Yoga Teacher Training: The Lowdown
I am nearly thirty and if you had asked me at twenty where I thought I would be right now, my answer would definitely not be sitting in circle with my eyes closed saying "Aum" on repeat. No way; I was going to be a successful business woman; pencil skirt, horn-rimmed glasses, Audi A4 parked in the driveway and sipping cocktails at tennis clubs on weekends. The whole thing! But alas, there I was in my yoga pants, a bit hungover from a night of nervous drinking and thinking, 'Dear God I’ve made a huge mistake.'
Like most things in life though, it pays to suck it up and just do the damn thing. So, day one was hard, day two was a little easier and only by day three or four into my training did I start to trust that I had actually done the right thing. And now I have, somehow, come out the other end feeling nothing short of totally enlightened (truth).
In the thick of my teacher training program I had a number of people reach out to me on the topic of whether or not they are ready for this course. It's a big commitment - it sucks up a large amount of time, and empties out your savings account faster than you can say Vismamitrisana! So it's only right to question whether or not this is something you should invest your money and energy into. And actually, the more you question this, the better. So, I always encourage people to ask as many questions to as many people as possible. To make sure you know exactly what you are getting into and WHY (the why is a big one!). Here are a few of the more common questions I got asked:
I CAN'T DO A HEADSTAND, AM I READY TO DO A YOGA TEACHER TRAINING?
I have a relatively strong self practice and often work on advanced asanas, but teaching is a completely different skill! Some the most powerful teachers in my class engaged openly with their students, spoke with kindness and clarity and made people fall in love with yoga. And these people were not necessarily always practising advanced asanas. In my opinion, teaching is something MUCH harder than learning how to do a headstand. So don't measure your readiness by your physical practice, but find your why and listen to your inner voice. You will have the answer when you need it.
THERE ARE SO MANY YOGA TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMS, HOW DO I PICK ONE?
I was shocked by the number of teacher training programs available. Yoga really has gone mainstream! It was a little overwhelming to start with, so I spoke to friends and teachers about what they recommended and then I buckled down and got my google on. I read all the details I could find on each program that was recommended, then I carried on googling. And I questioned them all: is this the style of yoga I want to teach? Does this language speak to me? Can I 100% commit to these dates? If possible, try to take a class with the course lead teacher too because this person, if he or she is the right teacher for you, will wake you up. They will quite literally hand you the bulb for your lightbulb moment.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR MAKING THE MOST OUT OF THIS COURSE?
1. Show Up. And I don’t just mean actually be there in the room, although definitely do that, I mean make a commitment to show up with your whole damn self every single time; leave your phone at home, or in the river, and listen with your body and your heart. Listen and you will hear.
2. Stay out of your own way. You are there; you've done your research, you made it into the room and you are listening with your whole self. Now, trust that everything is just as it should be. Stay out of your head about what else you could be doing, or should be doing, about whether or not you are going to be a ‘good’ teacher, about whether or not your peers, friends or family think so. Stay out of your own way, and let the yoga do its magic.
3. Have fun. Don't take it too seriously, it's just yoga.
WHERE DID YOU DO YOUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING?
I stumbled upon the teacher training course at The House of Yoga in a twist of fate. I had looked at so many courses and nothing was speaking to me, I was getting despondent and wondering if this was just the universe telling me that this was not my path. So I decided to put it off another year, and that was a pretty tough decision to make. One day shortly after this I was looking for directions on google maps to my friends house in London and noticed a yoga studio around the corner from her address. I googled it and, hey look, they have a teacher training program! The course writing was crisp, professional, the word "powerful" rang in my ears like a call to arms and the dates fell in line perfectly with what I could manage. I watched a few promotional videos to gauge the attitude of the teachers and feeling of the studio, read up on Baptiste yoga and everything felt right. I booked it without hesitation and it was the best decision I have ever made.
RECOMMENDED YOGA TEACHER TRAINING COURSES
The House of Yoga in London: I cannot recommend this program highly enough. There is a deep level of self enquiry, unique to the Baptiste training, that will change your life. This program is suitable for those seeking personal development as well as people who desire to teach yoga.
Yoga By Candace: In April I will be teaching on Candace's "Namaslay" teacher training course in Santorini. Candace's content and methodology speaks to my soul! If you want to come out of your teacher training an independent, badass yoga teacher with a brand new life motto then this course is for you.
"When you declare what's important with focus, intention and clarity, you create new pathways of possibility." - Baron Baptiste