One of the great benefits of traveling to teach yoga is that you build a network of open hearts each place you go. As I leave any place there are yogis hungry for more and eager to share the gifts of the practice. It is quite an honor that I hope to never take for-granted.
Knowing that you want to share the great gifts of yoga with others is absolutely awesome. The world needs you. Your voice, your experience matters and will help us all grow and heal and learn to breathe and move. Finding the right program to strengthen your voice really only requires answering two questions.
What do you want to receive from teacher training?
Try not to be modest or humble in your answer. Now is not the time for playing small. If you want to teach, say so. Do you want to dive deep into personal development and self study? How about the deep history and philosophy? Do you love to chant? Is assisting and leading a slow and thoughtful flow your angle? Are you unsure you ever want to teach and you want to dive deep into the esoteric? Do you want to quit you desk job and teach full time by January? Let’s just say it is actually really challenging in 200 hours to get all of this. Know thyself. Don’t change or sacrifice your answer to this question as you move through the next question.
2. To ask potential training programs: What are three outcomes I can expect from attending your training?
Listen to the answer and listen for YOUR answers to the first question. Find a good fit. You can keep looking until you find a program that best matches with what you are seeking. Of course there will be unexpected outcomes, but at least at the beginning, you will want to serve your heart’s answer to the first question. Are they offering an anatomically/alignment based program and you long to chant and meditate? Are you interested in the ancient texts and their reading list includes Brene Brown instead of the Bhagavad Gita? Do you love heated power vinyasa and the training has an emphasis in the slower therapeutic offerings?
So often I hear potential trainees worried about “corporate” trainings. Let it be said, these trainings will absolutely prepare you to teach. They will build skills to articulate cues and stand in front of a room of students. This sounds like a good thing to me. More often that that, I hear students who want to support a small, local studio. Keeping money inside of the local economy is something I stand for, too. If this interests you, the questions above are even more important.
Two hundred hours sounds just short of forever before you begin, and as you finish, you will realize that 200 hours is hardly skimming the surface of the depth of yoga. Ultimately, there will be gaps in your learning. You will likely come out of training hungry for something more-be it info on the chakras or assisting bodies in the practice or overcoming your desire to pace across your mat as you teach or a multitude of other areas of study. Asking the questions above will keep you from not getting what you wanted.
If your yoga community doesn’t have a training that speaks to your desires, do your research. Know that everyday there are more and more ways to look into this practice. There are online options. There are immersion trainings inside the US and even trainings abroad. There are 200 hour programs that take 2 weeks, just under three months, and some that stretch across a years time. Don’t give up. Keep looking. Continue to mention to others what you are seeking-you never know who they might know.
Remember, the world needs more of what sits in your heart, what hangs on the tip of your tongue, and that which exists in the musings of your own mind. I urge you to keep looking for the right fit and begin with these two questions. Keep it simple.