While being a student has undoubtedly been a transforming experience, compared to the time when one did not practice yoga, becoming a teacher represents an even larger step when it comes to upping your game. This is because training to become a teacher is a transforming journey, requiring lots of study, dedicated practice, understanding of yogic philosophy and the lifestyle changes necessary to live a healthier, more balanced life.
Teacher Training Schools Demand Earnest Interns
Unless one decides to make yoga practice a daily part of life, it is can be very challenging to be certified as a teacher. Instructor training is a transforming experience, because yoga teacher training schools want to turn out instructors who represent the best that yoga has to offer the general public. In other words, sleeping through class won’t cut it. Those who cannot keep students safe, take pride in giving students the complete experience, provide solid advice, help students who need it, and represent the ideals of yoga in a coherent way are not likely to be considered qualified to teach yoga. Paying tuition for training is not a guarantee that one will be certified, any more than a college student is guaranteed a degree, just because they are diligent about keeping up with their tuition.
Types of Training Available
There is no shortage of variety when shopping for schools on teacher training. Schools can range from online programs to trendy urban yoga studios or quiet ashrams located in remote regions of the country. Schedules, too, can vary, from intensive trainings that have flexible online learning formats, to classes that last a month, to trainings that include a number of months, with the classes spread out over evening and weekend sessions. Then, of course, you have to consider the type of yoga taught. There are many schools of yoga, although most focus on yoga for physical training, Hatha yoga, rather than the more esoteric forms, like, for instance, Raja yoga, the training of yoga for intense concentration and mental acuity. Each intern will go through a transforming journey within any teacher training program. Finally, costs vary, from relatively inexpensive to remarkably pricey.
Staying True to One’s Own Nature
Naturally, with so many choices available, this raises the question of where to start in one’s quest to transform from student to teacher.
The answer, actually, is fairly straightforward—pursue the style, school, and type of yoga that you find most appealing – one that accords with your own nature. Some people, for instance, have rajasic natures—they are robust and active— and for them Vinyasa Yoga, which is fast paced, is very attractive. Others are more sattvic—they are peaceful and contemplative—and for them something like Restorative yoga, where poses are held for a minute or more, is more suitable. Naturally, if one is not clear about one’s preferences, then it is advisable to try out different forms to get a feel for the style that you find most interesting.
Teacher trainings in yoga are for those who want to take their interest to the next level. Once they have made that decision, the next step is finding a style that most suits one’s natural temperament. Ultimately, it’s an adventure, and, of course, one never stops learning how to improve. Certification to teach is just the beginning of truly committing to learning yoga. If in doubt about what school to specialize in, then don’t rush it. Try out different schools and find the right one for you.
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