What do I need to know before taking a yoga teacher training?
This is one of the most common questions I hear and usually people thinking about going through a yoga teacher training think they need to know WAY more than they do before beginning their learning journey. After leading trainings since 2013 in some capacity or another, I have helped ease the minds of hopeful students by telling them they go THROUGH a training to learn. You don’t enter a training AFTER you’ve learned it all!
I hope this helps you relax a bit about the whole thing. You don’t need to know Sanskrit, you don’t need to know every name of the poses, you don’t even have to know how to DO all the poses right and most of all, you DON’T have to be able to do advanced poses to be a teacher!
To help dive deeper into this topic, I’ve enlisted my new friend, Laura Martini, creator of a fabulous Facebook group called, Yoga Teacher Training Prep – Let’s Get Ready Together. It’s a great resource for those thinking of beginning on a yoga teaching journey!
She graciously offered to answer some of my hopeful trainee’s most pressing questions below.
1) What do yoga students need to know about taking a yoga teacher training before they begin?
How important it is to arrive PREPARED. Students who take the time to ready themselves for YTT get so much more out of the course. Preparation includes everything from maintaining a consistent yoga practice to ensuring you’ve got healthy food lined up for your YTT days. Teacher training can be intense, immersive, and consist of long days! It’s good to set yourself up to win by taking care of your body, mind, obligations and responsibilities before you dive deep into a yoga program.
2) What scares people into not taking a yoga teacher training and what would you say to them?
In my 11 years of teaching I’ve been surprised by how many people feel like they are not the ‘right body type’ to do a YTT. This is such a myth! It doesn’t matter what the shape of your body is; everyone is capable of diving into a teacher training. You just need to be willing to work hard, commit to the practice and be prepared. Do not be intimidated by what’s on the cover of this month’s Yoga Journal as the real practice of yoga is not about the body but the relationship with the mind:)
3) What does someone need in order to be a good yoga teacher?
With so many yoga teachers coming out of trainings these days, it can be challenging to set yourself apart as a good teacher! What I wish more instructors knew is how important it is to get clear on WHO YOU ARE as an instructor. What makes you unique? This will help build your brand and get your students clear on what you offer so they’ll be more likely to sign up for all that you bring to the table.
4) How do you know if you’re ready for a yoga teacher training?
Pick the YTT you’re interested in and talk to the YTT leader. Each training is different so it helps to understand the expectations of the particular training you’re planning on taking. If you’re not sure, check out the Yoga Teacher Prep Academy. We’ve got everything you need to ensure you’re fully set up pre-YTT, regardless of whether you’re doing your training from home or in some exotic destination. Check it out here: The Academy.
5) How do you know that you should be a yoga teacher or take a training?
If you’re looking to either teach yoga or deepen your practice, YTT is for you. I remember when I decided to take my training I had no idea that I wanted to teach! I just felt like the stars aligned and I was being called to the course. I’ve never looked back on that decision with regret; it has brought me so much clarity and joy <3
I both hope this article helps you jump in with both feet if your intuition is guiding you there. You learn SO much more than just how to teach yoga. You uncover your unique ability to help others just like yoga has helped you. You gain confidence that will shine through in every part of your life!
Crystal Gray is an international Yoga Teacher and author of the best selling book Goddesses Fart Too.