Last October, I started a new journey…Yoga Teacher Training, with a goal to earn my RYT-200 certification. This weekend, I am wrapping up that journey and tomorrow I will be receiving my 200 hr certification to teach yoga. Have you considered Yoga Teacher Training? If so, here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself…to help you decide if the time is right for you to start your own amazing YTT journey.
1. Are you wanting to teach yoga or just wanting to deepen your own private practice and understanding of yoga?
My own personal yoga teacher training was filled with people who had a goal to teach yoga classes. It also included a few people who did not want to teach but just wanted to deepen their understanding of yoga and incorporate that knowledge into their lives and practice in a non-teaching way. In my particular area, there are yoga schools that offer teacher training, but also offer non teaching trainings for those looking to deepen their own practices, seeking personal healing, knowledge, or a combination of any of the above. If you don’t want to teach, but live near a program that offers this non-teaching track, that may be a better choice for you. If you are wanting to teach, or want that deeper experience and a non teaching tract is not available in your area, yoga teacher training can give you that knowledge (and teaching certificate) you seek.
2. Do you have time to commit to Yoga Teacher Training?
Let me start this section by writing that I am a firm believer in “we have time for what we want to make time for”. I was able to complete yoga teacher training while homeschooling five children under the age of twelve and working on a Master’s program (History), so if I can do it, anyone can! (Several of the women in my YTT program were working full time while they completed program.)If you have children, then you need to make sure either your spouse is available to watch the kids while you attend classes (and classes and classes) or that you have very reliable childcare. Most yoga teacher training programs have fairly strict attendance policies. Luckily for moms, many yoga programs offer their classes on weekends and in the evenings to accommodate those who work and give you the schedule of mandatory meetings and classes up front so you can plan for childcare accordingly.
3. Have you met the pre-requisites for the program you are considering?
Being flexible is NOT a requirement to start yoga teacher training! Being the best in all the postures is NOT a requirement either! You can be a beginner yogi and be successful in yoga teacher training. I’m not talking about those kinds of pre-requisites. However, Yoga teacher training programs are independently ran, so the prerequisites studio to studio and school to school can vary greatly. Some programs require you only to have an interest in yoga and be willing to commit to their program. Some require you to have only taken a few yoga classes and have the approval of the director prior to starting YTT, while others require 6 month to a year of previous yoga practice. Find out your program of choice’s requirements early to avoid being disappointed by not having met their prerequisites before you are hoping to start!
Most people who choose yoga teacher training are already living a healthy lifestyle; but that is not necessarily a requirement to start. What is necessary is a willingness to embrace a healthy lifestyle and drop any unhealthy habits you have. No one wants to take yoga classes from a yogi who smokes, so if smoking, over-eating, or other unhealthy habits are a part of your regular routine, are you ready to drop them? Also, some (not all) yoga teacher training programs ask you to adopt a vegetarian diet for the duration of the teacher training program…are you open to trying new things?
5. Are you inspiring?
When I was deciding if yoga teacher training was right for me, I ran across an online interview with an experienced yoga teacher. In this interview, he stated “you don’t have to be the best at yoga postures to teach yoga. A better question to ask yourself is ‘are you inspiring?'”. The best teachers (in any field) inspire their students to be the best they can be; yoga is no different.