teacher training

How to get the most from a yoga teacher training

My top 5 tips for getting the most from your yoga teacher training course. By Emma West

I completed a 250-hour yoga teacher training over 10 months at Falmouth Yogaspace last year. It was, without a doubt, the most incredible, life-changing adventure and I will be forever grateful to my teachers for guiding me through this amazing journey.

Here are my five top tips for getting the most from your yoga teacher training.

1. Immerse yourself

Throw yourself completely head first as deep as you can into all things yoga. Live, eat and breathe yoga. Enjoy as many experiences as possible. Listen to podcasts (Yogaland podcasts were my favourite, but there are so many other useful, interesting ones out there), watch documentaries — read OM! Quiz your teachers, pick their brains, ask questions, make the most of their expertise and experience. Be a sponge, soak up as much information as you can.

2. Go to as many classes as you can

In-person classes might not be possible right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take yoga classes. In fact, there is an opportunity to experience classes with a huge variety of world-class yoga teachers online. Take classes but be sure to go with your ‘teacher trainee’ hat on. Take mental notes of sequences, cues, the sort of language used, how teachers interact with students, even notice how they set up their space. It’s all useful stuff to know.

3. Keep a practice journal

Develop a daily practice and write notes in a journal. Even if you only move your body for 10 minutes, be sure to keep a note of what you did and how it felt. Make notes from classes you’ve attended. Record sequences, draw stick figures, scribble down alignment cues and make notes of class theme ideas. Jot down inspirational quotes and poems that you come across. They will be useful when you are teaching. You will have a whole stack of sequences and inspiration to use when planning future lessons.

4. Be kind to yourself

Yoga teacher training can be intense. It is so much more than learning how to cue asanas; it is a journey of self-discovery. It is hard work, and you might want to quit, probably on several occasions. When you feel like giving up, just know that it’s probably because you are tired, so learn to listen to your body. Remember to take time for yourself, look after yourself and rest when your body needs to. Self-care is so important…far more important than perfecting that arm balance.  Take time out to reflect, look back and see just how far you’ve come.

5. Enjoy it!

Yoga teacher training is exhausting, emotional and hard work, but it is also rewarding, interesting and fun. When it’s over, you will wish you could do it all over again. Make sure you find time to enjoy this magical journey.

Emma West

Emma is a Cornwall-based yoga and meditation teacher and positive mental health ambassador for WarriorKind.