This is actually something I’ve said to a young aspiring yoga teacher that my business partner and I are mentoring. Anything worth happening doesn’t come easy. Isn’t that the truth!?!?!
People seek yoga teacher training for a plethora of reasons! To strengthen their own practice. To discover themselves. To help others. And some do actually want to teach.
All of these are fantastic reasons!
There are a ton of yoga teacher schools out there. Some will firehose students with so much yoga in just a few short weeks that it is sort of impossible to digest it all. I can totally relate.
We all want to be the best yogis that we can be, regardless of whether we teach or not. In order to help you achieve that, I have some advise and that’s all it is. Take it as you see fit.
You’ve planted a seed by seeking yoga training. But you can’t stop there or you won’t grow. Just like a flower, you need some gardening.
1. Let go of attachment. This lesson is threaded throughout the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras. Attachment and ego are huge obstacles with regards to growth. How do you know if you have attachment issues? Some hints include not being openminded, believing there is only one way to do things, unwillingness to try new things, not wanting to seek additional training and especially if it comes from another school… Snubbing others because they were trained by some other school. See the theme.
2. It takes time to digest new material. Revisit your notes and books one subject at a time. For instance, I wasn’t ready to truely learn Yoga Nidra during my first 200 hour training. It was way after my training did I actually seek to truly understand. Now, it makes sense and it is really applicable for what I teach currently. You may find additional reading material that wasn’t part of your original training that helps you grasp the topic. There is a law of redundancy in that things you revisit often are the things you’ll permanently learn.
3. There isn’t one way that fits all. Take continuing education and other teacher trainings. Let’s face it, some schools excell in certain topics where others really lack. Additionally, schools have different perspectives and reasonings for their approaches. Maybe hearing or seeing it presented another way by another person is what turns on your lightbulb.
4. Step out of your box! Get multi-influenced by taking classes from as many teachers as possible even from those trained outside of your school. See what other studios are doing. You’ll learn different approaches as far getting into poses, ways to manipulate the environment, and different cues. You’ll also learn what not to do and that can be a valuable lesson.
5. Seek out a mentorship. This can be a rewarding learning opportunity for not only yourself but your mentor too. It is a win-win. You will work out your weak areas through practice. You’ll get feedback, gain familiarity, work out any kinks, get more comfortable with being a yoga teacher, and gain confidence!
6. When you get ready to teach, write out a lesson plan and explore it. Go to the space where you will teach to practice your lesson plan. By doing this you’ll also learn the dynamics of the space (the lights, heat, props, stereo, exterior noises…) Know how to demonstrate and offer modifications with the poses in your plan not just with the body but with props too. Be prepared to throw out your lesson plan depending on who is in your class. If you demonstrate as you teach, learn how to mirror your class. Always be in your classes’ line of site.
7. Assists. You’ll get mixed advise here. Here is mine. Don’t touch without permission. It is better to talk a student through an adjustment than for you to manhandle them. If you are teaching a trauma-sensitive client, don’t touch!
8. Revisit the Yamas and Niyamas. Theses are excellent guidelines.