When I made the decision to register for my 200 hour teacher training (YTT), I had no idea what a challenging experience it would be. I expected to be a student just like I was in high school- writing papers, taking notes, and reading textbooks. After my first weekend of YTT, I realized it was going to be even more exhausting than traditional school…and in a completely different way.
Society thinks of yoga teachers as enlightened little fairies who always “go with the flow” and I suppose there somewhere, in yogi land, those types of instructors exist. But for most of us, teaching is hard work. Really!
There’s so much to think about:
- Cuing proper alignment
- Connecting the postures with the breath
- Keeping an eye on your students to make sure no one is struggling
- And oh, no big deal or anything, but there’s also the need to meet your students’ expectations that when they leave your class, they feel calmer!
It’s a lot to keep track of, especially when you’re just getting started as a teacher. As a recently graduated school student, I’m used to referencing notes and making lists. Keeping everything I want to say straight in my head is damn difficult! If YTT has taught me anything, so far, it’s that yoga teachers are not scatterbrains. They are using every brain cell in every moment of every class.
But that’s not all…
In addition to all of the things to consider throughout class, there are the added components of keeping track of time, creating the right playlist (and making sure a guitar solo doesn’t come on during savasana), and of course, curating the class to the students. Then there is the public speaking component, and being comfortable and confident with your demonstrations. Teaching requires people skills, planning skills, creativity, and so, so much more. Now that I’ve told you why teaching is harder than it seems, I want to finish with why it is so worth it.
Challenging, but worth it
Teaching is beautiful. It is courageous and kind. It is an opportunity to give others the greatest gift. Yoga teachers deserve way more credit than they’re often given. The skills learned in YTT can be applied on and off the mat. It’s a beneficial experience no matter what you decide to do with it. Teacher training isn’t about being able to stand on your head or meditate for an hour. Those things don’t necessarily make a yoga teacher. It takes an open mind, a kind spirit, and perseverance.
Thinking about becoming a certified yoga teacher?
If you have ever thought about going for your teacher training, but something is holding you back, ask yourself if you are getting in your own way. In this short article, I have covered so many reasons why teaching is hard. Given those reasons, I am still 110% excited to continue. I would not care if it took 10 days or 10 years to complete my certification… I would still do it, and it would all be worth it. If you are passionate and curious, I promise there is no better investment in yourself that in turn will allow you to help others.