These days, it seems like everybody knows someone who’s in yoga teacher training (YTT). These programs are often considered the “next step” in practicing yoga once you’ve settled in to a solid routine at the studio.
Even people with no interest in teaching flock to trainings, seeking more structure, depth, and community in their practice. More and more YTT programs are being offered these days. But how do you know if you’re really ready? Ask yourself if any of the headings below apply to you.
Drop-in classes don’t feel like enough.
As a dedicated yogi, you might attend frequent classes – but maybe you’ve reached the point where they no longer feel like enough. Teachers in regular classes usually don’t have the time to break down each pose, tie in all the relevant anatomy, go in depth on philosophical teachings, or do more than basic meditation exercises.
Plus, drop-in classes don’t typically build upon each other to help you progress, and they don’t guarantee a well-rounded practice. If you’re yearning for deeper or more structured study, you might be ready for YTT.
You’re interested in more than the poses.
You’ve probably heard yoga teachers say that poses are just one aspect of yoga, or that toning your glutes is not the true purpose of the practice. So it’s no surprise that poses are only one part of a training curriculum. Meditation, philosophy, Ayurveda, chanting, and the subtle body are just a few of the other topics YTT might cover. If none of these things are of interest to you, teacher training might not be a perfect fit.
You love being a student.
In some ways, enrolling in YTT feels like going back to school. With a prescribed schedule, regular lectures, quizzes and tests, and reading and homework assignments, teacher training is best suited for people who love being students – or at least love to learn.
You want to challenge yourself physically and mentally.
YTT is demanding, so you need to make sure you’re up for it. You’ll work hard, doing yoga more frequently and for longer than maybe you ever have. At the same time, you’ll be working towards more challenging poses and sequences. But YTT will also force you to study and learn a large amount of sometimes complicated material. It will push you to question your values, beliefs, and habits. Are you ready for both a physical and mental challenge?
You have a regular practice.
Different YTT programs have different prerequisites. Many are open to students who don’t have a ton of experience with yoga. But before you dive into teacher training, you’ll ideally have some type of regular practice. Taking classes, watching videos, or practicing at home on a regular basis will help build a foundation to set you up for success during YTT.
Of course, you hardly need to meet all these criteria in order to sign up for training. People from all different backgrounds and with various interests and levels of experience enroll in YTT. If you know you want to dive deeper into yoga, that’s the most important sign that you’re ready for teacher training.
Image credit: Creative Commons user jennycu (no changes made)