10 Reasons I’ve Decided To Do A Yoga Teacher Training (And You Should Too)
It took some self-exploration, a lot of conversations with friends and family and a few ‘What do you think?’ emails to my yoga teachers. But, last September, I took the plunge and booked my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. I don’t officially start until October, but I have a home study to do before then.
I’d been thinking about doing my YTT for some time, and recently discovered a diary entry from several years ago where I talked yoga teaching as my dream career (aww). But I wanted to approach it with seriousness and a level head, so I made a list of my motivations, a version of which you can read below.
1) To grow my Asana practice
My yoga practice is far from advanced. Having never been particularly sporty (or active, or remotely graceful), I came to yoga with very little upper body strength and limited flexibility all over. But since dedicating more time to my practice, I’ve noticed a huge difference in both. A year ago chaturanga or having my hand on the floor in trikonasana seemed impossible. But I can now do both with ease. Seeing my body and its capabilities continue to change through my YTT is something I’m both curious and excited about.
2) To gain a deeper understanding of all aspects of yoga
When I first started practicing yoga 5 or so years ago, I had no idea yoga was more than the physical practice. Then I started reading articles and books on yoga and had my eyes opened. Over the past couple of years, I’ve built up a basic understanding of the 8 limbs of yoga (of which asana practice or hatha yoga is just one limb) and am looking forward to expanding that knowledge. Plus the spiritual part of yoga just does it for me.
3) To fuel my passion
I love yoga. I can’t imagine life without it and hope to be able to practice for the rest of my life, so why not study it further? My partner once said to me, ‘Invest in your interests’, and this advice I turn to again and again. The worse outcome of spending the next year studying something that I love is that I decide I don’t actually want to teach which, at the moment, feels very unlikely. But even if that does happen, I will have gained skills, knowledge, and memories that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
4) To gain the skills to be able to share something I love through teaching
I’ve always loved the idea of teaching and, when I feel properly equipped, its something that I find incredibly fulfilling. In my past job roles, I always trained new staff members. At uni, I put myself forward as a mentor for first-year students and I used to volunteer at an educational youth group one evening a week, so I guess its something I’m drawn to! The idea of being able to teach yoga, to pass on the knowledge I have about a practice I believe can be life-changing, feels like a great honor.
5) To meet and share the experience with fellow yogis
When I did a yoga teaching foundation course with YogaLondon, I felt an instant connection to every other student in the room because we were all at the beginning of the same journey – figuring out if we wanted to teach. Although it was only a 2-day course, those 48 hours were very exposing and I left feeling a real bond with the other students. My YTT is 200 hours over 10 months, so I’m sure I’ll make some great friends!
6) The challenge
I’ll let you in on a little secret, the idea of teaching a yoga class terrifies me. I’m an introvert, not particularly comfortable in group situations and definitely uncomfortable talking in front of lots of people. So, I asked myself, am I daft to pursue teaching? Naturally, I turned to Google and my search lead me to a reassuring article. Like Meredith, I understand that I need to face this fear if I want to share the benefits of yoga with others. I have chosen to see this fear (and a little bit of excitement) as an opportunity to challenge myself and grow.
7) Personal development
The opportunities for growth that yoga has already presented me with have been life-changing. I’ve become physically and mentally stronger. I’ve established a deeper sense of connection with myself, my body and my mind. I’ve grown emotionally and spiritually and my relationships have benefited too. I know I’ll learn more about myself through the teaching training experience, and wonder what changes I’ll be able to notice in myself this time next year.
8) I’ll wonder ‘What if?’ if I don’t
These days I’m pretty self-aware (definitely not always the case). I know I’ll look back at this time in my life where I have relatively small commitments (i.e. no mortgage, no children) and think ‘why didn’t you just do your teacher training then’ if I didn’t do it. And I don’t want that regret.
9) New opportunities
I’m a big believer in being present and not over analyzing the past or projecting into the future. But I can’t help but think that being a qualified yoga teacher might bring about new opportunities for me, like the opportunity to teach yoga. I’m already thinking about the additional training I’d like to do afterward and have been reading up on yoga therapy courses. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s nice to daydream a little.
10) Lastly, because I want to (and am fortunate enough that I can)
When I was considering YTT this time last year, the idea of doing it because I wanted to feel a bit, well, weak. As if ‘wanting to do it’ wasn’t a valid reason, but now I think it’s the best reason. I’ve wanted to do my YTT for some time, and the timing is right, so I’ve decided to stop thinking about doing it and just do it.
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