Recently I received an email from a friend of a yoga student of mine asking for advice about doing her teacher training, so I thought I’ll write a post about it.
Now I recently made a video about things to consider if you want to be a yoga teacher, and if after watching that video, you still want to pursue this then read this for my two cents on this topic. This is just my personal opinion on this matter and I may be wrong but I’m just a human being so sue me.
So you know in school we learnt maths and english and science and whatever else for 12 whole years (unless you’re a genius child who went skipped grades and went straight to university at age 10 or something), and then if you were good at maths you’ll probably go study accounting or finance, and if you were good at science and physics, you went off to be a doctor or a scientist. And then you study for another 3 – 6 years at university before you became whatever the hell you became.
My point is, we basically prepared for those things our entire lives, we were studying those things to prepare for college and then studying further to prepare us for our careers, so why do people think they know enough after doing yoga for 6 months to become a teacher and go out and teach?
I’ve been practising yoga for almost 7 years now (I think, I lost track…) and most days I still feel like I know nothing. My friend/teacher has been teaching for 10 years now, and she still learns new things every now and then. Whilst a teacher training is a great way to deepen your knowledge for yoga in a fast way, one should understand that it does not mean that you can now go out there and teach yoga to the average Joe in a completely safe way.
It is true that you can learn a lot as you do, but personally I just feel that if you haven’t been practising yoga for at least a few years consistently, one should not even contemplate the idea of teaching. UNLESS, you have a superb knowledge already on the anatomy of the human body, combined with a very good teacher training course, perhaps then you can fast track to becoming a yoga teacher (and if you are one of the lucky few people who can figure out exactly what they want to do in life in a very short 6 month period! Damn you, damn you…).
Now the reason I say all of the above is because many teacher training now days are these 4 week intensive 200-hours things that are just pushing out loads (or heaps as they say in Oz) of yoga teachers, some of which are really just not that experienced in their practise, so never mind about teaching someone. This is the reason why longer, more detailed teacher trainings are preferred. So if you aren’t in a rush to become a teacher and money isn’t a problem, I would personally really recommend taking the time to do a solid teacher training rather than a quick short one.
Is that what I did? NOPE! I went to India and did a 200-hour intensive and the whole time I was doing the teacher training, I was thinking to myself, how in the world is this course suppose to prepare me as a teacher? There’s just no ways that I will be equipped with the skills to teach after this! (If you are one of my students, fear not… Just read on…)
Fortunately, I’m one big nerd and yoga obsessed junkie, so of course I didn’t just do ONE intensive course while I was there. Aside from my teacher training, I also did this course called the Heart of Yoga in Chennai at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. ALSO, I keep going to all sorts of yoga workshops and read tons of books and blogs and articles and watch Youtube videos on yoga, which helps me learn lots of new things that I can always share in my classes.
I’m in no way dissing 200-hours intensive teacher training courses because that’s what I did too! But I fully recognise the fact that those 200 hours are just not enough. If you are a super nerd like me who will in your own time go and do loads of research and reading etc, then the 200 hours thing may work for you. Or if you already have a great background in bodyworks or anatomy (like if you’re a doctor, or a physio, or someone who studied something to do with anatomy…), or if you have some background in fitness and is able to appreciate that everyone is different and we got to respect people’s bodies for being different!
Anyways, that’s my 2 cents. I probably should have made a video for this instead of writing this long rant. Actually, maybe I will make a video AS WELL AS a blog post! How about that?!
Namaste good night everyone.