In case you missed my announcement (since I haven’t been posting regularly, it’s entirely likely), I recently started Yoga Teacher Training with CorePower Yoga.
The idea of becoming a yoga teacher or fitness instructor is something that has been brewing within me for sometime but here are 5 things I think anyone contemplating Yoga Teacher Training should know before taking the plunge:
Determine What Are You Looking To Get Out of YTT
Not everyone who goes to Yoga Teacher Training is actually looking to become a Yoga Teacher. Some people are looking to deepen their own practice while some are embarking upon a new career or new dimension to their current line of work.
I would like to teach but not full time. I’ve always loved fitness endeavors and yoga has always spoken to me in a soulful way but it took me a very long time to consider making the transition from practitioner to possible teacher. For me, the modern blend of athletics and yoga of a CorePower class is my idea of perfect and it’s what I want to be a part of as a teacher. As a Registered Dietitian, I also see yoga as a beneficial way to be achieve and maintain good health overall.
Because teaching is eventually what I’d like to do, it was important to me to find a YTT that met Yoga Alliance Standards. The Yoga Alliance is where yoga teachers who meet minimum requirements of study from a Registered Yoga School can register and be credentialed with the title RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher). An RYT designation is optional and an additional fee (outside of YTT tuition) is required. Many studios ask for RYT in their job descriptions (in addition to CPR certification and liability insurance) so it’s not a bad idea to make sure that your desired YTT program is either a Registered Yoga School or complies with their curriculum requirements.
Some yoga schools require additional training outside of the basic YTT program to teach at their studios. Make sure you know what your studio wants from potential teachers before signing on the dotted line if your intention is to eventually teach.
Connect To Your Yoga Flow
YTT programs vary in the style of yoga offered. CorePower is a warm vinyasa style based on the teachings of Baron Baptiste (as opposed to the many other kinds of yoga which include Astanga, Bikram, Iyengar or Kundalini). I enjoy warm yoga but I think Bikram yoga is stifling and the same 26 poses every.single.time bores me senseless. Some people find power vinyasa too athletic and the heat even more unbearable but that’s why there are so many different kinds of yoga styles out there (and YTT programs as well). Finding the style of yoga that makes your heart sing is key whether YTT is for deeper study or for future teaching.
Please know that yoga is for everybody and for every body!
Yoga can be intimidating. Some people think yoga is all about chanting Sanskrit or staying in pretzel poses for an extended period of time. There are some styles of yoga that some might consider extreme but that is not the only kind of yoga there is out there!
One of the reasons I want to teach is to help spread the word that yoga really can be universally accessible for every single person (even the chronically injured). Not every single person has to do or love yoga but that yoga (and the benefits that can be provided to the mind, body and soul) really is available to every single person.
It Will Take Time
No matter how much time you will spend in class during YTT (for me it’s 9 hours per week), you need to be aware that there are also time requirements outside of the classroom. You will spend time reading your materials, writing (self study and recapping classroom learning), taking a specific number of required yoga classes (and writing down your experiences), observing yoga classes, developing and learning yoga sequences, practice teaching and possibly freaking out.
I add the “freaking out” because whether you’re new to yoga or a long time practitioner, when you’re asked to guide someone else into poses with just your words, it’s an entirely new experience. Learning to get those words from your brain and then say them in a coherent sentence while having them translated by someone else who is moving their body based on your instruction is not an easy task. I’m wordy in my writing and my speaking so blathering on when you’re nervous isn’t well received when someone is waiting to come out of a physically strenuous position.
There is a difference between knowing something and being able to teach it. Not only will the training to become a yoga teacher take up copious amounts of physical time but that the transition to becoming a teacher and actually teaching will also take time (and practice).
You’re Not Alone
One great thing about YTT is that you have other people along for the ride. Yes, your friends and family will likely hear you recount your classroom learning (or be your guinea pigs for teaching) but you enter into a new community of fellow students when you enter into YTT.
Even though you may be from all different stages in life, when you’re in YTT, you form a new community because you are all students together. It’s likely that every other student is feeling some of the same awkardness, frustration, doubt, exhaustion and overwhelm in and outside of class. Like with yoga itself, some people find different parts of the learning process easier (or harder) than others. Remembering that there are others (14 others in my case) that might be in the same exact place that I am is somewhat comforting.
It’s likely that you also have instructors who are also more than willing to give of their time outside of the YTT classroom. People who choose to lead YTT programs are the ultimate helpers. They get all of the peaks, valleys and stumbling blocks of the process and if you’re lucky, they’ll let you know (often!) that they’re willing to help you navigate them.
It’s still early in my training but I feel very supported from my fellow students and my teachers. It’s not easy to be an adult and feel like you’re flailing about. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is not one of my strengths.
Your Discount on Fitness Wear Awaits
I’d be lying if it wasn’t a great carrot that’s floating at the end of my training to know that I can feed my fitness wear addiction with less of a cash outlay. In case you didn’t know, many fitness wear companies offer discounts for certified fitness professionals. For example, I know the following discounts – Athleta (30% off in-store only) and Lululemon (15% in-store only) – but I’m certain there are many, many more out there. I’ll be certified before the end of the year so I see a mini shopping spree celebration in my future!
So that’s my take on Yoga Teacher Training so far.
I’ll keep you in the loop with more details as time goes by.
Let me know if you know more fitness wear discounts for fitness instructors
and I’ll write a full recap post with all of the information I get.
Just so you know, this is not a sponsored post and this post does NOT contain any affiliate links.
Fantastic new venture and a well thought out post…. I myself love a power flow class that is not heated…. I really can’t take a heated class…. and so much depends on the instructor and finding the one you connect with… I have one I’m a little obsessed with…. something tells me you’ll be great… when you do start teaching, can you have a power flow class once with all Duran Duran songs??? I’ll make the drive for that!!
I think it’s great you are doing thing, Melissa! I happen to enjoy the CorePower style and would love to train with them one day as well. Keep us updated on your progress! 🙂
I just graduated and It’s been life changing.
I start work at the yoga studio in November.
I think the great thing for me is learning what I want isn’t what I need!
Oh how I love that last one 🙂 I actually considered YTT a while ago, right before I opened my own fitness studio. You make a lot of good points and I think one of the greatest things about deepening your practice is getting to meet other yogis and hearing about their journey. You will surely be an asset to this group Melissa!
HOW EXCITING!!!!!! I get no discounts but would love a brand to think I am wear sponsoring! 🙂
Melissa I’m starting YTT in Jan! Yoga was life changing for me and I don’t see how I can not help others experience the same. Keep us updated. When do you start?
Congratulations, Melissa! So happy to usher you in your teacher training journey. You will do great things with your yoga, I just know it!
Thank you Malaika! It’s definitely going to be an interesting journey. I know I will learn a lot from you, E and T. Many thanks for stopping by!
Started already. I’m in my 3rd week and while it’s nerve wracking, I’m excited to be doing it. Can’t wait to hear how your journey goes as well. Good luck, Jill!
I think we need to hook you up with a brand, Jody! You’d be a great spokesmodel for athletic wear.
I feel a little bit like the old lady in the group but I’m learning a lot. It’s different to be a student than a teacher. I’m finding it hard to get my teaching script in a concise and understandable manner. I have a new found respect for every fitness instructor I’ve ever had the pleasure (and displeasure) of being taught by now.
I know the countdown is on for you and I can’t wait to read your recap!
Can’t wait to hear how your transition goes from student to teacher but I’m sure you’ll be great!
I bet you’d be an amazing teacher, Ashley! Maybe one day I’ll get the chance to teach you! Hoping all is well with you!
I finish training in December but I’m not sure when/where I’ll teach when I’m done. In order to teach at CorePower, I’d need to do more training so we’ll see.
I’d love to know what Power class you like. Maybe we can meet for a class as I have to do outside classes as part of my training?
Thanks for the words of support, Paria!
I love a fast paced vinyasa flow power class…which is what I mostly take with my instructor Jake Ferree that I am obsessed with…. yes…would be fun to take a class together, and then rehydrate (or further our dehydration) with some libations:)
I’ve been dying to take a class with Jake! He teaches at Aura Yoga, right? Maybe one day soon, now that we have yet another connection (Dorrie/Jennie) – weird!