Updated: Sep 18, 2018
Are you ready for it:
How to know when you are ready to embark on a Yoga Teacher Training course?
Beginning a Yoga teacher training course requires dedication and enthusiasm; it also takes time, effort and money. So how do you know when you are ready to embark on a TT? Many courses suggest a number of years regular practice with an experienced teacher as a prerequisite, but is that a good indicator of your readiness to learn to teach?
The answer to this question is as varied as the different types of Hatha Yoga that are now on offer. I wish I could give you a one size fits all message. I have met many students who are looking at teacher training and it is difficult to pick out the specific indicators of a students ‘readiness’ to begin a TT as everyone is unique and also, everyone has their own reasons for wanting to do a course. From my direct experience, here are some of the things that give me a good feeling that a student has reached that moment to consider embarking on a TT:
Curiosity replaces ambition. Observing a true release in a student’s own practice. When I see students developing a real curiosity for their practice, taking time to express a posture through their body and self adjusting rather than trying to make it that perfect pose right away. When I observe that the student’s breath is becoming softer and their ability to relax becomes clear; I feel they could be ready to go further. Questions like ‘where should I feel this’ ‘is this meant to..’ are no longer part of their vocabulary, they are practising at the speed of their body and breath rather than their mind.
A wish to delve deeper. This is probably one of the main reasons students that I talk to are considering training. They have discovered that there is more to Yoga than asana practice and have developed a desire to explore other practices in more depth, such as meditation, pranayama, and have also developed an interest in learning about Yoga philosophy and how the mind and body work too. Some students express improvement in their own health and well -being and start to see the possibility of helping others do the same
Personal practice. Students who want to incorporate what they learn with a teacher in class and practice at home, experimenting with poses and other practices. This indicates to me that Yoga practice has become more than something a student does in class with a teacher; it has become an important part of their life.
Yoga off the mat. I so enjoy when students tell me about the positive influence their Yoga practice is having in their daily life. For example taking a break at their desk to stretch away stress or breathing first to pause and consider before responding in a confrontation.
The company of like minded people When I run extended Yoga classes, retreats or short courses I often hear students commenting about the joy of spending time talking about Yoga with people who want to listen and talk about Yoga too. This is what Yoga teachers love about their work, sharing their passion and helping others find joy in Yoga
This is by no means a definitive list. Personally I believe a clear desire to share this life affirming practice with others is a brilliant starting point to embark on this special journey of learning to teach. Yet sometimes it’s hard to express why you want to do a TT, it’s just a feeling, a knowing. I say, follow your heart and intuition and good luck.
This article appeared in Om Yoga Magazine June 2018
By Louise Cashin
Louise has practised Yoga for many years and taught for two decades. Yoga is her daily joy and she believes its positive effects go way beyond her practice on the mat. She views Yoga as a deeply nourishing spiritual practice, a way of thinking and being in the world. She has accumulated over 1000 hours of training and many more hours of teaching experience. She is a SYT and teacher trainer with Yoga Alliance Professionals, a BWY teacher and tutor. You can get to know her better at www.yoga-yoga.guru or contact her on 07968 187008