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Preparing for Yoga Teacher Training, part 1

Our Top Ten Tips (Part 1)

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Here are ten helpful tips to remember when you go on your yoga teacher training. If you haven’t decided yet whether you want to enroll in a yoga teacher training or not, this article might help you decide either way. If you have already made up your mind and are ready for this new adventure, then read on…

1. Do read the entire website of the school you are joining.

You have a lot of questions and maybe even a bit of anxiety. Well, the answers to your questions might already be written on the website of the yoga teacher training school. Read up on all the information you can - from style of yoga taught, daily schedule, topics to be covered, teaching exams, how many students will be there, how many teachers are teaching, to what is included in the price, refund policy, how to get to the center etc. The more you know, the more at ease you will feel and instead of feeling anxious, you might start to feel excited about what’s coming.

2. Do attend as many yoga classes as you can.

Don’t just just rely on youtube videos. You will benefit a lot from the trained eye of an experienced yoga teacher when you take a class in person. It’s not just about getting corrected on asanas/postures, the flow and rhythm of an in person class gives a different experience because the teacher is responding to the cues of the yoga students.

Give yourself at least one year experience. Take yoga classes at least once a week. Try to go to different types of yoga classes - yin yoga, ashtanga yoga, kundalini yoga, vinyasa flow yoga, fitness driven, spiritually oriented, alignment based etc. The yoga poses will be the same or similar across styles of yoga but the goal of the class or the way it is delivered will be different.

Get yourself out of beginner level and learning will come more easily to you during the yoga teacher training. Remember, most trainings are done over a short period of time - less than a month, with topics to learn that could easily take years to master. Being already well versed with the basic postures will give you more ease to focus on learning the philosophy, anatomy and physiology of yoga as well as the all important - learning to teach, including teaching exams.

Click too learn about the foundational postures to master before going on yoga teacher training.

3. Do know your basic postures

Yoga teacher training is not the time to learn the basic postures - that’s what everyday practice, classes and workshops are for. Remember that yoga teacher trainings are designed with the aspiring yoga teacher in mind. This means that there is a block of time allotted to learn and practice the skill and methods of teaching. That means learning to teach, not learning yoga for yourself.

Yoga Alliance is the international organization that sees to it registered yoga schools under its wing devote a certain amount of time in their curriculum for professional development, teaching methodology and practicum.

4. Expect a tight schedule

Some yoga schools still follow the tradition held in Indian ashrams of very early starts and quite late nights. Yoga has a long standing tradition of discipline and hard work before it became a fitness lifestyle of “be kind to yourself and at ease”. Have a look at the school’s daily schedule so you can prepare for what is in store.

I talked to Chloe who completed her yoga teacher training in a traditional ashram in India “I remember waking up at 5am like zombie and floating over to the meditation and chanting session everyday for a month. I personally had fun but a lot of the other students struggled. It was quite the experience.”

There are now hybrid ways to complete all of your training as our world becomes more and more connected at a distance with technologies of video and video calls. There are now courses that are offered at a distance and self-paced. To many people, this is becoming a more attractive option.

5. Be kind to your body and listen to its cues

It is going to be a lot of yoga practice everyday. Most yoga teacher training courses will do one morning class and one evening class daily. Be kind to your body and listen to its cues. You won’t feel the same everyday. Some days you will need to take it easy and some days will mark milestones for your practice.

“I have led yoga teacher trainings for over five years now, often with an intense schedule. Some students will be in their peak and get tired by the second week. Others work up to their peak performance during the middle of the training. Others still have a gradual progression.” says Sunshine Ross of Awake Space. “It is perfectly ok to sit in some of the classes or just some poses. It is great wisdom to pace yourself. You are here for you, to learn, not to impress anyone else least of all your instructors. We just want you to enjoy your teacher training and learn from it”. Sunshine Ross is lead instructor and founder of Awake Space.

Continue reading part two of this article here.

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