With the abundance of Yoga Teacher Training courses these days, here are some tips on how to choose a training which you will get the most out of.
1) Connect with your teacher
There are millions of yoga trainings conducted globally. Some are held in private yoga retreats in far flung places, some are held in a middle of a bustling city. Some are focused on one traditional style of teaching, others a contemporary amalgamation of many different styles. So many factors to consider for such a huge commitment of time and energy.
What I always tell people, is to do the training with the teacher you feel the most connection with. Practice with the teacher at the yoga studio he/she is teaching at, and have a conversation before or after the class. Most teachers (myself included) love connecting and being available to students. This is where we are able to best assess both the individual and the class’ energy and level, and allow us the ability to set up a powerful connection.
If you are not able to connect with the teacher physically in a studio setting, reach out via email. You will be able to get a sense of the teacher’s ethos and vision for the training from there. Also, read articles they have written or see whether you can practice with them online. A lot of the times, you will be able to get a feel of where the teacher is energetically, and ascertain whether you connect with their values and principles.
Don’t get caught up with a trendy training, or a celebrity yoga teacher whom you think will look good on your resume. What’s more important is your connection with the teacher, as that will be the one and only gateway to you having a strong and powerful start to your teaching journey.
2) Which styles?
Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Anusara, Bikram, Hot Yoga, Universal etc. etc. Which style do you feel most connected with. Do you like the discipline and set sequencing of Ashtanga and Bikram, or do you like the creative freedom of Vinyasa?
Practice these styles at your studio, and work out the style which you connect with the most. There is no right or wrong style. Most of the time, studios love when teachers join the teaching team, and passionate about a particular style of teaching. It adds to the diversity and flavour of the yoga studio. But, do not pigeon hole yourself; be open to all styles. What I’m saying is that, it is okay to create your own niche and delve into that wholeheartedly.
3) Ask questions
Every student has a different goal from each training. Some want to become yoga teachers immediately and start teaching right off the bat. Some simply want to deepen their understanding and knowledge of yoga.
Depending on what you are looking for, ask questions. If you are looking to teach, make sure you are taking part in the training, which allows you ample opportunity to practice your teaching skills. If you are looking to deepen your understanding of yoga philosophy, perhaps you’d be wanting to do a training with more focus on yoga philosophy and less on teaching methodology.
If you ask specific questions, you’ll be able to deduce which training works best for you at any particular point in time.
4) Don’t stop learning
A 200-hour training is the beginning of your yoga journey and gives you a very strong foundation. After this training, find ways to create your niche and specialty as a yoga teacher. Explore other styles more in depth e.g. Yin, Prenatal, Yoga Therapy; which gives you another layer of understanding and awareness both as a student and teacher. Also, delve in an Intensive Course to fine tune certain skills as a teacher e.g. Assisting and Adjusting, Art of Sequencing, Art of Teaching etc.
Learning doesn't stop once you have received your foundational certificate. It is a constant and beautiful process of growing, learning and transforming which allows you to become an inspired student and teacher of yoga.
By Malvina Kang