The decision to embark on a 200-hour yoga teacher training is a big one. It’s an investment of money, of time, and of self. There are ways to prepare for this amazing experience, like committing fully to your practice and cracking some books early on. But we have a few helpful tidbits to know beforehand to help ease you into training.
7 Surprising Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Yoga Teacher Training
#1: It’s a Lot of Work!
Yes, it’s true. Your 200-hour yoga teacher training will be a lot of work. But it’s very rewarding work. There will be times where you will want to quit. There will be times where you will question your motivation. But anything worth doing is not going to be easy.
Your yoga teacher training is the path to your true calling! This is your future we’re talking about here, and you wouldn’t have made this time commitment if you weren’t 100% sure this is where you wanted to be. This is your path, so do it to the end, and do it well!
#2: Things Will Rise To The Surface
Along with the studying, meditating, breathing and asana will come deep inner exploration. This will inevitably lead to issues bubbling to the surface when you least expect it. Indeed, you will laugh, you will cry, and everything in between during your 200-hour yoga teacher training. So will everyone else.
So don’t feel bad about letting it out. Before, during, or after class, emotions will happen. Be patient with yourself. Let your feelings flow and run their course, and remember that these are not your true self. They are just natural human reactions to the work you’re doing. Dissolve that ego and those samskaras and unveil the inner you that will become clearer and clearer as you go along.
#3: Do It For Yourself….
Whether you intend to teach after your 200-hour yoga teacher training or not, use this time to grow yourself. This is self-care, and you are doing it to better yourself and follow your own unique path. The more genuine and seated you are in your truth, the more you will be able to offer the world when you’re done.
#4: …And Remember To Take Care of Yourself.
It can be tempting to max out your limits and give this training your all. Definitely test these boundaries! But do so within reason. Remember to take care of yourself. Part of a 200-hour yoga teacher training is learning that you have personal barriers, and so does everyone you’ll be teaching. It’s about embracing those limits and letting your practice flow around and through them.
We should challenge ourselves and find our edges in order to grow, but not to the point of pain or injury. Remind yourself that you’re at the beginning of your journey, and listen to your body. Remember that what we think are “weaknesses” are actually strengths. By defining your limitations, you’ll be able to help others find theirs, which is an excellent quality to have as a teacher.
#5: Release Your Expectations
Although you can prepare yourself for a 200-hour yoga teacher training by strengthening your personal practice and doing some relevant reading, there’s really no way to know what will happen or how you’ll feel. When you decide to commit to this path, remember that all you need to do is show up and do your best.
This experience will be the most rewarding if you can stay in the moment and show up with an open heart. You will learn so much about yourself and your practice, and you will make lifelong connections with your fellow yogis. It’s a challenging journey, but one well worth embarking on!
#6: Yogis Are Unique!
While all the lovely yogis you’ll share space with during your 200-hour yoga teacher training will be in tune with these teachings and knowledge, each of you has your own path. You may not instantly click with everyone. And that’s totally fine. This just reveals the lovely fact that we all have our own special set of skills, beliefs and soul stuff to share with the world.
Also, each of you will be working on your own egos, which can cause difficulties. But it’s important to remember that whatever rises to the surface for each of you comes from within and has nothing to do with the others in the group. If you have issues or hesitations with a fellow student or teacher, explore why you may be feeling a certain way and choose to act rather than react in a situation. Have compassion for yourself and for your companions, and everything will work out.
#7: The Learning Doesn’t End When Training Does
One of the beautiful things about yoga is that it’s an ever-evolving endeavor. Whether you’re investing time in a 200-hour yoga teacher training or something more advanced, there will always be things you don’t know when you’re done. What yoga means to you will change. The material you teach will change. There will always be more poses, more readings, more knowledge, and more wisdom to gain- both in your personal practice and on your road as a teacher. Every moment in yoga is a moment to learn and to grow. You can always be a teacher and a student. How cool is that?
Above all, what’s most important is that you go into your 200-hour yoga teacher training with an open mind and an open heart. All the struggles and all the work are so worth it in the end! So stay excited, and get busy on your path!