I’m not going to lie, yoga teacher training is a somewhat tough program. Especially for those in the very beginning of their own practice. But, it’s a program that gives people who want to teach yoga the knowledge and skills they need to help their students with their practice. And that, I love.
There are also many purposes other than teaching that you can benefit from with YTT. Many students are looking to deepen their personal yoga knowledge, gain new perspectives, discover their true selves, connect with like-minded people, learn how to stay present—the list is ENDLESS!
Even so, as more and more people become aware of yoga’s positive effects on their physical and mental well-being, the ability to teach it is in high demand. And the market is saturated.
So, before you start envisioning yourself leading a yoga class of devoted yogis, it’s important to recognize that yoga teacher training is no walk in the park – and it shouldn’t feel like one either. It’s an intense, demanding, and sometimes even exhausting experience that requires a lot of planning and hard work.
But, don’t let that deter you from reaching for your dreams. Over the years, I’ve learned that the best way to prepare for YTT is simply adequate planning and preparation. This is essential for completing the program with confidence and success, but also to receive your desired spiritual results.
So if you’re interested in becoming a yoga instructor, it’s my hope that you will find the following advice useful as you prepare for your yoga teacher training adventure! And if you’re interested in learning more about my Masterclass, where you’ll learn how to uniquely craft, and successfully execute your own yoga retreat click HERE.
How To Prepare For Yoga Teacher Training
While you may feel confident in your practice, it’s important to recognize that becoming a teacher is an entirely new role, and you’ll essentially be starting as a beginner.
As a YTT student, you may find it challenging to adjust back to a beginner’s mindset after being more intermediate or advanced. But, teaching yoga is truly a separate skill that takes time and patience to learn and improve.
I also want to say this for anyone wondering where to start: don’t be afraid to take advantage of the chances that yoga teacher training abroad gives you to learn about a new culture, broaden your horizons, and improve your practice. I can attest to the fact that the experience is completely different from a normal YTT experience in a city like LA or NY.
Now, let’s get you better prepared for your YTT.
Set your intentions
What do you hope to gain from your YTT? Set your intentions – whether educational or spiritual or both – and keep them in mind as you prepare for and attend your YTT. I always recommend both speaking and writing down your intentions for good measure. Keep them with you during your YTT and reflect on them throughout your training.
Get into a consistent yoga practice
Before you sign up for a yoga teacher training course, it’s essential to maintain a consistent yoga practice. Start practicing yoga on a regular basis to build your strength, flexibility, and endurance. Consistency is key to building a practice that will prepare you both physically and mentally for your upcoming training course.
Familiarize yourself with beginner poses
Make sure you’re familiar with the basic yoga poses. Your training program will cover these poses, but having a basic understanding of them beforehand can help you feel more confident and comfortable in your practice.
Attend different yoga classes
Try out different yoga classes and teachers to expose yourself to different styles and techniques. This can broaden your perspective and help you develop your own teaching style. My best advice here is to always keep an open mind and take each class as a learning experience, rather than a comparison of the style you feel is the best.
Study yoga philosophy and literature
Read up on yoga philosophy and literature to deepen your understanding of the practice. You’ll learn more about the history and principles of yoga, which can help you become a more effective teacher. This is yet another great opportunity to learn about teaching styles as you develop your own.
Set realistic expectations
Yoga teacher training can be intense and challenging, both physically and emotionally. It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself, and don’t forget that it’s a chance to learn – not a test. It’s ultimately an experience of learning and growth rather than a test of your abilities. This is especially important if you plan on attending a training program at a yoga retreat, as it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and adventure of the location.
Be sure to take the time to reflect on your goals for the training and give yourself the space and support you need to meet those goals without pushing yourself too hard. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination, and you’ll get the most out of your training by staying present, open-minded, and compassionate towards yourself throughout the process.
Build a support system that includes friends, family, and fellow trainees to help you stay motivated and inspired throughout the program. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and more importantly, don’t be afraid to accept help.
Yoga Teacher Training Checklist
You’ll find that most yoga teacher training courses come in two variations.
First, we have the traditional 200-hour program. Great for those looking to start their journey locally or have a tight schedule. Find a program near you, sign up, and get started! I’m rooting for you!
If you’re looking to immerse yourself fully in the training, you might consider a 30-day yoga teacher training retreat. This kind of program allows you to fully immerse yourself in your training and your spiritual journey, most of the time while experiencing a new location and culture. And that’s just the cherry on top of the amazing journey you will embark on with like-minded people from all across the globe. (Can you tell I’m partial to this route?)
All in all, before embarking on your yoga teacher training program, it is important to ensure that you’re completely prepared and that you have everything you need. Here’s a quick checklist to help you wrap up things before you go:
Have the right gear: Make yourself a packing list if you’re going to a retreat abroad. This should include your yoga clothes, yoga mat, personal water bottle, and everyday, loose-fitting clothes.
Have an open mind: The best yogis have an attitude of openness and non-judgment. Be open to new ideas, new techniques, and new approaches.
Prepare your body: Make sure you stretch and get your body ready. Start with shorter holds and increase duration and intensity as you go. Also make sure to eat well, stay hydrated and get enough rest before, during, and after your YTT.
Have questions prepared: Yoga teacher training can be a great source of information. Have a few questions ready for the yoga teacher about the techniques, poses, and philosophy of yoga.
Update your schedule: Make sure you can commit to the program and make room in your existing schedule for the course.
Research the location beforehand: so you know what to expect and what items you may need – think bug spray, a mosquito net, etc.
Acclimatize: If you’re traveling abroad for the training, try to acclimatize before starting the program.
DOWNLOAD YOUR PRINTABLE CHECKLIST HERE
The last piece of advice that will better prepare you for your YTT is to make sure you budget accordingly, rest when you can, and stay open-minded. That’s where the real magic occurs.
If you’re currently more interested in a yoga retreat – rather than a YTT – I encourage you to take a quick peek at my upcoming international retreats. Follow these links for more information on my upcoming retreats in Nicaragua and Peru. I’ll see you there! 🙂
And, if you’re looking for the perfect venue for your event (retreats or YTTs), then look no further than Still Salty Escape. It’s my dream come true, my wife and I’s pride and joy, and a true oasis for all things yoga, meditation, and retreat group settings!