8 Reasons Why Yoga Teacher Training is the Best Life Experience Ever
As we put together the materials for our third yoga teacher training in our La Jolla yoga studio, I have been reflecting a lot on the very first one I ever took. It was a life-changing experience for me both professionally and personally. I wanted to learn more about yoga and was looking to shift the course my life was taking. When I think about why signing up for my first teacher training was such a great idea, these are the reasons that come up for me. Whether you think you are ready or not, there are several reasons why jumping in on this experience is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Yoga Teacher Training is life-changing in simple yet powerful ways:
Find a non-dogmatic spiritual path. Yoga contains a clear yet profound set of guidelines for living a spiritually connected life. In a teacher training, you will learn in-depth about Patanjali’s 8 limbs: yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. These concepts represent a code of conduct as well as ways to find more peace and contentment in your daily life. Committing to a yogic path does not mean you have to change who you are or become a Hindu.
Make a meaningful change. I was speaking with a woman who signed up for our La Jolla Yoga teacher training this January and she confided how much she dislikes being an accountant and wants to shift into another career. Experiences like a YTT turn on creativity and self-awareness so that we may connect with what it is we are meant to do in our next chapter or enrich the current profession we are already in.
Refine your physical practice. Regardless of how long you have been practicing, taking a YTT is a yoga immersion like no other. You will be consistently practicing throughout the training while gaining knowledge about the intricacies of all the postures. You don’t need to be able to do a bunch of fancy poses to be qualified for a teacher training. However the body becomes stronger and more flexible, transitions become more seamless and you will be able to do things that you never thought possible.
Study the deep stuff. Yoga is more than poses. In group classes postures, alignment and breath are heavily emphasized. Many teachers don’t include the more subtle practices such as bandhas and drishti. Teacher trainings emphasize the importance of these practices so that you can integrate them into your own practice and share them with others.
Learn how to teach. Teaching a yoga class requires many skills combined in an artful way. Sequencing postures, knowing clear verbal cues to move people from pose to pose, giving hands-on adjustments and putting together inspiring playlists are just a few of the things you will learn. It’s a wonderful feeling when you find yourself successfully leading people through movement while holding a peaceful yet dynamic space for your students.
Find your own voice. One of the most beautiful things to witness in a teacher training is watching someone who is scared of public speaking conquer that fear. Standing in front of a group of people and leading them through a class that you have prepared is an excellent way to find your voice and be confident in what you have to share with others.
Better than therapy. Teacher trainings have a tendency to bring up our “stuff.” We all got it, right? This is an opportunity to take a look at ourselves in a new light. Examine our habits that don’t serve us and create new, healthier ones. Drinking a few too many glasses of wine every night? Not taking care of yourself the way you would like to be? Teacher training can act as a reset button and get you out of a rut. Studying the “yoga lifestyle” will teach you ways to stay healthier and feel your best. It’s not difficult or complicated. You’ll be excited to incorporate these teachings into your daily life.
Develop your home practice. It’s a common goal I hear from students that they would like to practice more at home but after five minutes they “run-out of stuff to do.” After a teacher training this will never happen again. You’ll be more familiar with postures and how to sequence them for any length of practice. Yoga at home won’t just be about the physical practice. You will find yourself easily integrating Pranayama and meditation into your daily life. There is no greater stress release than daily yoga. Especially one that is a unique and personal blend of both the physical and more subtle practices that you learned in your training.