Warning: Establishing a yoga practice can lead to a lifelong love affair.
Then, a funny thing can happen. As with love, the flame and longing grows, and, one day, you can’t imagine being without.
To meet that desire, it’s not unusual for dedicated practitioners to immerse themselves in a yoga teacher training. People arrive at teacher trainings for different reasons: some truly want to teach, while others simply want to have a deeper understanding of the practice. Whatever your end goal, the training will be the same. You’ll delve into all the details of yoga, ranging from anatomy and asana to philosophy, while also preparing for the real world of yoga instruction.
I recommend teacher training for anyone who wants to learn more, but caveat emptor. Yoga has become so incredibly popular that trainings are offered everywhere. It’s like being a kid in a candy shop, especially for those in the early throes of yoga love. With a little research, you’ll be on your way to finding the best yoga teacher training.
Here are some points to consider in your search:
Find the right training program for you.
It’s important to explore your own practice, first, and be clear on why you are considering the training. Taking a teacher training with only a few months of yoga under your belt might sound enticing, but keep in mind, you still have a lot to learn. As a yoga newbie, you won’t yet have a good enough grasp on what you really love about practicing yoga. With that in mind, consider these questions when searching for a program: What does being a yoga teacher mean to me? What course content do I feel is important? What is the depth of the training I am seeking?
Teacher trainings shouldn’t just teach a set of skills, they should be transformative. It’s important to understand yourself on your mat before you can create that space for your students. You’ll need to be ready to dive in deep, so you can fully transform yourself to become a teacher who has the power to then offer transformation to students. Ask yourself this: Why has yoga had a profound influence on my life?
As you look at various programs, I encourage you to interview teachers. In my opinion, a teacher who is training other yogis to be teachers should have a least a decade of teaching experience, and a steady personal practice. Get to know your teachers, asking around about their qualifications. Most importantly, experience their teaching. Find a teacher you personally connect with, whether that means going to someone with whom you’ve practiced for years, or going to someone who, when you take his or her class, makes your heart soar.
Timing is everything.
When searching for teacher training, you’ll see different time commitment levels. Intensive trainings are those that last for a month or less, where you meet daily with your group in the same location, whereas longer training programs may comprise meeting Friday night through Sunday for a designated period of time. I, personally, feel that longer trainings are the best way to learn. By spreading the experience out over many months, you absorb the teachings and practice in your own time.
Consider the cost, but don’t count it out.
Price is, of course, important, but don’t let the cost of training be the sole deciding factor. When you select a program based on price, alone, your training will usually end up costing more in the long run. That’s because in the seemingly inexpensive programs, the depth of information needed to teach just isn’t there. Often, students have to seek out (and pay for) a second training program.