Reporting live from the halfway point of my 300 hour yoga teacher training (YTT) in Northern Nicaragua at Still Salty Escape! The training is 4 weeks in total, and today we’re *almost* to the 2-week mark, so I thought what better time to spill the tea on how it’s been going so far.
Teaching a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in Northern Nicaragua at Still Salty Escape
International yoga teacher trainings are often a big investment for both the teachers and the students.
If you’re a student looking to join an international YTT, then it’s important to remember factor in ALL costs before taking the plunge in signing up. That means: the price of tuition, transport (flights, taxis, etc), taking time off of work (usually these are month-long experiences), and expenses at home (like rent, utilities, etc).
For teachers interested in hosting their own international YTT make sure you check out my top tips for writing your own YTT manual first! Whether you’re leading your own YTT, or you’ve been hired on to teach someone else’s, it’s important to understand the amount of energy an event of this magnitude costs.
As teachers, we’re familiar with the concept of “holding space,” as we do so in our individual classes on a regular basis. Remember than when you’re a part of hosting an entire event, this comes with maintaining an even energy and leadership EVEN WHEN you’re not in the classroom setting.
If you’re thinking about teaching on a YTT, I’d highly suggest starting first with hosting your own international retreat, or getting hired on someone else’s. This is a great place to start, because you’ll understand the idea of “holding space” beyond the classroom setting- but without the HUGE time commitment of a full month-long event (usually retreats are 5 – 7 days).
So, what have I learned so far?
Well, I can say with certainty that I am SO GLAD I have an assistant teacher here with me. This is someone who has trained with me in two different teacher trainings, so she’s very familiar with my style, curriculum and ethos. She’s also an incredibly strong teacher herself (of course), and is an expert in DIFFERENT topics than me- which allows us to provide a real well-rounded experience.
Rest days are also vital. I learned this the hard way after my first in-person YTT last year, where I didn’t put ANY in. Having an assistant teacher means I not only get the same rest day as the entire group (Sunday), but I also get an extra rest day each week (Wednesday) where she teaches all of the classes. She actually has a total of three rest days each week, as she is assisting, rather than leading the event.
I make sure to fully remove myself during time in between classes, so that I can fully recharge before jumping into leadership again. Keep in mind, there are some days that I’m teaching 7 am – 7 pm, so having even one hour meal breaks is important for me to be totally alone (preferably in silence), simply to come back to my own body and energy.
The last thing I’ll share with you is this:
Teaching to the midline applies even in these settings. This is a concept we’re all (hopefully) familiar with as teachers (if not, make sure you listen to my free mini podcast on all things yoga to learn more). Think about how you sequence and plan a single class before you know who’s going to show up. And then once you see who’s there, you (hopefully) modify and adjust to the people in front of you if needed. The same principle applies with this curriculum. The strategies and messages are the same, but the way it’s delivered has been adjusted and tweaked in live time throughout the course based on THESE students’ needs, desires, interests, weaknesses, skills, etc
Just because I’ve taught YTTs before, doesn’t mean I’ve taught THIS GROUP before. And their needs are inevitably different than others in the past. It’s really important to maintain that mental flexibility, rather than hardening in and “sticking to the plan.” Sure, that can create a bit more work, as the class planning and prep can shift- but it’s so worth it every time you see the breakthroughs during our sessions.
My intention as a teacher is to empower my students, and that means using my knowledge ALONGSIDE their individual needs. We work together, whether they realize it or not. And their insights allow me to expand, as much as mine do to them
So, if you’re thinking of taking the plunge for an international yoga teacher training (YTT), then make sure you budget accordingly, rest when you can, and stay open. That’s where the magic occurs.
And, of course, if you’re looking for the perfect venue for your event (retreats or YTTs), then look no further than Still Salty Escape. It’s a true oasis for all things yoga, meditation, and retreat group settings.