As some of you know, I started my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training certificate this weekend.
When I was researching things that I should know before I embarked on this journey, I couldn’t find much information. The best resource I found was Yoga Journal, they have many articles written by teachers but I couldn’t find anything by a current student of YTT. So, I thought why not blog my journey as a diary style blog? My course is 12 weekends over 10 months but I’ve been preparing for this journey for a long time.
It is recommended that you should be practicing yoga for at least 2 years before starting a YTT course, however I have met people who have been practicing for over 10 years to someone who was practicing for 5 months. I think it depends on the person. If you feel called to do a YTT course than do it! I have been practicing for maybe 2 years, but I have had a meditation practice for over 2.5 years.
Two of the biggest decisions you'll have to make with regards your teacher training is whether you want to spread your training over a few months or if you want to do an intensive course and if you want to travel. I choose to do my course over a few months as I wanted to continue working and doing an intensive course or travelling abroad just didn't suit me at this time in my life. So I knew I wanted to do it close to home too. Once I had those two decisions made it was jut a matter of picking the studio that suited my needs, location, modules, dates, etc.
Once you decide that you want to do a YTT course, whether it is to deepen your current practice and learn as much as you can about yoga or to teach, it is recommended to practice at least three days a week, and of course meditate, as yoga is not only about the Asanas (poses), it is believed that the yoga poses were only used so Yogis could sit in meditation for hours without getting aches and pains.
Yoga translates to Union, which is understood to mean the union between you and the universe, you and your highest self or you and God, whatever your belief may be.
So what did I do to prepare myself:
1. Meditating every day for at least 10 minutes, I was meditating almost everyday anyway but I would recommend that you do mindful meditation every day. I also started Kundalini yoga this year and absolutely adore it, I do one Kundalini meditation a week and it is the most incredible feeling, if you ever have the opportunity to go to a Kundalini class, do it, it’s amazing!
2. Read heaps of articles, I wish I kept a list of the articles I read but that would be a whole blog post in itself. I went back on Yoga Journals archives and read the articles that I felt sounded interesting, I particularly liked articles about the 8 Limbs of Yoga.
3. Read so many books, books are so important for your continued learning for any subject. I read, The Bhagavad Gita, The Hatha Yoga Pradipka, Light On Yoga, The Upanishads (there's an audiobook on YouTube also), The Dhammapada and Thich Nhat Hanh’s How To series, I also started reading the Yoga Sutra’s and B.K.S Iyengar Core Of The Yoga Sutras. However, the Yoga Sutras are not the easiest read at all hence why I haven’t yet finished them.
Also ask your Yoga Teachers for books, I borrowed The Hatha Yoga Pradipka and Light On Yoga from my Kundalini teacher.
I understand that many people won’t have the time to read any books before their teacher training but even Googling what they are about will help loads as these are studied on most YTT courses. I will do a post about these books again as they are so interesting.
4. Listened to podcasts, these podcasts are not only about yoga but they are very spiritual and you can learn so much from these two ladies – Jordan Younger – The Balanced Blonde Podcast and Sahara Rose – The Highest Self Podcast.
5. Watched documentaries, there are loads of spiritual and yoga documentaries on Netflix and online, the documentaries/films I watched are, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, Enlighten Up!, Samsara, Kumare, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Yogawoman and Y Yoga. I know that’s a lot but they are all very interesting.
6. Watched YouTube videos, I love to watch KinoYoga, Steffy White, Yoga With Adriene, Koi Fresco and Annie Tarasova.
7. Eat right, the traditional yoga diet is an Ayurveda diet. You can find out more about Ayurveda by listening to the podcasts I mentioned above.
I am sure there are many more things you could do to prepare yourself for this life changing journey but the above are just what I did and everyone is different.
I will write about my first weekend soon. I can’t wait to share this journey with the 23 wonderful people on my course and the amazing teachers at YogaHub and of course whoever reads these blog posts 😊
Lots of love,