Yoga teacher training is a transformative and rewarding journey at every level of the Self. Apart from learning how to teach a class, trainees sharpen their physical practice, expand self-awareness, hone their ability to focus and recognize opportunities for spiritual development through yoga. The layers are many!
While it’s common for many trainees to think that training begins on the day they arrive at their training destination, we are here to communicate the great value and importance of a deeper preparation before arriving. In other words, your training really begins as soon as you register.
Last month we discussed how you can physically prepare for teacher training, and this month we address how to mentally prepare. To be clear, the only real prerequisite for teacher training is your keen intention and passion to become a yoga teacher. Still, given the occasion, it also provides a great advantage to take time to properly prepare so you can maximize the potential of this unique opportunity.
Let’s get started.
Study the Postures
Through Evolation’s 250-hour Hot Yoga teacher training, students will be learning the ins and outs of 26 classic postures and 2 breathing exercises; in the Flow training, you will dive in the depth of many poses. And each posture contains a dozen different alignment principles. That is a lot of detail! Hot trainees are asked to start memorizing the asana essentials prior to arriving at the training. As a Flow trainee you should not worry about memorizing posture alignment in advance of training, however, you should take time to both review and explore the postures through your own practice and reading the books of the required reading list. This will allow you to assimilate and embody the information with greater ease (or less stress) once training is underway.
Review the Readings
Most training organizations will include a required and suggested reading list as part of your studies. At Evolation, we require several foundational classics, such as Autobiography of a Yogi, the Bhagavad Gita, Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar and Bikram Choudhury’s Bikram Yoga. The bottom line is the more time you have to read and absorb your readings, the more you will gain! Each book is designed to enhance a different layer of the teacher training journey, so even 10 minutes a night prior to the start of training can make a big difference.
Begin or Expand Your Meditation Practice
As the old proverb indicates that we need to empty our cup before filling it with new content, so should we unburden ourselves from preconceived ideas or strong opinions that could be keeping us stuck in old patterns that no longer serve us. Instead, set the intention to arrive with an open mind to experience life just as it is. Again, teacher training is a transformative journey at every level of the Self, and when we can remain open to all its forms and colors, we can reap its deepest rewards. Meditation teaches us how to cultivate this openness of mind, and there is no time like the present to get started on that journey.
Let Go, and Have Fun!
Attending a yoga teacher training is a dream for many. Don’t lose sight of that in the midst of the training! It’s going to be an amazing experience that you will remember for a lifetime. You’ll make lifelong friendships and connections through laughter, sweat, and occasional tears. As Mark Twain put it: Sing like no one is listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth!
To reiterate, while your first official day of training might be several weeks or several months away, that doesn’t mean your training hasn’t already started. Begin with the suggested steps in this article, and you’ll be off to a great start.