How to find and prepare for a Yoga Teacher Training
Are you thinking about deepening your knowledge of yoga or do you want to become a yoga teacher? Then you’ve probably had the idea of attending a yoga teacher training (YTT). The growing interest in yoga and health means there are many different yoga schools out there and it might seem daunting when you first start looking for one.
There are a few things to take into consideration when you start looking for a YTT, and once you’ve chosen, there are several ways to start preparing. We’ve compiled a list to help you on your yoga journey.
Attend different yoga classes to find your preferred yoga style
Yoga schools offer different styles of yoga so you need to have an idea of which one you prefer. The most common yoga styles are Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini and Yin. If you’re unsure which one is for you, attend different yoga classes at studios, follow Youtube-videos and talk to yoga teachers to learn more about them and to find out which one is your favorite. Keep in mind that you can always complement your YTT with shorter courses to expand your repertoire as a teacher.
Do your research
There are a few things you need to decide before you book your YTT.
What type of course do you want to take?
There are the shorter and intensive courses that span over 3-5 weeks. Then there are longer courses you can attend, often over a period of 6 months to a year with gatherings during a number of weekends and study time in between. The perk of the latter is that you learn a little bit continuously and then can practice the new parts before learning more. Some people prefer intensive training because it means being able to completely disconnect from the every-day-life and just focus on the yoga practice without distractions. Search sites such as bookyogateachertraining.com can be a good place to start.
Where do you want to go?
If you decide on intensive training the next step is deciding where you want to go (the longer training is likely to be in your country). Do you want to be by the beach? In the mountains? Close to a city? India is home to many yoga schools and the courses are often cheaper than in other places. However, nowadays there are yoga schools offering YTTs’ in most countries – you might be interested in a particular country or want to travel in the area afterwards.
Finding the right training
Since it’s a bit of a jungle out there it can be hard to know if a school is what you’re looking for. Take your time when choosing a yoga school.
- Ask your favorite yoga teacher or studio for recommendations. A personal recommendation is usually the best way to ensure it’s a good fit for you.
- Read reviews and look at the school’s social media accounts. This will give you an idea of the place and teachers.
- Check if they are connected to Yoga Alliance. Most schools, but not all, are connected to Yoga Alliance, an association representing yoga teachers worldwide. The organization also has a framework for YTTs, meaning wherever you decide to study the modules will be similar. Even though some yoga jobs may view a Yoga Alliance-certification as a quality stamp, it’s definitely not a necessity. Read more about it and decide for yourself if it’s important to you that the school is connected to them.
- Ask questions once you’ve found a training you’re interested in. You’re investing a lot of time and money into this experience, make sure it’s well suited for you. Who are the teachers? Is there one main teacher or several? What does the daily schedule look like? How many people will be attending the course? Be curious.
Prepare for the training
Yoga schools may request you to prepare for the training in different ways. Some have assignments or online meetings or there might be a pre-reading list. Even though it’s normally not a problem if you haven’t had the chance to go through the full pre-study module, it’s a good way to ease into the experience and help you not feel too overwhelmed once the training starts.
You’ll be spending a lot of time in the world of yoga. It can get pretty intense so it’s a good idea to already be consistent with your meditation practice. Also, have a clear understanding of why you want to do the course. And, start journaling if you don’t already do it. You’ll be reflecting a lot during the course so it’s a good way to start sorting out thoughts.
Find a good balance between practice and rest
One of the main things you’ll learn in the training course is that the physical part of yoga, asanas (yoga positions), is only one part of yoga – growing your consciousness through mindful practices and studying philosophy is just as important. With that being said, having a regular practice in the yoga style that you will be training in is beneficial. You’ll be practicing it several hours per day so to make sure you avoid injury and are able to keep up it’s good to be consistent with your practice beforehand. At the same time, you don’t want to push yourself too far in the weeks prior to the training, so taking a step back and giving yourself time to rest before is equally important. Find the balance and listen to your body.
Above all, the most important tip is to go with an open mind and roll with what happens. You’ll have a blast meeting like-minded people, growing on a personal level and as a yoga teacher.
By: Nicky Rosenberg
Photos: Clara Morberg