10 tips before you start Teacher Training

by Caroline Herring, E-RYT 200 & Lead Trainer at Norway Power Yoga

Teacher Training is one of the top 10 experiences of my life…and every time I think about all the things I learned going in, I learn more, and I see more. It’s one of those experiences, however, that won’t work unless you DO THE WORK. It’s about you. It’s for you.

Here are 10 tips on how you can make the most out of the investment in your personal growth and practice.

Go ALL in
Understand that this journey will be life changing, but only if you let it. Decide to take the journey as is, and do not get discouraged when you feel overwhelmed by the amount of information or the requirements to teach a class. Just do it, commit and you will get the most from your training.

Leave what doesn’t work
The best advice I ever got during my TT. You see, Anatomy is like a foreign language to me…I barely understood any of it during TT, but rather than spending way too much time with it and falling behind I let it go (for now) and focused on the journey ahead. Then, when TT was over, I understood that was my challenge so I did multiple certifications and classes in anatomy to get it to sink in. 200 hours of information is a lot in 8 weeks or 4 months, so leave the stuff that doesn’t work in your brain, and do that after.

Get uncomfortable.
Whether you intend to teach or not (I didn’t) be willing to be uncomfortable. Whether that means vounteering to teach in front of the class early on, or sharing your deep rooted “issues” (trust me, they will come up during this journey) – get uncomfortable. Growth only happens when we are challenged, so be willing to be uncomfortable.

Be humble.
Whether you have been practicing for eight weeks or eight years. Be humble. Understand that all those you meet in your TT journey can be lessons for you to learn more about yourself.

Figure out WHY you don’t like things.
During TT, I really was faced with lots of information, but what really stuck with me was that — this whole life we live…it’s really internal. How we feel about people, how we react to people or situations is really only a reflection of our internal well-being/world. What does that mean?

We see what we want to see. We see what we THINK is there. If you don’t like a person in your TT, figure out WHAT quality in you they are reflecting. When you take other styles of yoga, or other teachers than your go-to teacher, figure out WHY you didn’t like the flow, or WHAT it is about the teacher that you don’t like. It will reveal a great deal about yourself. A great deal.

Be open.
To learn, live, and laugh. To trust yourself and the people around you. To not take yourself too seriously. To other perspectives. To really living, not just existing.

Take time off
Understand that your life will revolve around yoga for the duration of your training. Constructive rest is important. Take one day OFF during the week. Take one day off, where you don’t THINK about yoga. I’m not going to tell you not to take a yoga class…because I can’t go a day without, but find your way to rest, restore and rejuvenate by disconnecting the mind.

(prepare to) TEACH
When your training is over, get out there and teach immediately. Immediately. While a lot of people say otherwise, getting out there and just doing it for a little while is super important…because that first step into the studio. Onto the “teacher’s mat” is the hardest. Take it immediately. Whether you stick with it or take a break after a little while, that’s up to you. Just take it. I’ve seen so many people not take the step and “try it out in their body,” who end up never teaching even though they have a great voice and message. Try it out, see if it’s for you.

Bring snacks!
Seriously, you WILL do a lot of yoga. Your body needs fuel, make sure you provide it.

Don’t expect miracles
Realize that the first 200 Hours is JUST SCRATCHING the surface. It’s the foundation. Don’t expect your TT provide you with ALL the information. After my TT there was some things I felt like we hardly covered, yet after a while I realized that it’s impossible to “get it all in” so choose a TT in a form of yoga that appeals to you, at a studio where you like what they focus on, with teachers you vibe with and realize that this is just the beginning. You are now a yoga student for life, and you will read, learn, practice and acquire new information on a daily basis.

“my life and practice, will never look the same as before I invested in my own knowledge and growth”

If you have thought about Teacher Training, don’t wait. Whether you want to just learn more about yoga and the philosophy, go deeper in your own practice, or learn about “correct” alignment in poses….you are ready! Make the time to invest in your growth, and your life can change forever.