10 Incredible Ways A Yoga Teacher Training Can Change Your Life
Becoming a Yoga Teacher
You’ve spent countless hours on your yoga mat, went to every class your studio offered, and watched hours of yoga tutorials on YouTube.
Now what? Where do you take your practice from here? I asked myself the same questions, and naturally, all signs pointed to a YTT: Yoga Teacher Training.
My experience has opened my eyes like nothing ever has, and it can do the same for you.
Even if you aren’t planning on teaching, read the ten ways below and open yourself up to possibility. You never know where your practice could lead you.
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10. Serving others
Through a YTT, you begin to sculpt the first few pillars of your passion in life. You start to realize that helping others is far more rewarding than you ever thought.
Whether you decide to teach yoga or open up your own studio, the passion for service begins to emerge slowly and genuinely.
You begin to see others and the path they’re on, and instead of wanting to fix them, you invite them to want to fix themselves. You’re just a beautiful conduit.
9. Truly living in this world
For years, we’ve all lived without really living. We go through our daily motions and we live in our towns or cities, but we don’t truly acknowledge them.
A YTT awakens something inside of us that’s been dormant for far too long.
It’s the innocent and carefree side of us that longs to go out for no reason or do something spontaneous. The realization that this world is not “theirs” or “ours” but everyone’s is a beautiful epiphany to have.
8. Advancing your asana practice
Most YTTs offer Anatomy as part of their program.
This is done because no asana practice is complete if you are totally foreign to what is happening on the inside.
Granted, it can be fairly overwhelming when you come to terms with how many bones and muscles your body has, but it is also immensely humbling.
Your body is amazing! It does so much to protect and nurture us, and to be able to return that favor is an indispensable asset that you learn in training.
As a result, your asana practice improves as you take a step back and learn proper alignment and safety for yourself and your potential students.
7. Being part of a yoga network
Your YTT mates quickly become a second family. In fact, you may realize that you’re closer to some of them than you are with your actual family.
This is because the path of Yoga brings us together: we’re vulnerable together, we’re happy together, we’re honest together.
So many areas of your life may change in training, but know that everyone else is changing with you.
There is no support system quite like the one you weave together in a YTT, and the best part is that you have that support long after training is done.
6. Practicing loving kindness and compassion
This does not mean that we all go around hugging each other all day long.
It simply means that you’re willing to put the same amount of energy into love that you normally would into anger or fear. It takes the same amount of effort, so why not pick the good side?
I remember asking myself this question and not being able to justify the excuse. That’s because there isn’t one.
A YTT teaches us that there are only two truths in this world: everyone wants to love and be loved. Everything else is secondary.
5. Connecting with an open heart
I had to journal for a long time before I could work through my emotional baggage (or at least some of it) with past friends or family members who’ve stopped talking to me.
In reality, there will always be hiccups along the road, but a YTT helps us work through our anger and stubbornness to show us that we’re really scared more than we are angry.
Being a teacher does not entail showing up and reciting a sequence of poses. It means to look at a student in their current state and help them where they’ve given up.
This means connecting, and what we learn on our own mats and in our own YTT, we carry into our lives, and it makes a tremendous difference.
4. Sitting with our own thoughts
Meditation is a beautiful way to release the “monkey mind.” It is one of the first things you learn in a YTT, and it is the hardest.
Who ever thought that sitting cross-legged for an extended period of time would be difficult? It is because we often look at it as a destination-based practice.
It is far from that. Meditation is like a mirror: it shows us to ourselves, and we’re often so caught up in trying to get “there,” that we miss the journey.
It is by relinquishing control and returning home to our breath that we tap into the many benefits of a meditation practice.
3. Letting go of what no longer serves us
We learn to let go. Our teachers are prime examples of what liberation begins to looks like when you’re no longer striving to have things or people, and it looks pretty awesome.
It’s more than just learning about the yamas and the niyamas or the Eight Limbs; it’s about taking what you’ve learned and applying it to your current life situation.
The things we can buy are never as amazing as the experiences we have and share. What and who no longer serve us are only weights that pull us down.
2. Having and finding our faith again
It’s easy to get caught up in sadness and confusion. Slowly, those feelings pull us down to what we think is our “bottom.”
Faith is always there, but we forsake it because we want something substantial and logical. The guidance we receive in a YTT brings us back to that Divine connection, whether you believe in God or not.
We all crave connection, and to have faith that things will work out the way they’re meant to is our realization that we are only a small speck in the big picture. A beautiful speck, actually.
1. Finding yourself
I know that this is somewhat of a cliche thing to say, but you truly can find yourself in a Yoga Teacher Training! You’re finally doing something for yourself. It’s not about your family, your kids, your spouse, or your friends.
It’s all about you, and it feels incredible to give yourself the same amount of attention and care you’ve been giving to others.
That’s what it’s all about. In that moment, you come back to your own interests and thoughts, and you begin to build yourself up again with love and light. Who you find might never teach yoga, but who you find will always live your yoga.
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