So you’ve been practicing yoga for a while now. You eat, sleep, and breathe yoga. Some may even say you’re yoga-obsessed. You want to expand and share your knowledge with others. That’s when you decide you want to take your yoga to the next level by taking a yoga teacher-training course and becoming a yoga teacher.
Then you panic because the thought of teaching a class full of eager yogis terrifies you. But just like everything else, the more you do it, the less scary it becomes. Besides, fear is just in our head anyway, right? You’ve made up your mind. You’re going to get certified!
But where do you go from there? Here are a few tips for deciding on and preparing for a yoga teacher training course.
Becoming a yoga teacher isn’t cheap. Most yoga teacher training courses range from £2000 – £2500. Some take place in a studio near you, other courses take place in exotic locations. So, depending on your training of choice, there may be more costs to take into account (flights, room & board, food, books, etc.).
Either way, unless you have solid savings already, start putting some money aside while you do your research. Which brings me to my next tip…
Don’t just pick a random course because it’s the closest or most convenient. These things need to be considered, but there is a lot more to it.
First off, you want to make sure that the training you pick is certified with Yoga Alliance as a 200-hour training course. Most studios require their teachers to be registered with Yoga Alliance and you cannot be registered with anything less than 200 hours of yoga teacher training, so this will come in handy when you are ready to teach. This will also be useful when getting insured as a yoga teacher. See here for insurance for yoga teachers.
Read about prices, schedules, locations, program requirements, topics covered, additional study, and required books. Make lists. Compare different courses. Which one seems to cover topics that excite you the most? You want to make sure the training covers a lot more than just the physical practice (asanas) of yoga, because being a teacher involves so much more than that.
Also, some programmes span over several months with some being more intense. Which setting would work the best for you? Do you want a program with a lot of independent study or more contact hours? Take all of this into account while doing your research.
Try Before You Buy
Take classes at the studio where the training is being held (if possible). If the studio is local to you, great! Take as many classes as you can; try as many different styles with as many different teachers as possible. You basically want to get a feel for the studio and their philosophy on yoga. Is this the kind of place at which you’d like to someday teach? Does their teaching style mesh with the way you’d like to teach or the way you like to learn? Is it a welcoming environment where you feel safe practicing and being yourself? Does this studio give you the impression that your practice can prosper and grow in this type of atmosphere?
If the studio is not local, try reading reviews of the studio. See what other people think and how they felt about their experiences under these teachers.
If you’re unsure about any aspect of the certification process, don’t be afraid to ask. You are going to be spending a lot of your money and your time here, so you deserve to have all of your questions answered. It’s more than likely that your training guides will be more than happy to help in any way that they can.
You want to be confident going into training that this is the right certification for you, and that you are going to be leaving with everything you were expecting. But also, leave room for some surprises as well. You are most likely going to be leaving this training with so much more than you could have ever dreamed; which leads me to my last tip…
Go into yoga teacher-training with an open mind and an open heart. You are going to learn so much about the history and philosophy of yoga. The physical practice, the breath, anatomy, assisting, meditation, etc. That’s what you signed up for.
But what you may not realise is that you are going to be gaining so much more than just knowledge. You will get to know yourself in new ways. You will get to know others. You will become vulnerable and emotional. You may share things with your fellow yogis that you’ve never shared with anyone before. You will laugh; you will cry. You will sweat and your muscles will ache. You will be exhausted and exhilarated all at once. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true: yoga teacher-training changes your life. You just need to allow it. Be open to the magic that yoga brings into your life.
Final Thoughts On Yoga Teacher-Training
Lastly, don’t let the cost of the training keep you from diving in. Trust me, I know it’s a lot of money. But think of it this way: you are investing in yourself. You are investing in your future. Don’t put a price on your passion. Take a deep breath. If you open yourself to the experience and put the work in, it will all be worth it.