Ask yourself these six questions
ONE: What do I want to learn?
Studying yoga is not for the faint of heart. It involves learning the 5 Koshas, 6 stages of a pose, 7 Chakras, 8 limbs of yoga, 10 points of Tadasana, 12 systems of the body, the founders and influencers, the philosophy, breathing, meditation, mudra, mantra, Sanskrit, functional movement, communication skills, how to hold space for others, and more, much more. Whew! Are you ready for Yoga School?
Here’s my advice: consider the journey of the learning process rather then the end result. Don’t focus on actually teaching a class. Instead, break down your personal "why" for stepping into the study of Yoga, then continue to build upon your personal intention one step at a time.
TWO: Who do I truly relate to as my peers?
During yoga teacher training your peers will become your new tribe. A tribe made up of all shapes and sizes, all ages and abilities, all backgrounds and future dreams. Depending on the type of training you choose, the tribe will reflect particular interests and commitments. Be clear in your interest in Yoga. Is is a workout or a lifestyle? A way to sweat or a path to ease? A personal vacation or an in-depth education? A piece of paper or a lifelong journey? Knowing your priorities will help to align you with others that share similar goals and interests.
These people will witness and become key to your personal growth. They will witness you break down barriers, move through fears, and blossom into the most authentic expression of YOU. It’s such a powerful transformation that will forever keep you connected to one another.
Who do you want those people to be?
THREE: Do I want a Stay-at-home or Destination Yoga Training?
Over the years our YM trainings have attracted students near and far. There are advantages to both choosing a location near your home where you can stretch your studies out over time or head to an different destination for an immersion experience.
With the extended training format over several months, you will gain the added benefit of integrating the information and practices into your daily life. It will also take dedication and perseverance as life will present obstacles and distractions. Personally, I find this to be the best method of truly cultivating the habits that will serve you for a lifetime.
If you are newer to yoga, an immersive program can be quite overwhelming. If you already have a strong home practice and have a background in yoga philosophy and lifestyle, then you may find an immersion to be effective as well as a fun adventure. Out of the 48 trainings I have conducted, 12 of them have been immersions. Though many students gained the skills they desired, I also witnessed a huge discrepancy in the amount of knowledge absorbed and understanding applied, so I have chosen to focus on the quality of an extended training format. I recommend you consider your level of experience and then choose the format that will give you the most return on your investment.
FOUR: How much time, energy and money am I willing to invest?
How much time do you have to dedicate to your studies?
Learning something new takes time. Ask yourself how much time you have to devote to studying new information such as yoga philosophy, anatomy, teaching methodology, and practice. You will also need to create time to practice teaching. Be honest about this as teacher training is a big investment and you want to make sure you get the most out of it.
How much energy can you expend?
Knowing how you learn best will also help you pick a school that matches your energy level. Are you good at taking in a lot of new information all at once? If so, a three week intensive program may work for you. If not, then look at a program that breaks the learning into smaller chunks delivered over a greater time frame. Do you learn best in large groups, or do you prefer a more intimate environment? Ask these questions of yourself, and then use the answers to choose the program that is right for you.
How much money are you willing to invest?
Yoga Teacher Training is an investment of both time and money and I believe it is best to be sure of why you are doing it, as well as who you want to do it with. At the same time, no one teacher training program is complete in itself and in order to become a skilled and passionate teacher you will need to invest in a lifetime of learning and practice. I, myself, have invested in well over 3,000 hours of formal teacher training, and I don’t intend to stop as there is so much to learn and I value learning over fine furnishings and fancy clothes! Nothing is more important than your health and inner happiness, so make a sound investment in yourself.
How much do you choose to invest in yourself?
FIVE: What will I do with the knowledge I gain from Yoga Training?
Going into an in-depth Yoga Training can be intimidating. You are doing something new, different, and unfamiliar, and as a result, you may feel completely vulnerable. It’s normal to have these feelings, but know that yoga training will be one of the most transformative experiences of your life!
Brainstorm what you want for yourself both personally and professionally. Let this be your dreamscape - no limitations. How will this knowledge serve you and those around you. What it the true motivation behind your desire to learn more about Yoga?
Your life does not get better by chance, but my change. For things to change, you have to change. Failure is not fatal. But failure to change just might be.
~ John Wooden
SIX: WHY do you want to attend Yoga Teacher Training?
Ask Yourself... How to I want to feel after this course? What is my deepest heart’s desire?
It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. Start where you are. Don't look back. Move in the direction of your dreams, looking forward with fresh eyes and unlimited possibilities.
Do you want to learn more about anatomy, yoga philosophy, a variety of practices? Do you want to dive into meditation, Ayurveda, wellness education, or simply enrich your own health and well being?
I have witnessed individuals join the training for many different reasons: from divorce, recent loss, and career change, to doing something for themselves, wanting to teach, and finding their passion. It is hugely rewarding to experience so many people working towards the same goal but for very different reasons. Know this: