Teachers' Corner

My Yoga Anxiety: Prep for Teacher Training

I’m slightly freaking out.

My yoga teacher training is just around the corner, and I am not ready!

I want to be able to handstand for a minute.

I want to able to do the splits every single day.

I want to be able to jump back into chaturanga!

I want to have it all figured out.

But I don’t. Hence, I’m freaking out. And not just about the teacher training, but also about the packing (what the hell should I bring?), traveling to Asia for the first time, completely on my own, and everything else that I can possibly freak out about.

It’s too close! I decided around 11 months ago that I would be ready by now. I saw myself training as a crazy person, getting super strong, and saw this time with anticipation. The past couple months I’ve been working too much to practice regularly, leading into a lack of patience for improvement, and therefore a lack of inspiration. I’ve been in denial that I’m ever going to be a yoga teacher. But it is actually happening! I’m going! I’ve done most of the preparation and I am ready. That is, what you are supposed to prepare before traveling. But mentally, not so much. And physically? Not really.

I will be okay.

And as I’m freaking out I need to carefully talk to myself with a smooth voice. I will be okay. I’m writing this post now so when I’m home right before Christmas I can read it and laugh at how silly I was. How everything turned out all right. Because I know it will. But I also know that this is all outside of my comfort zone, meaning that I will be learning a bunch of new stuff the next couple of months.

It’s called yoga teacher training.

I don´t need to be able to do everything when I show up there. I’m not supposed to be perfect. It´s called Yoga teacher TRAINING – like, I’m supposed to learn there. I’m not supposed to be perfect and ready to teach when I show up there on my day one. Of course I could have done more, but working was also an important step of the progress, so I could actually afford going there. I cannot change this, and I´m not sure I would. These months of working to much also gave me wisdom – and money 😉

So I will take a few breaths. I will acknowledge that I’ve done the best I could. I will reassure myself that there are still three weeks until the actual training will start. That I still have time. But also, that my practice until then will be exactly like it is supposed to be. I should be enjoying the journey. Handstanding for a minute is not something I need to be a good yoga teacher. I know that. But also that the process of learning to hold a handstand for a minute will be magical.

I will be grateful. I’m making my dream come true. I will come back home as a new person. And I will thank this article that I just wrote for calming me down 🙂

And to end this post, I will share this handstand picture of me – my best one yet! Where I was so surprised for all the seconds I could hold it that I ended up falling down. Because this one I’m very proud of! Because the truth is that it´s easy to forget where you came from, and I’ve come a long way this year.


By the most beautiful swimming pool in Iceland. Handstand - My Yoga Anxiety

By the most beautiful swimming pool in Iceland.


So, over to you! Have you had similar experience with yoga or your teacher training? What helped you in that case?

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  1. Amanda Sides

    Amanda Sides

    January 11, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Yes! We don’t have to know and be able to do everything before we teach yoga. We just have to be honest about what we know and what we don’t know, and to teach from our own experience. As long as we’re committed to continue our learning (not just through additional training, but by consistent self practice), and we don’t try to teach the things we don’t know, we can be excellent teachers even though there might be poses we never learn to do. Enjoy your training!

  2. Avatar

    Annabel Coxon

    January 11, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Love this post! This year I set myself the new year’s resolution of becoming “ready” for my teacher training next January. I can imagine that in December I’ll have this same panic, thinking ‘I can’t do x or y’. This is a lovely, reassuring, motivating article – I’ll be sure to refer back to it later this year! Thanks.

    1. Pála Margrét

      Pála Margrét

      January 12, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      You are very welcome! And yes, I can say from experience that I am – and you as well – very capable of doing a YTT even though I cannot handstand for very long (or whatever else we think we need for this) 😉

  3. Avatar


    February 4, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I have been thinking about YTT for almost a year now, and I freak out just by thinking of applying for it! Having found out that trainings in my city aren’t affordable at all, and that I would probably have to go to Rishikesh if I don’t find something cheaper near here, made me reconsider the whole thing, as my anxiety gets so bad I can’t even breath…
    I think I will save this post and read it over and over again to give me courage!

    1. Pála Margrét

      Pála Margrét

      February 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      It is good that my article gives you courage, but please know that you already have everything you need to do a teacher training. So if it crazy scary at the moment, set a goal for when you want to finish your training, and then write down specific tasks (with dates!) that you want to get finished before doing the training (an important one is f.ex. finding the place for your training). And then slowly, do it. One step at a time, breathing deeply a long the way. Because the thing is that you are supposed to be scared, you are leaving your comfort zone and you are committing to changing entirely as a person. It will be scary, it will be difficult – but it will all be worth it. It will change your life and fill your heart with gratitude.

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