Every year, thousands of students from every corner of the globe undertake training to become yoga teachers. Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) courses are more popular than ever before, but what exactly is it that draws so many of us to sit at the feet of great teachers in order to one day become teachers ourselves? Is it because we feel inherently confident, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we will succeed at it? I don’t think so – and that’s what it interesting about the journey of self-discovery that we know as yoga teacher training.
For most of us, our lives unfold via a process of carefully informed decision making. We’re taught from a young age that we should work out what we want to do with our lives, study hard, and then secure a job in the profession of our choice, so that we can create a steady income and build long-term security. Society encourages us to play to our strengths; to determine what we excel at, and then stick to that path. Good at maths? Try a commerce degree. Good with politics? You’d make a great lawyer. Once we find our chosen profession, we often tend to settle in for the long haul, and our self-identity becomes intrinsically linked to the things that we feel we’re ‘good’ at. Therefore, many of us take up permanent residence in the comfort zone. In the process, we’re missing out on the myriad of benefits that come from challenging ourselves, taking risks, and putting ourselves out there.
This ‘fear factor’ is part of the beauty of yoga teacher training. Only a small handful of YTT students will arrive at their training already comfortable with the idea of teaching asana, physical cues, and complex philosophy to a group of complete strangers! For most of us, the journey from yoga-loving student to confident yoga teacher is a huge personal transformation – and one that continues well beyond the end of your first teacher training. During the course of your YTT, I guarantee you will doubt yourself. You may find yourself wondering what on earth you were thinking to travel halfway across the globe only to realise how little you know about yoga. This is not only a normal part of the process, it’s a precious opportunity for self-growth! You see, when we doubt ourselves, we have two choices – but to the untrained eye they both spell ‘FEAR’:
Forget Everything And Run
Face Everything And Rise
Yoga teacher training is the ideal environment in which to rise beyond self-doubt. You will be surrounded by teachers and peers who have all been in exactly the same position, and who can support you through this journey of self-empowerment and growth. Moments of self-doubt can help us to gently peel back the layers to arrive at true self-knowledge. Realising our strengths and weaknesses in this manner sets us up for a lifetime of personal strength, balance, empathy and compassion towards ourselves and others. After all, we are so much more than the sum total of our parts. We are more than our job titles, our houses, our cars, our wardrobes, and our hobbies…we are a collective group of human beings on a quest for self-knowledge and peace within.
A yoga teacher training is not just a qualification – it’s a step towards a greater sense of purpose and balance no matter where we are in our lives. The skills that you will learn during your YTT will make you more adaptable, resilient, and capable of weathering the different seasons of life. The magic begins at the end of your comfort zone. So, what are you waiting for?