Once we have journeyed on our path of yoga for a few years we can start to wonder if teaching yoga may be the next stage for us. Experiencing our own transformation naturally leads to a desire to share this feeling.
The ancient yogis handed down their teachings and traditions in a Guru/Disciple relationship that often lasted decades before the student was released to become a teacher to others. However, modern lifestyles rarely can accommodate this kind of lengthy immersion. Imagine telling your spouse “I’m off to India to train as a yoga teacher. I’ll be back in 20 years.” Not a viable option for the average person although without a doubt the most thorough way to train.
Currently there are two main options when choosing to embark on a yoga teacher training program. A long term training spread out over a year or more consisting of a monthly weekend session, or an intensive program whereby you immerse yourself daily for a period of a month or two usually in a location other than your local yoga center.
Both options serve as great trainings but not always suitable to your lifestyle. If embarking on a long term training, the up side is that it will allow you to continue your usual daily routine, working and earning a living along side your course. Classes usually are scheduled for weekends, once a month with homework and/or a mandatory public class attendance in between meetings. This can be a useful way to manage a training without much disturbance to your daily life. It is a good way to focus on the process in smaller modules. However, one of the problems with this method is that there is a tendency not to absorb the information fully. This is especially true when maintaining other commitments and family responsibilities. Through our own yoga practice we learn that experience itself is the greatest of teachers. If we are “dipping in” to our training and perhaps letting our daily yoga practice slide due to pressures of family or work we can feel the experience we gain on those weekends slips between the cracks of the rest of our lives.
It may be that you are the type of person who needs to eliminate distractions in order to fully focus. Perhaps you are looking for a complete life change or have been made redundant from your job. In these cases a yoga teacher training that completely immerses you in the process of practice, training and theory can be a better option. With an intensive, full time course you would be working everyday for 6-8 hours developing your skills as a practitioner as well as learning how to teach and the general theories of yoga philosophy. This kind of course is usually separate from your local yoga school and tends to happen in places that surround you with a peaceful more yoga “authentic” environment. For many people looking to immerse themselves in a yoga teacher training in India and other places in Asia are common options. The advantage to this is that your daily focus is fully on the course itself. This can allow each student to absorb the information as the repetition of a daily yoga routine embeds itself in the consciousness.
Whatever your motivation for deciding to teach, it is a good idea to look into all the options available in yoga teacher training courses. There are a lot of trainings on the market so the choice is pretty big. Think about what will suit your lifestyle and needs before choosing. Being able to manage a family and work may be more important to you while you are training, as teaching may be just something you want to add to your current abilities. Or perhaps stepping out of your usual surroundings and daily habits and immersing yourself in the entire process of yoga is what you need to take you to the next stage on your path. Whatever option you choose yoga teacher training can be a very rewarding and life changing experience.
Julie Martin is Director of https://www.brahmaniyoga.com
Julie Martin is Director of Brahmani Yoga in Goa, India and runs yoga teacher training programs, workshops and classes at Brahmani as well as around the world. https://www.brahmaniyoga.com