Where to Begin: A Soulful Yoga Teacher Training Q + A
"We begin where we are and how we are, and whatever happens, happens." -TKV Desikachar
Where to begin the teacher training journey? Right where you are. In TKV Desikachar's book The Heart of Yoga, a required text for our Prana Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training, he advises that the only place where we can begin our yoga path is right where we are. Same is true for our yoga teaching path. The search for the yoga teacher training program that resonates with you and helps you fulfill your intentions is part of the transformational journey.
As Program Director for our Prana Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina now enrolling for January 2018, I am in the midst of fielding Information Sessions for our 200/300/500-Hour programs. The conversations are always so heart felt, that I feel called to share a few of the soulful questions that most commonly arise. Rarely are the questions practical or superficial. The self-study has already begun.
How do I know when it is the right time to go through Yoga Teacher Training?
This question is specific to each individual. I have welcomed people into our program with different yoga experiences. One student showed up for Teacher Training and that day was her first inside of a yoga studio, yet, she had cultivated a dedicated home practice. Another student had practiced with me for years. And, there are many more anecdotes - some people having practiced for a long time, and others just beginning. The one thing that teacher trainees have in common is a desire to learn more about the source of yoga, and a hunger to embody the practice on a deeper level. The only pre-requisites are a thirst for knowledge and the dedication to going through a transformational process. Everyone shows up with unique intentions, but what those intentions share is a desire to grow, progress and expand our human potential. Will having a regular yoga practice enhance the flow of your yoga teacher training experience? Yes. Is it required to glean a rewarding training experience? No. It depends on your intention in enrolling in the program. (More on this in the final question.) The time is right when it feels right - it is exciting, exhilarating, life-enhancing, not stressful, overwhelming or burdened. Trust that you will know in your heart, that is part of becoming your own teacher.
How do I decide which Yoga Teacher Training program to choose?
There are a plethora of Teacher Training programs out there. Take your time and do your research to find the teacher and program that resonate with you and your needs. Go take class with the Program Director and faculty and ask yourself: Do I relate with the teachers, the practice and the community? Are the students in the room happy and thriving? Are the teachers mutually respectful? Does the practice reflect my truth? Teacher Training is a huge time and energy investment. You will spend 180-450 plus hours in the program you choose and it will shape you as a student and teacher. It is worth the search, the search is part of the journey, and you will learn so much about who you are in the process. I celebrate the abundance and diversity of Teacher Training programs here in the Triangle and around the world. Yoga is incredibly personal and it is beautiful that there is a yoga teacher training program out there for everyone. There is program out there that will speak to your heart, meet you where you are and support you in realizing your intentions. Go find it by engaging in the practice and community.
I am not sure I want to teach after Yoga Teacher Training. Do you have to be an aspiring yoga teacher to go through the program?
The good news is you do not have to make this decision prior to enrolling in a Teacher Training program. In fact, I think it can be helpful to depressurize the Teacher Training process and not think about teaching publicly until the program is over. Of course, there is ample practice teaching to fellow trainees within the Teacher Training experience. Teaching is how we integrate our knowledge into wisdom and become accountable for the information. However, preparing to teach in the world before you are ready can be intimidating and stagnating to the transformational journey. Through Teacher Training you become your own teacher first before teaching others. You will clarify your intentions along the way and teach, if you choose, from an authentic place that is an extension of your on-going studentship. People enroll in Teacher Training with different intentions. Some already know in their hearts that they want to embark on the path of becoming a yoga teacher or progress their current teaching experience, while others show up to deepen their practice in support of their passions and work in other fields. There are many ways to express your yoga including but not limited to teaching.
If you would like to discuss further or another question has surfaced during your read feel free to contact me.