Five years ago, I was caring for my three kids and working part-time in the corporate world. In need of replenishing and refocusing, I wanted to do something just for me. I was being pulled to deepen my understanding of the practice of yoga. So, I embarked on my first of many yoga teacher training courses. I had ZERO intention of actually teaching yoga.
Teacher Training was a wonderful time of introspection, reflection, and inspiration for my practice. I became so passionate about it that I did eventually started teaching. But, did you know that many of the students who enroll in teacher training don’t have any interest in teaching? There are so many great things that happen during training that have nothing to do with becoming a teacher. Here are just a few:
- Expand Your Circle. Each teacher training group, be it a weekend workshop or full course, takes on its own personality. Inevitably, a diverse group of souls unites to create a unique collection of perspective, experience, and insight. Yogis with different professions, ages, hobbies, faiths, and paths are brought together by the shared love of yoga and learning. Expanding your circle and sharing your experiences benefits everyone involved. You will learn as much if not more from your fellow students than the teachers.
- The More You Know. Yoga has been around for roughly 5,000 years. It’s going to take a lifetime to even attempt to master the philosophy and practice. Even though I had been practicing the poses for years, I had only scratched the surface of yoga. Teacher training was a wonderful introduction to topics that I continue to study and explore. My eyes and heart were opened to a whole new world of yoga which included different styles like yin and restorative, intriguing myths behind the poses, and the wisdom and roots of the eight limbs.
- Deepen Your Practice. In the comfort and support of a training group, a sanctuary is created. This is a great opportunity to try something new, to explore, and to deepen your practice. For me, the exposure to different styles and practical ways to bring yoga to life helped me grow my practice beyond just performing the poses.
- Share Your Passion. My family has been incredibly supportive of my yoga journey, but I am conscientious of potential yoga enthusiasm fatigue. Through yoga training I’ve met kindred spirits who enjoy discussions about chakras, mythology, and faith. They enjoy sharing research and articles. They are also willing to try something different like festivals, kirtan, or SUP yoga.
Interested in deepening your understanding of yoga? Maybe you should enroll in a workshop or teacher training program. They’re not just for future teachers. Find a program where you feel comfortable, but also where you will be challenged to think and explore.