You have been practicing yoga for some time now, and are wondering, ‘What’s next?’ You start looking at workshops and courses, one thing leads to another and there it is: Yoga Teacher Training.
‘But, Yoga Teacher Training? Am I ready for this? It sounds quite intimidating! Besides, I don’t want to teach yoga…’
Due to its title, many people are under the impression that only wannabe yoga teachers undertake a teacher training course. This can’t be farther from the truth though! Here are 5 reasons you should take a yoga teacher training course, even if you don’t want to teach.
1. Alignment, alignment, alignment. In a teacher training course, there is much more time for you to learn about the alignment aspect of yoga. Compared to in a regular yoga class, the teacher cannot place as much emphasis on alignment as they can during teacher training, as unfortunately to say, not everybody is interested in the finer details of the practice. Alignment is very important to ensure that your yoga practice is safe, and therefore sustainable, and in teacher training there is much emphasis on this; besides that you will also have ample time to raise any questions or doubts you may have about your practice.
2. To understand the anatomical and physiological aspects of yoga. Yoga differs from other physical exercises because each pose has a certain effect on the body, be it physical or energetic. In a teacher training course, you will gain a deeper understanding of the function of the poses, how to use them to help the body achieve optimal health, and most importantly the contraindications towards each pose. This is important because without proper knowledge of the poses, we can unknowingly be creating more harm than good towards our bodies.
3. Understand the philosophical parts of yoga. Yoga poses are just one limb of yoga. The bigger part of yoga has to do with life and how we as individuals relate to it. You will come to learn about all this through the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
4. Immerse yourself in the yoga experience. This is a very special time in your life. With the demands of modern life, one has at most one or two hours daily to commit to their yoga practice. During a teacher training course, you will be living, eating, breathing yoga every day!
5. It is an opportunity to dive deep into yourself. All the above combined, will definitely make you question your thoughts and belief system. You will begin to wonder if you really have been living to the fullest, and what changes would you like to see within your life. In this period of time, many issues will arise within you, things which have been long buried deep within you. This is the time to unveil these issues and deal with them, rather than just sweeping them under the carpet again, leaving them unresolved. Again, it is a very special time in your life, a chance to put everything else aside and just be with yourself, to spend some time contemplating your journey not only in yoga but in life as well.
So you see, you don’t have to want to teach in order to join yoga teacher training. In fact, teacher training is more to get yourself in touch with yourself first, before you can begin to teach yoga (if you choose to do so!).