If you went back in time and met me in my early 20s, it wouldn’t take you long to find out I already had a big passion for yoga. Getting on the mat was what I rushed out of work to do most evenings, what kept me sane before I figured out what I wanted to do as a grown up.
I spent years looking forward to going to class in the evening, to workshops at the weekend… but never, had I ever even thought, I’d be a yoga teacher when I grew up!
One day out of the blue, I had had an argument with my boyfriend and it motivated me to do something just for my self. For my own happiness and self growth. So I started to Google ‘Yoga teacher training in London’ and not long after I had short listed a few schools, contacted them and booked in for an open evening to find out more about their courses.
Weeks later, I picked the training and applied for the course. When I received my acceptance letter, I cried! I called my mum to let her know I was going to do a Yoga teacher training, here in London (my mum is a yoga teacher and teacher trainer in Italy) and she was over the moon!
6 months later I started the course. It was a 1 year long course, one weekend a month for 12 months and asked that we practiced 6 days a week for the 12 months and journal about it, and send a monthly summary of the journal to our teacher.
Knowing this was going to be the case, I started to practice 6 days a week, months before day 1 of training (as the keen student I was!). By the end of the course, I had practiced almost daily for 18 months. The school encouraged us to self practice rather than going to a led class. I found it very helpful as I had to start thinking about creating my own sequences, remembering alignment cues and take responsibility for my own practice.
I still had no intention of becoming a teacher, all I was doing was for the love of yoga and my own development.
It was only 6 months into the training that I started to feel the calling… I knew then that I wanted to share what I was learning with others. Now the rest is history. You can read about my transition from office worker to self employed yoga teacher in this other blog post here.
If you are still reading, I imagine it’s because you are interested in doing a teacher training.
So hear are my 5 top tips:
Start with WHY
. Write down 5 reasons why you want to do a teacher training.
Give yourself time!
Take time to practice and understand poses in your own body before you think about teaching them to others. This doesn’t mean you have to be able to do a handstand or perfect splits! That’s not what makes someone ready to teach others. Depending on how long you have been practicing yoga, a longer training format (like a year or two year course) will give you more time to develop your own practice and retain knowledge. Saying that, if you are thinking of training in the next few months, I strongly recommend this course.
Do your research
Find out about the teacher training school, how experienced the teachers are and what style they teach. Is there a screening process before you are admitted on the course? How are they going to assess that you are ready to start teaching at the end of the course? If it’s important to you, find out if the course is certified by third parties (for example, Yoga Alliance/British Wheel of yoga..). So rather than convenience or location, you choose with quality in mind.
If you know you are going to start training soon, get ready. This may mean making your practice more frequent, going to different classes to explore styles you aren’t familiar with yet and gain a broader knowledge of the discipline, going to workshops to learn about aspects of the practice you are interested to find out more, listen to podcasts (here is my favourite), read yoga magazines, books… speak to your teachers and ask them about their journey and their tips.
Keep an open mind.
When people told me that doing a teacher training was going to change my life I did not believe them for one second. Guess what? It did! Let go of your expectations, whether you think you are doing the course because you want to teach after or just for yourself, you might change your mind. It’s a transformative journey and it’s really worth it! Enjoy it!
One more thing: remember that your 200 hour training is just the start of the journey. While it gives you the qualification to start teaching, you will want to continue learning after the course. There are many mentoring groups for new teachers, shorter training modules to help you develop specific aspects of the discipline… It’s a never ending journey of learning and often on the journey we need to go back and question what we were once taught and gain new, up to date understanding which helps us and our students grow and evolve.
If you have questions or would like to know more, get in touch, I’d be happy to help.