Having practiced yoga for over three years, I thought taking a Yoga Teacher Training would be the next logical step and not particularly a challenge, but an enjoyable experience. How wrong I was!
Here is what I wish I knew before I took my Yoga Teacher Training.
1) It will be more emotionally demanding than you ever imagined
As a regular yogi, physically I’m used to the asanas of yoga. But emotionally, I was not prepared. Your YTT will make you connect with yourself like never before, which can be quite scary or vulnerable for some. I meditate now and then, but on your YTT you will meditate every day. Have you ever spent a month meditating everyday? You start to understand yourself like never before. I live in London, which demands a hard-facing exterior to survive in this city. As a result I’d say I’m pretty resilient, but some days I found myself full of tears after meditation. I’d never experienced this ever before, and at first it scared me, but it is also the most beautiful vulnerable experience, and I’d recommend indulging in it fully.
2) You’ll make friends for life
Despite your geographical differences, the friends you make will be friends for life. You grew, cried and sweated together – an experience that bonds you for life. Despite the friends I made living on 4 different continents, we keep in contact regularly and it’s beautiful to see them progressing on their yoga journey. In 22 days, I didn’t expect to make deep friendships, but the process means you become closer friends with your fellow trainees than people you have known your whole life. I miss my YTT friends dearly.
3) Yoga is so much more than asana
You might already know this, but for me most of the studios I practiced in prior to YTT were focused on asana and rarely did pranayama or talk about the 8 Limbs of Ashtanga. In your YTT, this is a majority of the course, so you may find your view of ‘what yoga is’ changing quite significantly.
4) Get used to daily practice
I already practiced daily, but if you don’t, I’d recommend in the run up to your YTT practicing daily to prepare your body for the intense physical nature of the training. Even practicing daily, my muscles were sore from the 2/3 times classes a day.
5) Reality can hit you like a brick
Your YTT will be a beautiful time spent in a beautiful place with beautiful people. Coming back to reality, or a city like London for me, can be such a drastic and sometimes depressing change. It takes a while to re-adjust to the non-stop nature of Western life after being somewhere so serene, and having this in the back of your head after training can help make the transition more easy.
6) You may not plan to teach, but the teaching bug will get you
I took my YTT with the sole intention of deepening my practice, but all the real hands-on experience you get of teaching others gave me more fulfillment than I’d ever had in my current job. Suddenly, the idea of not teaching after my training became absurd, and now I teach regularly in my hometown of London.
7) You’ll have the best time of your life.
If you suffer from anxiety like me, in the run up to your YTT you may be plagued with questions like is it ok I’m going alone? What if no-one likes me? What if i’m not as good as everyone else? What if I don’t pass the tests? Let these thoughts leave you and relax, I promise you’re going to have one of the best experiences of your life.