Deciding to enroll in a yoga teacher training can be exciting and also a little daunting. There are workouts around the world so you can choose a program that is right for you located in awesome places like Thailand, Bali or India. Intensive 200-hour yoga teacher training courses are excellent courses designed to give you a solid and basic understanding of ancient practice and training to teach if you will.
Once you have chosen a course to join, there will be prerequisites to consider before enrolling. But how do you know if you are ready or if you meet the requirements for teacher training?
Have I been practicing yoga long enough?
Often the concerns that arise for potential students before starting a course are; Have I been practicing yoga long enough? Do I need more experience before I consider becoming a yoga teacher? To join a yoga teacher training, prospective students do not need to have years and years of experience on the mat. Signing up with an open heart and an open mind are the two best things you can take with you.
Ideally, you should have regular practice experience before the course so that you are comfortable with some of the basic yoga postures. Physically, these intense workouts can seem demanding at times, so having past experience will help you get the most out of your workout without making you feel too tired or sore!
A minimum of 3 months of constant practice will help you and your body prepare for the transformative journey ahead. Or, if you have been involved with a related physical or sports workout, this may also be an advantage for you, but this is not essential. If you sign up for an Ashtanga or Vinyasa Flow course, it is helpful to have previously participated in these yoga styles, as they are dynamic and fluid forms of yoga.
Training as a yoga teacher will increase your own practice not only physically, but also spiritually and emotionally. It can be a completely life-changing experience, but try not to set high exceptions, but deal with each day with open arms and learning as much as you can. Focus on dedicating yourself but being realistic about what you hope to achieve, as your experience will be unique to you and your journey.
Am I the “right” age?
Yoga is a practice for everyone and everyone, regardless of age, experience or training. We all come to the practice of yoga at different stages of our lives and it doesn’t matter how old you are when you decide to participate in a yoga teacher training. Emotional maturity is a necessary thing for all students during a course, so it is a matter of undertaking training at the right time for you and this is something that you will have to decide.
Teaching yoga is about guiding your students to make the best staff, and it’s not about how young and flexible you can be. With a training course you will learn the mechanics behind teaching and how to apply it to a class and that is what matters.
Different students need different teachers, often teachers who can relate to them, and certainly not everyone in a class is in their early to mid-twenties! Some of the best teachers who discovered yoga later in life are able to take advantage of a lot of life experience and model it perfectly in their teachings. Some students will look for teachers who are mature and how the teacher can empathize with the time of life they are in. There is no age limit to become a yoga teacher, it is a continuous and lifelong practice and you will even learn. more as time goes on.
That said, don’t be reluctant to sign up for teacher training if you are also young. Yoga is for all ages and not everyone in a class is more mature either. As a young teacher, you may end up inspiring other young people to take up the practice that will help them as they get older and through the different transitions of life. Many mature students often comment that they wish they had found yoga when they were much younger! Teaching with the heart is what matters, not your age.
I’m nervous about teaching, is yoga teacher training appropriate for me? (Or ‘Am I too shy to teach?’)
During the course you will have a lot of practice to indicate postures and demonstrate parts of teaching before you graduate. Teacher training is a transformative experience and will be supported by attentive and experienced teachers who want to see you thrive as a new teacher. It doesn’t matter if you have never taught anything before, as you practice directing other students to the course, your confidence will increase. The teachers who lead the courses will be at your disposal to offer you advice and will be at your disposal if you have any questions or need a boost! Getting started with teaching may seem daunting, but you will have a lot of support from your yoga family to encourage you on your way. The course will cover tips on how to set up as a teacher, as well as tips on how to run your yoga business as your teaching grows. Just remember, all the best yoga teachers had to start somewhere and they had to dig deep to get out there, you can do it too!
Am I good enough?
Often when we think of yoga teachers, we think of them as demonstrating advanced postures, with unlimited flexibility and superhuman strength, but it is not necessary to master all the postures to be a great teacher. It’s about being able to guide others along the path of yoga and help them with proper positions in their body. From a personal perspective, it’s about enjoying your practice and accepting where you are on your journey. All of our bodies look different and move differently, your body is unique and there is no competition in yoga. There is absolutely no requirement to be able to place both feet behind your head while balancing with a toe!
Establish your intention to achieve your training with a desire to learn, while accepting any achievement in any posture that may occur during the course, but dropping any need to be perfect in your practice. Early starters and nightly practices can make the days seem long at times, so carrying a dose of self-motivation and a desire to learn can help keep you on track. Reading any reading material suggested by your school before the course will help you prepare and guide you to a deeper understanding.
Showing support to fellow trainees is also important. You will be part of a special family that will laugh, cry and smile together. Not every day will be easy, but not every day will be difficult. Supporting each other will help you understand that you are all human and that you are all together.
I don’t think I’m a teacher, okay?
Not all students enroll in a training course to become a full-fledged yoga teacher, some join simply to encourage their own practice. An intensive course is a great way to deepen your understanding of yoga and as a way to improve your time on the mat. By immersing yourself in a workout you will be able to better understand the other aspects of the practice other than just physical postures. During a 200-hour course, other important topics such as philosophy, breathing practices, functional anatomy, and the rich history of yoga are explored. You will also be taught how to incorporate yoga into a modern, busy lifestyle and use the tools to apply these practices to your own life. It is a real opportunity to get to know your body, mind and spirit better while using ancient wisdom to guide you through a lifetime of practice.
Some students change their minds during the course and decide to teach later, but it doesn’t matter if you decide to do it or not. Either you may not be ready to teach yet, or you may think that being a yoga teacher is not part of your journey, but you would love to learn more about the practice. If you are at a crossroads and need a connection, restart, or restart, yoga teacher training can be used as a powerful investment in finding real change in your life.
I’m a man, can I join?
Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not just for women, it is for everyone. In the beginning, yoga was a male-dominated practice and it is only since the resurgence of yoga in modern times that the proportion has changed and we see many more women in the classes. Some of the most recognized yoga instructors are men, and they are known for their teaching ability and connection to their students without their gender participating. Because different students will look for different teachers, some professionals will prefer a male teacher. Yoga is open to everyone, regardless of your background or gender. Teacher training will give you the ability to thrive as a teacher, no matter where or who you plan to teach. Everyone is welcome to join!
I am pregnant and want to attend. Is that a good idea?
If you are planning to become pregnant or if you are pregnant, it is best to avoid enrolling in an intensive training course until after delivery and after your recovery. Prenatal and postnatal courses are available worldwide for study and this is something you can consider once you have completed a 200 hour course. Yoga during pregnancy differs from regular yoga practice, as some yoga postures and practices have contraindications during pregnancy and should be avoided. Taking time to experience pre and postnatal yoga will enrich your yoga journey. Once you have completed a 200-hour course, your pre- and postnatal yoga experience will be something you can apply to your teaching to help pregnant students by adding another element to your classes.
Before you sign up, remember what inspired you to consider training as a yoga teacher originally. Think about your motivation for taking a course. If you are passionate about helping others experience and spread the magic of yoga, let this lead you! When you are done, you will have all the tools to be a great teacher.
An intensive course is a brilliant start to confidently learning the teachings of yoga or simply absorbing its mechanics and history. It builds a solid foundation for teaching, but it is also a great tool for personal development and personal growth. As a teacher and as a yoga student, your learning will continue long after you are certified. Remember to let your experience guide you, follow your heart and never know where it might take you.
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