I remember the absolute passion (or obsession) I had for learning more about its rich philosophy and why certain postures made me feel a certain way. I would drink in all the philosophy my teacher would share in class and had such a consistent and dedicated practice that the physical and mental changes were astounding.
For the first time ever I was experiencing broader moments of presence and a deeper connection to myself and others. I started to sweat the small stuff less, slept better, made better lifestyle choices and was pretty much amped on life.
And when my yoga teacher stopped me after class one day to tell me I’d make a great yoga teacher – it was a total game-changer. Somehow this man I respected so much gave me ‘permission’ to chase something I’d been flirting with secretly.
As soon as I’d chosen my training it was all I could think about.
And most of the excitement leaned into a sense of, “When I do my teacher training, my life will be better... When I do my teacher training, I won’t have this nagging and debilitating relationship with food anymore… When I do my training, I’ll get better at being in a relationship…”
I think I felt that embarking on such a spiritual exploration would somehow enlighten me. It didn’t quite do that.
But it did do a lot of other unexpected, crazy, beautiful things.
And I’ve experienced things beyond my wildest dreams. I’m still very much a grounded human being and can’t report having ever levitated in meditation but if you’re thinking of completing your 200hour YTT, here are a few of my own experiences and tips that might help you decide.
1. You’ll be vulnerable
The training will require you to take a good look at yourself. Given the nature of the subjects as well as the very real prospect of actually ‘prac teaching’, there will be moments that you feel wide open and totally vulnerable. Ignore nothing and be honest about all you’re feeling in the process. This is a potent time to start journaling and meditating more.
Whether you choose to partake in a part or full-time course, there will be times that you feel so exhausted and even tempted to give up. Hang in there – no transition or expansion comes without a little struggle. The best thing you can do is look after yourself, drinks loads of water and get sleep.
3. You’ll make close friends
There’s something about a group of people who practice together, meditate together and share together that binds and cultivates the deepest of connections. You’ll cry together, laugh together, sweat together.
4. You’ll have some ‘a-ha’ moments
Your practice is expected to be consistent and steady on your training which is why you have one or two light bulb moments. All that breathing, moving and detoxing is a breeding ground for big clarity. Don’t go searching for them. They’ll happen.
5. You may change your mind about whether you want to teach or not
Many people decide to do their training just for love, like Bianca Cheah – simply because they want to learn more about yoga and the lifestyle it encourages. And often those doing the course intending to teach, end up not doing so. Not because they weren’t any good – far from it – simply because they want to keep their practice, their practice and not their career. A very valid reason. There are times when I walk into a class and wish it were easy to put down my ‘teaching’ hat.
6. You’ll feel like you’ve climbed a mountain
YTT can be long, exciting, soulful and tough at times. But at the end of it – no matter the reason you enrolled, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something huge.
Oh and if you do decide to take the plunge, try dropping any expectations; of yourself; of your teacher; and of your fellow students. Relax your inner ‘over-controller’ and let things unfold in this magical time just as they are meant to.