After facilitating four yoga teacher training programs I have watched many people come in with mixed ideas about what they are going to learn and what the program is all about. It’s not an easy process. Some of the feedback has been like this:
• I thought we’d be doing a lot of yoga classes
• I thought I would get a six-pack
• I thought I would get better at my arm-balancing
Well… you CAN take a lot of classes so you may get a six-pack and your arm balancing may improve. But the training is what you make of it. These things happen based on what you want to do. You can take as many yoga classes as you like – but we don’t do many classes in the lecture parts of it. You have unlimited access to the studio during the program… The progress that you make physically is up to you… But honestly – being a yoga teacher is not about what happens to our bodies.
What does yoga teacher training really do then if it’s not a bunch of yoga classes..? I hope this can clarify some of it:
1. There is a lot of sitting and listening… And hopefully note taking. There is a lot of me talking… I catch myself and limit my tangents, but there is a lot to say.
2. There is a lot of practice teaching. So we pick poses and go over them one by one and you practice teach them in groups.
3. Then you teach to the group. I try on day 1 to get people up and teaching. It’s the best way to just do it. Get the mistakes out and get ready for a wild ride of fumbling through an entirely new language.
4. The reading that you have to do is not a lot – but the more you read the better.
5. You learn A LOT. I’m not just talking about yoga… but about the body, body parts, the mind, history, how to TEACH, how to listen… and here’s the kicker… ABOUT YOURSELF.
6. You learn that there isn’t “one yoga”. There isn’t a best practice. We are all just trying to figure ourselves out…
7. The self study is practicing TEACHING. So, you want to set aside 10-15 minutes every day to go over a pose or two and not just doing the pose, but teaching the pose.
8. This is a program where you meet friends that you may keep for life. Seriously. I love watching friendships grow here…
9. At the end of the training… trust me… if you do the work and practice you will be an excellent yoga teacher. I see it happen. I have seen in happen to people who didn’t believe it would happen. This is a proven method.