey I feel it is safe to assume you have your share of yoga practice and that is more than enough.
Many of us think that we need to have a certain level of experience in order to do our yoga teacher trainings and while more experience is certainly not a bad thing it is also not something you should be setting as your top priority.
Go to the yoga classes you always go to, enjoy them, practice awareness and get excited. Yoga is not a competition. It is a lifestyle and I assure you, you just the way you are, are welcome.
6. Ego who?
Best thing you can do before coming to your training? Leave your ego at the door. It is an incredibly moving and humbling experience to come to a new place and surround yourself with like-minded people, hear their stories and their passions. You will hear about the mountains they have climbed and the battles they have fought. And on that note…
7. Open your heart.
The training will be your opportunity to build friendships that last for lifetimes, it will be your opportunity to shake off the past version of yourself and flourish into the version you have always wanted to be, and it will be your opportunity to not only advance in your career but change your way of thinking, your way of life, your perception of yourself and of others.
You will have a stronger connection with your mind, body, and spirit. You will understand, practice, and preach empathy and kindness, and awareness.
8. Buy a yoga mat. A reusable water bottle and…
Getting back into the physical let's name some things you will absolutely need during your training and that you should keep in mind when packing your suitcase:
your yoga mat - because of course
a reusable water bottle – because we aren’t about using plastic on this planet anymore
your yoga clothes (tops, leggings) and if you come to study with us I would highly recommend some sunscreen!
a notebook – this is such an essential! You will definitely want to do a lot of journaling, self-reflection and overall writing down your thoughts throughout the training so don’t forget to bring your favorite notebook and pen.
9. Don’t be scared if you encounter some bumps along the road.
Don’t get discouraged if you are reading something you don’t think you can ever understand or freak out if you can’t remember all the muscles of the back.
At the end of the day, I would just like to casually remind you that we often forget just how incredibly capable we are and nothing would be worth it if it didn’t put up a little bit of a challenge. There will be bumps along the road and as long as you are aware of your intention, understand the why behind what you are doing, don’t lose faith, lean on your gurus when in need and trust, truly trust yourself. Then none of those bumps will be enough to shake you.
Many of you want to know: can you fail a yoga teacher training? Well… yes and no!
Let me explain. If you come to the training ready to learn, study your butt off, experience the incredible benefits of the school, enjoy your time with the other students and practice with persistence and positivity. You will not fail.
If you come to the training with a bad attitude, complain, and don’t try every day to be better than yesterday, not try at all really, there is a much greater chance of you failing.
At the end of the day, your final exam is not the last time you’ll be teaching, quite the opposite and your teacher know that much of what makes them so great is practice, aka that which you haven’t got a lot of so don’t worry about failing - just do your best!
10. This is only the very beginning.
After your first teacher training, you realize one thing very fast and it is this, you can never learn it all but you can sure try. I didn’t realize just how extensive the world of yoga is, how much there is left to learn and how incredibly interesting it all is. After you finish your first training you will gain an affinity for learning, for developing, and discovering don’t ever stop that part of yourself.
It is the new you working towards something greater than yourself. In this world you and I exist, the road is long and so wonderful. I can’t wait for you to begin your journey on it too.
Remember your intention, teach what you know, keep your heart open and full of love and always continue to grow.
Train with InDepth Yoga Academy.
Thank you for Reading! Comment down your thoughts below - have you already done your 200hr or just preparing?
How did it go if you did?