Countless people nowadays are interested in getting a 200 hour yoga teacher training certification. About 70 % of students simply want to deepen their own personal practice and enhance their spiritual journey. I hear it all the time. “I just love the way I feel after doing yoga. I want to learn more and find a way to feel that good all the time.”
So how do you choose a yoga teacher training program that is right for you? One-Yoga’s 200 Hour YTT was created to share the gifts of yoga with anyone who has a desire to learn. Our mission is to improve the quality of lives through the practical and loving approach of the Eight-Limbed Path of Yoga and Himalayan tradition (the six schools of thought). Many trainings talk about philosophy and the Eight-Limbed Path in theory but very few put it into practice in such a deep and personal way.
There are a ton of programs out there. Some are more focused on physical alignment, anatomy and the asana practice; some are focused on meditation and devotional practices; and others tout that they have it all. So how do you choose?
Well, the first thing you might want to consider is answering a few personal questions:
1. Why do I want to take this training?
2. What do I hope to gain, learn or accomplish?
3. Am I trying to blend this training with my current job or am I seeking a whole new vocation?
4. What kind of a learner am I (visual, auditory, reading/writing or kinesthetic/experiential)?
5. Am I a slow learner or do I learn and process quickly?
6. What type of teacher am I looking for?
7. How will I best learn, digest and assimilate this experience?
8. Why is now the best time to begin this journey?
Once you’ve answered these questions, take some time and do a bit of homework. See what speaks to your heart, which schedule best meets your needs and, by all means call the teacher. If you are going to be spending 200 or more hours with a teacher, you will want to make sure that you have chosen the right one.
So many students start off trying to price shop their 200 hour YTT. I get it! Money is tight and it’s a big investment of both time and money. But buyer beware: if something is really inexpensive, there is probably a good reason. You get what you pay for. Quality, comprehensive trainings in small group settings where the teacher student ratio is low, are usually the best learning environments. These teachers are invested in you, and deliver personalized, attentive instruction that helps you get the most out of your training program.
How do I know this? Well, I had to learn the hard way. The first teacher training program I took was based on an impulse. I was so excited to get started, and I did not do any homework. I did end up learning a lot…but it was not the content that I really wanted to learn.
The second teacher training program I signed up for was based on $$$. I chose one that was inexpensive. It required a ton of time away from my family, required me to practice twice weekly at a studio that was not convenient, and only with certain teachers which only added to the stress of my already busy life. And, to top it all off, they only scratched the surface on the personal work. It was mostly asana (the poses) and practice teaching. The history, philosophy and lifestyle components that I was seeking were barely covered. I learned more on my own than I ever did in class. That program felt competitive, unsafe and uncomfortable most of the time.
Yes, I did find some wonderful teachers and learned many lessons from all. I learned what a teacher training program should offer, how a teacher should behave, how to construct a class for all four types of learners, and how to create a safe, nurturing environment where students would not only learn and grow, but share in the fellowship of community.
One Yoga’s 200 hour yoga teacher training program is deeply personal, and profoundly transformational; it is taught with honor and integrity. Yes, yoga is a physical practice but it is so much more. Yoga is a spiritual journey, a practice that covers all aspects of our being.
There is so much to learn about yoga, it is a life-long process of becoming aware and moving toward our highest self. History, philosophy, anatomy, chanting, mantra, meditation, sequencing, assisting, subtle body energy and the Chakras…there is so much depth to these subjects; and it takes years to begin to conceive, understand and digest. It is first and foremost experiential learning.
Each student who goes through our process learns and digests through the lenses of their perception. They learn that we embody the practice and the daily disciplines and observances, we learn something new every day; we begin to grow and change; and we transcend our limited thinking, fully connected and happy. Once we have experienced the benefits of disciplined practice and understand how to share that knowledge, we are ready to go out and do the work that we were given to do; we are called to share that knowledge in a way that resonates with us. That might be counseling, yoga therapy, integrative complementary health, life-coaching, nutrition, or maybe owning your own studio and teaching yoga.
I invite you to do your homework and give us a call. We live according to Patanjali’s eight-limb path of yoga blending classical traditions and Ayurveda to provide you with the tools and a road-map for joyful purposeful living.