Chose your Yoga Teacher Training + what I have & haven't learnt - My 200H YTT: Part 2
Hey Yo ! I’m back to deliver part II of my Yoga Teacher Training Adventure, and I’m glad you’re back too! :D
If you haven’t read part 1, please do so before reading this blog post. Part 1 covers important topics such as: why I decided to do a Yoga Teacher Training and teacher training specificities (types of trainings, diplomas/certifications, cost, etc.). I initially planned doing one single post about teacher training but since I have this tendency to go on tangents when I’m passionate about something.. the post ended up way too long.
So here’s part 2.
In part 2, things get a bit more personal.
In part 2, we are going to be covering fun things such as :
How I chose my teacher training & how to chose yours
I think I don’t set the good example when it comes to that question. To be really honest, I haven’t done much/extensive research before signing up for my training. I am a strategically lazy person, the least effort I can provide for the same/similar output I will do.
It’s like buying a television or a cellphone or a simple freakin tshirt, some people take hours, days, months before purchasing, I’m the opposite, taking decision gives me anxiety so I try to cut it short: once I find something I like and that suits me, well, I go for it. Ain’t got time nor desire to dig into every single other options. When I start to compare.. man.. it’s not good for my health. That happened before purchasing my first professional camera. I spent hours, days, weeks, searching everywhere anywhere in the good and dark webs so I knew every. single. specificities. I had about 0 social life & once I thought I had found THE perfect camera, then, bam, my next YouTube video suggestion would be a review of THAT specific camera telling me it is actually not the best. See, there will NEVER be a perfect thing. Perfection lies in the eyes of the person, not in the actual thing. So, that is when, PRIORITIES come into play.
I’m already on a tangent, see. Back to topic.
I think I got lucky with picking my training, I had just started yoga, loved my teacher who also happened to run a teacher training program, in Paris, that I could afford and attend. ALL STARS ALIGNED.
But let’s pretend now that I would be just like you, hesitating, comparing cost/quality, emailing, trying to figure out which TT to pick.
Going back to priorities people!
1. TOPIC OF INTEREST
What matters the most to you ? A 200h is going to have little bits of everything: yogic lifestyle, breathing, chakra study, postures, teaching, assisting students, anatomy, business, branding etc. But some 200H will be more focused on the precisions of asanas (postures); others on playing with teaching styles; others will full focus on the spirituality part, some more in the anatomy. This is usually why the school is known for and what they put their advertising/marketing efforts on. You can also use hashtags on social media to find real life experiences, or youtube videos/vlogs. So first thing first, identify what resonates more with you NOW. I believe this is what you should be going towards, because you already have the passion, which is 70% on the way there.
2. TEACHERS / TEACHING TEAM
Who is teaching the training? This was probably my top priority in making my choice. Who are your favorite teachers (you might not know yet!) ? What is their styles ? What do you like about them ? If your fav teachers don’t give teacher trainings, ask them where they did theirs! I was so inspired by Tatiana when I took her class first time, she’s definitely the kind of teacher I would love to aspire to be. So, I learnt from the master herself to crack the codes, you know ;)
While there is different types of yoga: Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram, Ashtanga, Yin, to name a few.. there is ALSO many different styles of Vinyasa. Some people like it slow & deep, others like it fast & high cardio, some like it creative, some like it simple.. there’s really that many styles there are teachers. USE social media & real life classes you attend to identify the styles you like the most, and ask the people you admire how they started yoga, what was their background, their trainings if any.
4. FULL TIME VS PART-TIME
Ok, this is big big big decision factor. Full time trainings, also called intensive trainings, usually last 2 to 3 weeks, from morning to bed time, non-stop. They are a full immersion into teacher trainings, you sleep, eat, drink, talk, breathe, dream, yoga. Part-time teacher trainings last a longer period of time (few months), where the training usually happens on weekends. They are purposely done so that both students & teachers can attend, while keeping daily life activities & jobs & all.
This is really personal preference. I was the perfect candidate to do a full-time training : single, no family, no attachement & a job I can do anywhere. But here are a few reasons why I chose a part-time instead:
I felt like if I went to Asia 30 days & became a teacher, I would have come back pretty lost/‘back to reality’ kind of thing, as in.. what do I do now?
I wanted to learn more about yoga but still be a blogger and develop that activity and I needed to ground myself (ie. not travel) to do that.
I felt like my life in Paris missed a little spark and I was excited to be back into student shoes.
I was SUPER excited to KNOW/MEET people and make friends and to know that those potential friendships could last (they have :D) (being a bloger/working from home is extremely isolating, you have no idea.).
I always thought the longer the better (apply it to all you want lol but especially to learning curves). I thought having the training over about 5months would be super good for integrating concepts, build a stronger practice, avoiding injuries etc.
I never feel the need to ‘run away’ from home to live a life changing experience.
All that being said, when I’m ready to start another 300H training, I will def love to immerse myself more and do a more short/intensive training.
Obviously a priority, at least for me. Teacher trainings are expensive so make sure you make a smart investment. I’ve already discussed costs in Part 1.
What have I learned in my yoga teacher training !
I want to go over the main things that I have learnt but also not give out too much out because I think it’s so good and healthy to keep surprises & a bit of apprehension!
My training lasted 6 (I believe - see, I’m so lazy to double check because that’s kind of irrelevant: priorities!) weekends. One weekend per month approximately. Some were 2 days some were 3, some were 4 days.
Yoga practice wise, I have learnt everything from my training. I started from zero knowledge. I didn’t know the name of 80% of the poses, yet even sanskrit LOL. I didn’t know a warrior 1 was different from a warrior 2 in terms of stance. I didn’t know what sun salutations were (even if I performed before). I learned the alignements, cues etc. So yes, on that matter, I have learned everything and today surprisingly when I use sanskrit in my classes i’m like ‘WHO AM I’ ?
I had very basic to none knowledge of yogic lifestyles, philosophies, history, pathways - so I learnt all that too. When I mean ‘learn’ I don’t mean I’m able to regurgitate all Patanjali book ok? I just mean, I know what it refers to, I know where Yoga has rooted from, the different branches it’s taken, the major texts written, dieties, ayurveda, some fun Ganesha stories etc. I also know more about energies systems/believes, purification methods, chakras etc. It doesn’t mean I do that or I believe in it, but I KNOW it. Thank you wonderful Heather for the knowledge you transmitted to me!
I def learnt some anatomy ! I was super excited about this because being a fitness girl & super passionate about how the body work, I feel like this can really be my area of competency (although still have so much to learn).
But that’s a complex topic because, where do you even stop in the learning process? Surely yoga teachers can’t be as proficient as physio or surgeons when it comes to anatomy? We can’t know every single muscles, bones, tissues, injuries, diseases; yet we work with bodies. So where’s the line of what you should and shouldn’t know? I figured : you have to set this line yourself. Our teacher gave us many tools, we went over the various systems of our body, physio, anatomical, nervous system, reproductive system, commun injuries etc. Some things were new, some things we had learned at school and maybe forgotten.. But we touched on each subject and if you want to be ‘pro’ and like you ‘know your sh.t’ I believe you need to dig deeper into books/experiences.
I learned how to create a class, with a particular ‘lotus style’ sequencing that builds the class towards a more challenging/peak posture. I learned voice techniques and how to care for your voice (which is so important when you don’t stop talking for an hour straight).. and so many other things.
I also learned to trust myself teaching and public speaking. You may not know this but i have a really hard time to speak in public. I’m so shy, I get anxiety, I feel like what I’ll say is stupid, irrelevant or crazy. In business school I had so many presentations and I was only getting confortable after 4 years of practice.. and, not even sure to call this ‘confortable’. I’m constantly fearful of making mistakes. When I do I freak out, I become red & I can’t speak anymore. Yea I taught on my youtube channel some fitness classes but it was just me, and my camera. I mean, it’s still a long process to go, with the teaching practices you get more and more at ease.
And also, we practiced teaching, and I learned from my mistakes and feedbacks I was given. I learnt and continue to learn patience and trust.
Well, I have learned so many things I can’t write them all down on paper and I also keep some things to myself, more personal things you learn about yourself, via introspection.
But here's what I haven't learnt or What you probably won’t learn:
We are not in high school anymore: the teachers are mentors and here to help & teach but everything (learning, interest) comes from you. You are not punished because you didn’t do homework. You only will learn what you will want to learn. Of course there is exams at the end so you do have to know the fair minimum and bases but if you want to dig more into a subject you can.
You will not cure your depression or mental health issues. I NEED TO SAY THIS. That isn’t my case but a lot of people think doing a yoga teacher training is like therapy. NO. You’ll lose your time & money. Seek professional help first, it is really not a shame.
You will not learn to be a good teacher. I’m sorry if I just burst your bubble. Teacher training gives you all the tools to become a good teacher, but you are alone when it comes to figuring out what your style is, how to convey your message, what matters the most, how to shine and transmit good vibes etc…which are, in my opinion, what makes a teacher good vs average. I think this takes practice and even evolves during your teaching journey. I have so much to learn still trust me. You first probably will mimic your teachers until you drift away, take a little more confidence & find your own style. I think the best teachers are those who are authentically theirselves. ON and OFF the mat.
You will learn anatomy, alignement etc but not body awareness - at least I don’t think so. I think body awareness comes from your personal background of sports/activity and your relationship with your body. I don’t think it’s something you can be taught, it comes with experience & practice.
You won’t be taught to love to teach. This comes from you, if you want to start teaching yoga it is because you are passionate about teaching things you love to people. Not everyone likes to teach, it is not a good or a bad thing, but being a yoga teacher, whether part or full-time is a passion before being a job. If you don’t enjoy it please don’t do this to yourself/to others that will sense it.
You will not become a ‘full on’ yogi.. unless you want to! in that sense you will not learn to like meditation, cleaning practices, spirituality etc if it’s not what resonates with you.
Well I think I covered quite a bit of topic here! The most important thing I want you to know is teacher trainings are here to give you TOOLS to be a teacher. That is exactly why I decided to take one. I wanted to have the tools and be confident to transmit this passion to my friends, fam and you ! I didn’t expect to become someone else. I think it’s important to have this mindset before you start; but at the same time allow yourself to be guides and learn to let go and not control everything. If you’re hesitating to do one, stop and go for it now! It is an amazing experience that you will not regret!!
And before I go, let’s not forget about the precious friendships I made during my training. Friends I can call best friends now and I’m so so so grateful for that!
Thank you so much for reading my story, please feel free to ask any questions you have below, and possibly can do story time video if you have some cool questions! Otherwise, if you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post comments/feedbacks are always appreciated!!! :)
contact for the training I did : earthtofly.yoga(at)gmail.com
Lots of love, Amélie