If you have been practicing yoga for a while, you may find yourself in a place of longing for something deeper. You may want to learn more, to travel deeper into the world of yoga, and you may want more than your regular yoga class is providing you. You can deepen your practice through various workshops and retreats, but perhaps the best way to deepen your yoga path is through a Yoga Teacher Training. "But I am not planning to become a yoga teacher!" you may think. Don't let this stop you from considering a teacher training. Besides being able to teach, Yoga teacher training can give you a surprising amount of additional value!
So what can you expect from a Yoga Teacher Training?
1. A break and quality time for yourself
Do you ever dream of leaving it all behind for a while and escaping to a tropical location to focus on your wellbeing? Even the longest yoga retreats are usually not longer than few weeks, but with a Yoga Teacher Training you are getting the ultimate yoga retreat - four to five weeks of pure yoga! You will spend your days practicing yoga, learning about the history and philosophy of yoga, exploring different areas of yoga such as Meditation, Pranayama , Kirtan and Yoga Nidra just to name a few. For these weeks your world will revolve around you and yoga. There is nothing quite as relaxing for a yogi as forgetting the rest of the world for a while and only focusing on yourself.
2. Intense journey into yourself
Yoga Teacher training is not just about how to teach yoga to others. It is first and foremost an experience into yoga, and a deep, often quite transformational journey into yourself. When you practice yoga and meditation daily without any other interruptions pulling you back into real life, you reach a whole new level of clarity in life.
For the first weeks of my teacher training I was in a continuous state of bliss. I was in a tropical paradise, surrounded by people sharing the same love and interest for yoga, and because of that everything went a level deeper. My meditation, self reflection and my practice. Yoga Teacher Training takes you on a trip in many senses of the word.
But don't be fooled, the training is also hard. It takes you to your edge and shows you your weaknesses. At the same time you are in a supported environment where it's OK to break down, if needed. Although the days are not always comfortable, it will be more than worth it in the end.
3. Deepening your own practice
When I started my Yoga Teacher Training, I was not yet 100% sure whether I would end up teaching. But there was one person I was desperate to teach - me!
During the training you will do just that. You will teach yourself, which is the most important teaching experience you will ever have. Only when you have taught yourself, and experienced your own learning curve and development within the world of yoga, can you teach others. During the Yoga Teacher Training there is finally time to really get into the specifics of it all. Where does the practice stem from, why do we do certain asanas, what alternatives are there, and what are the internal and external benefits from the practice. After a teacher training you will look at yoga from a different place of understanding and affection.
4. Learning the individual nature of yoga
Yoga was essentially a practice between a guru and a disciple. Yoga practice was geared for the individual, taking into consideration the unique physical characters of the disciple. In a classroom full of students this element is often lost, and it takes some practice for you to find what really works for you. From this knowledge you can build an effective practice for yourself, a practice which not only benefits your character, but also your unique physical frame.
During a teacher training you will learn how yoga is more internal than external. You will learn how yoga applies to you as an individual, how your body reacts to the different exercises and asanas, and how you can modify your practice to benefit you. This knowledge makes all future yoga practices feel quite different.
5. Long lasting friendships around the world
Last, but certainly not least, during a Yoga Teacher Training you will end up with amazing friendships with like-minded people from all over the world. You are united by yoga and by the unique journey you take together. It is a bonding experience, one that will last a lifetime.
As you can see, Yoga Teacher Training is not just for those who want to teach yoga. It is for those who want to know more about yoga, and for those who are serious about this beautiful practice. The training gives you more confidence in your own practice, it guides you and supports you. And if you end up sharing your love for yoga in the process of it, wonderful!
For those who do want to teach yoga, teacher training is purely a beginning. It gives you the perfect starting point, a scratch on the surface. It ignites a spark in you that hopefully will turn into an eternal flame lighting your life long journey.