Benefits of Taking a Yoga Teacher Training
Most people take a 200 hour yoga training with the intention of becoming a teacher. The popularity of yoga classes has led many to consider teaching as a full time career. Or for some, taking a training is an add-on to their health and wellness oriented resume. And for others, a yoga training is simply to learn more about yoga. Whether or not the choice is for career reasons, there are many life enhancing benefits of taking a yoga teacher training.
Increased Body Awareness
Students in a yoga training study the poses in depth. They break down the structure and function of each pose, and learn some basic anatomy. Unlike in a studio class, they are able to take their time getting into and out of, say, downward dog. Students become very aware of their “body in space”. They begin to recognize poor postural habits and learn to create healthier patterns for the skeleton and muscles. This awareness of the body leads to less muscular pain and less stress on the joints. Being mindful of how we hold and move our body helps heal injuries and prevent new ones. It also leads to the ability to carry ourself in a confident manner. And because of that wonderful mind/body connection – the student IS more confident!
Learn to Let Go of Fears
During a teacher training, there is a large focus on letting go of things that no longer serve us. One of the big ones is fear. I find students are actually quite scared to walk through the doors on day one. They have preconceived notions about what will happen and whether or not they will fit in with the group. They are concerned with how they will be seen and judged. These same fears tend to show up in day to day life, holding the student back from living fully. One of the benefits of taking a yoga teacher training is the development of courage. Through practice, journaling and open hearted discussions, fears become, well, less SCARY. We learn to focus on what is happening in the moment rather than creating stories (fears) of what might (rarely) happen.
The Physical and Mental Challenge
A yoga teacher training WILL test the student. There is the obvious challenge of a maintaining a daily physical practice. This teaches us to accept our limitations or show us how strong we actually are, both on the mat as well as out in the real world. But we don’t often consider the mental challenge of a training. The study of the yoga philosophies asks us to consider how we are living our life. Through this, we are asked to look at our values and whether or not we are living with an open heart and mind. We discover what changes we can, and maybe even should make, in order to become a more whole hearted person. The challenge of being honest with ourself is difficult but incredibly rewarding.
Learn to Communicate Clearly
Having to get up in front of a group and guide them safely into a pose is not as easy as one might think. Learning to teach the asana is an eye opener about how we think we are being clear in our communication, when in fact we are not. We learn how we often say too much or too little. Or we notice how what makes sense to us does not always make sense to the listener. We also learn how to pay better attention to the person in front of us. We notice their body language and facial expressions to better understand what they are experiencing. Taking a yoga teacher training is beneficial in the development of our personal communication skills.
Deepen Your Spiritual Side
Yoga is not a religion. Yoga DOES show us how we are all connected to one another and to all other living creatures on this earth. The spiritual aspect of yoga asks us to consider that there is something bigger than ourselves, something that keeps us all intertwined. A yoga teacher training encourages us to let go of the ego in order to live less selfishly and live with more compassion. We begin to lose the “I’m only in it for myself” mentality and begin to see the benefits of living as a community.
Probably one of the more life changing benefits of taking a yoga teacher training is the process of learning to accept ourself exactly as we are. Humans have a hard time with self acceptance. We are often unhappy with how we look, or where we are in life. We judge ourselves for not accomplishing enough, or for being divorced, or for our lack in various areas of life. Amongst the anatomy and the sutras and the asana, there is beautiful caterpillar to butterfly experience that occurs in a training. Studying yoga in such depth allows us to see that we are exactly where we need to be in life and therefore are 100% ok as we are.
Benefits of Taking a Yoga Teacher Training Bonus – Finding a Tribe
One of the most beautiful things to witness as a YTT leader is the creation of friendships. In more than one session I have heard a student say “I can fully be myself here.” In a training, we are exposed and vulnerable. Heart to heart talks occur on a daily basis. And through it all, there forms this amazing tribe of people who are forever bonded, even if they go their separate ways after the 200 hours. It’s absolutely incredible and is such a joy to witness. It might be my favourite part of leading a YTT.
So you see, the benefits of taking a yoga teacher training are not just all about becoming a teacher. A 200 hour YTT can lead to some incredible life changes. It is an opportunity to shed some layers and get back to your rawness, your truth. I found that the life lessons I learned in my teacher training several years ago have stuck with me ever since.
SKY Yoga Teacher Training is running an intensive in Winnipeg October 16 – November 10, 2017. Follow the link for more details!