How To Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Teacher Training Program
“There is no end to self-development. It’s work, step by step. The gift of yoga is you don’t have to jump to the top of the ladder. Take the first step. Don’t worry about the last step. What presents itself to you is the next step. Then the next step becomes obvious. But if you try to figure out how to get to the top, you may become discouraged and go away.” -Gary Kraftsow, Yoga for Self-Transformation
Remember that at the end of a yoga teacher training program you will not become a fully trained Yoga instructor. You never become a fully trained Yoga instructor. You are first, and foremost, a student of Yoga. Always growing, always learning. Keep this humble, curious mind throughout your life and then, your teaching (and your life) will shine. It is a privilege and a great responsibility to lead others on their yogic path. Remember that we are all students together on this journey.
· Be present.
· Honour where you are in your practice and your body. Respect the limitations of your body. Honour your injuries. We’d rather see you respecting where you are in your yoga than pushing for a preconceived image of where you think you should be. Remember, as an instructor you must lead by example. Practice this by showing the wisdom to respect your body, wherever it is.
· Get out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to try something new. When practice teaching, give it your all. If something doesn’t speak to you right away, try it anyway. Be open to new experiences and you might just find that you like it!
· Yoga is about connecting. Practice this with your fellow classmates and loved ones in your life. Form a study group, practice adjustments with others, and share your knowledge (if they want to hear it!).
· Practice. Take classes on your off days from instructors that teach in the yoga style that you are studying. Practice what you have learned.
· Take time off. Give your body and mind time to rest from yoga. Not matter how much you love yoga, burn-out can (and will) happen. Give yourself at least one day a week that you do not do yoga. Take a nap instead!
· Pamper yourself. During this training we will ask a lot of our bodies. Soreness and exhaustion will happen. During this time of pushing it to the limits it is important to nurture your body as well. Give your body time to heal. Take a bath, schedule a massage (of get your husband to do it!), and eat healthy food that helps to repair the muscles.
· Dedicate the time to yourself and your learning. For the length of this training make yourself and your yoga practice a priority. This is not the time to move or start another course.
· Enjoy! You will only take your 200-hr YTT once. Enjoy the amazement and wonder at discovering new things in your body. Have fun and make new friends. Revel in the mystery and the knowledge that comes on the yogic path.
· Force your body. Respect the signals and messages that your body is giving you. There is no point hurting yourself during training and then not being able to participate in the Asana classes. Start learning to respect your body and demonstrate that in your own practice.
· Get distracted. Focus on yoga and why you are here instead of how annoyed you are by the loud lady talking outside.
· Get lost in confusion. Questions will arise. We will answer what we can, as clearly as we can. However, some questions don’t have an exact answer and some answers only come with time. Trust what you know and approach everything else with an open-minded curiosity. Be okay with not knowing.
· Reject before trying. Not all aspects of the yoga path with appeal to you at first. Just remember that there are many pieces to the yoga puzzle. We will explore all of them, some more than others. If a certain aspect doesn’t appeal to you remember that yoga is about flexibility and exploration. Approach everything with an open mind and give it a try. You might find that what you once disliked is now your new passion!
· Stress. Remember that we are placing the groundwork for a lifetime of practice. There may come times in the process that you feel like you know nothing or that everything you have learned previously is wrong.
You will probably experience a range of emotions. Trust that at the end of this course you will know what you need to know in order to teach safely and effectively. The rest will come in time. Relax, smile and, of course, breath!