What You Need to Know about Yoga Teacher Training (YTT)

By Karen Pryor and Julie Krupp

Have you thought about becoming a yoga teacher?
Becoming a yoga teacher is very rewarding and is a large commitment of time and money. Yoga teacher training will take you places physically, emotionally, and maybe even geographically that will broaden your overall perspective on life. People may naively approach yoga teacher training as one long yoga class, but it is far, far more.

Before you select a YTT program, consider your personal goals.
YTT programs are not created equal, and you should approach your selection with questions on hand. Do you just want to deepen your personal practice? Do you want to teach? Are you not sure?

If you are not sure, lean towards one that will adequately prepare you to teach. Once you start to put your energy behind something, the universe will rise up to meet you. You may as well be prepared after investing all that time and money.

Karen Pryor ~ Please see more about Karen below

What to Expect from YTT

Changes will occur on all levels of mind, body, and spirit.
Your mind will be challenged by a significant amount of reading, learning, sequencing, vocabulary, and public speaking. Your body will change physically from the required daily yoga practices. Your spirit will be enriched with meditation, self reflection, new levels of commitment, and unanticipated challenges.

There will be beautiful moments of bliss and joy and equally powerful moments of anger and frustration. Expect these changes and feelings to continue even after YTT concludes. It may take years for the experience to fully integrate into your being.

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You may encounter resistance from yourself.
You may decide that you hate yoga and want to quit. You won’t actually hate yoga, but it may feel like it. You also may feel tired or overwhelmed juggling practice, studying, and class time with regular life (work, family, chores, obligations). Expect the experience to be front and center constantly as you carry around materials to prep, study, or consume during lunch, breaks, waiting for appointments, after the kids go to bed, etc.

You may encounter resistance from your friends and family.
YTT may include a lot of group work in addition to all the other commitments and requirements. Your time usually reserved for family and friends will be especially limited during your program.

A majority of YTT programs expect you to follow a vegan lifestyle for the duration of the experience. That also may not be popular with friends and family as you may have to abstain from traditional foods during meal times or celebrations.

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Having Your YTT Certificate Brings New Challenges

You may feel a bit of a void when YTT is done. 
Somehow you carved out all this time to complete this endeavor, and then suddenly your time completely opens up. There is a bit of a reentry process that shouldn’t be dismissed. Commit to some self care as you start to sift through what fell to the side during training.   

Your YTT studio will probably not hire you.
They can only hire one or two students from the YTT program due to scheduling constraints. You will have to find your own work if you want to teach. Keep an open mind, and think outside of the studio to be inspired. Don’t walk away from teaching out of fear or frustration, you will eventually find your yoga tribe.

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Once you do find work, don’t expect to make a lot of money doing it.
Unless you are teaching upwards of 20 classes a week or open your own studio, you cannot support yourself solely being a yoga teacher. Aside from money though, the experience is rewarding, empowering, and uplifting. Sharing something you love with others is passion, and a passionate life is worth embracing.

People may think that you are an expert in biomechanics or human movement.
You will not be an expert, and you will have to navigate these conversations professionally. Unless you are also a medical professional, you will often have to refer them to other sources.

As you begin teaching yoga, your personal practice may temporarily suffer.
Due to time and schedules, the more you teach, the less you will practice. As in everything, balance is key. Make a commitment to your personal practice, even if it is only once a week.

If you have additional questions,
please comment below and Karen and I will be happy to address them.
Best of luck on your yoga journey!!!

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More From Karen Pryor:

Approaching life with a smile on your face makes everything a little more fun; coming to your yoga practice should be no different! Bring joy to your life…come to yoga! I enjoy being playful while teaching, encouraging students to try something new and explore the safe space they create on their mat. 

I have always been on the go…running, playing sports, mountain bike riding and most recently, watching my son play competitive soccer on the field. I thought yoga was a “stretching” class…but after my first vinyasa class, I quickly realized that yoga is so much more and I was hooked. It was much more difficult than I expected and I liked the challenge. Connecting my movement, breath and celebrating life as I flow through different asana distracts me from what is happening outside so I can focus on my inside. I like to push myself to find my edge at every class, but also find myself laughing along the way, enjoying the journey I have created both on and off the mat.  

I have taught in a studio atmosphere since completing my YTT in 2015, guiding students in Ashtanga, restorative yin, and hot vinyasa flows. Corporate yoga classes have given me the most fulfillment in my teaching career, providing my students/colleagues techniques to bring yoga off the mat and help them manage through stressful situations when on the job. I enjoy creating a safe and fun space for my students to move and breathe together as a community. 

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