So, I think I'll become a yoga instructor....
Ignite Yoga recently launched it's yoga teacher training program, along with the other yoga studios in the area, each of us offering something a little different and unique. We all have our own different beliefs and approaches, but one thing is the same- we're here to teach you how to teach yoga and to deepen your understanding of the practice.
I mean teaching yoga sounds awesome, right?
*We get to wear comfy yoga pants ALL day
*We aren't required to wear make-up
*We can sit down and close our eyes and it's completely acceptable
*We meet a ton of new people
*Everyone is almost always happy
* This list goes on and on....
One thing most potential YTT's (yoga teacher trainees) aren't aware of, is the path to becoming a yoga instructor has changed rapidly and significantly over the years. Yoga is a tradition that has been around for over 2,000 years and until recently, many 'programs' took a minimum of 2 years to complete and included rigorous practice and mindfulness. It was hours worth of time. Today, however, we live in a culture where we want to be able to do something as quickly as possible. And so, we made that possible. Now you can have the status of being able to teach yoga in as little as two weeks. From 2 years to 2 weeks. Crazy huh?
It's not to say that you can't teach an effective class in this time, I mean, I'm 100% guilty of going through the 200 hours and diving right in to teaching (although, I don't know if I can say my first class was "effective"). However, there are a few things that you want to have solid in your heart before you even considering diving into the yoga teacher (or deepened student) path. Here are just a few...
1. Be Eager to Grow- our teaching (and practice) is a mountain with no top. If you don't have an eagerness to grow and learn, then your mountain will be capped pretty quickly. Do you know what happens when your mountain caps??? So do your students (or your children, or your spouses- don't be a mountain capper!) We are no good to others if we can't offer the service of growth that has so generously been offered to us. Be forever a student and you will forever grow (and so will your students).
2. It's Not About You- "Our yoga practice might start out being about ourselves, but eventually we outgrow that. The great masters are those who make their practice about others." Baptiste Yoga- As you decide on your yoga teacher path, search for a training that is going to develop you so much that you can make this profound switch of mentality. At first, you must make it about you so that you can drop all of the junk that may be landing on others wrong (I'm right, I'm better than you, I know it all, etc) Then, you feel so empowered that sharing with others becomes a natural part of your self expression. If you are searching for a training without any desire to serve others- STOP. Go back and practice more. Come back when you're ready.
3. Be Humble ALWAYS- As you search out a training, know that everyone is walking their own path and not everyone is seeking a training for the same reason you are. Rather than entering a training to be the best yoga teacher, enter a training with the intent to be your best self... always. As your journey continues, never think that you are a rockstar. There is always someone that teaches a better class than you, and someone who doesn't. There is always someone that has a stronger practice than you, and someone who doesn't. Always be your best self- because no one can be better than you at that.
These are just a few to start and of course there are many more, but if you have these seeds planted and they are beginning to grow, you are already on the path to becoming a great instructor.
Becoming a yoga instructor is an amazing path and there are bountiful benefits. Here's what a few current instructors have to say about their path....
"My yoga teacher training program showed me limitless tools for a lifetime of exploration: exploration of the self, of relationships, of my community and the search for meaning. Learning to translate and teach this mind/body/spirit-journey, yoga is tremendously transformative. Teaching challenges me to practice not only for myself but for my students, for my community and for the betterment of the world around me."
"When I first began yoga, it was merely a physical practice, that I looked at in almost the same way as I would any sort of work out. I just thought it was more beautiful and graceful exercise. When I became pregnant, I started to realize the more internal benefits of the practice. The poses made me more comfortable in my own skin, and helped to keep me moving, but I started to learn more about working with my breath and sitting in stillness with my mind. After an easy pregnancy and a wonderful birthing experience, I decided that I wanted to teach yoga. I learned so many things in my teacher training, but the thing that I realized soon enough, was that teacher training was only the tip of the iceberg. I learned that once you dive into yoga, it is a never-ending journey. The more I practice and the more that I teach, the more I learn about myself. The learning NEVER stops.. unless you reach Samadhi, or Enlightenment. Then, maybe, you have it all.. but STILL you have to keep sharing and spreading that light. That is what it's all about. Finding the light and love within yourself, and then giving it to anyone and anything that you can."
If you are interested in expanding your yoga journey, please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are always happy to share.