Beyond the investment of both time and money, a very common question is; “Would I benefit from a teacher training if I don’t want to teach yoga?” The answer is simple: YES! There are numerous benefits of that come out of embarking on the journey of a teacher training.
Here are 5 Benefits to Consider
Postural Alignment Awareness
If you want to understand how to do each yoga pose, a teacher training is a great way to do it. Most programs will break down the alignment, discuss modifications and offer guidance for hands-on adjustments. While these topics are very much a part of teaching, it’s also great to know as a student too and is a wonderful investment in your practice. The knowledge gained in just postural breakdown will pay off for years to come.
Engagement of Practice
The average student hits class a couple times a week. A teacher-training program is a physically strenuous endeavor both in mind and body. During any YTT course, you’re going to practice a lot! You will be working your body and growing your knowledge base immensely moving beyond simple alignment and technique. Refining, deepening, and adding consistency to your practice will bring about noticeable change to your body. Let alone the possibly unforeseeable changes that will come to your mind (as body, mind and breath are intrinsically connected). You can certainly expect to do a lot of asana, and that alone will deepen your experiential path of yoga.
Understanding Yoga is Not Just Physical
Attending regular classes is often more about the physical practice than anything else. Many students that only ever attend public classes, never get the chance to learn about the history of yoga, understand the Yoga Sutras, get background on the Sanskrit words, or work with the other POWERFUL practices of yoga such as Pranayama and Meditation. Training programs will give you a chance to understand the broader context of yoga, and the time to engage in practices that might have felt out-of-reach previously. Understanding of the science behind the practices will certainly provide you many tools for engaging with greater awareness in all aspects of your life and develop your skill set as a practitioner of yoga.
Dig Deep Into Your True Self
A common statement you’ll hear from people when they finish teacher training is, “This training changed my life!” Regardless of which training you attend, there is something to be said about committing yourself to the practice of yoga in a sustained way (“depth, duration and consistency”). Through focused attention, you may find feelings and emotions bubble up to the surface that you’ve buried for years. Being part of a supportive group experience with other trainees, can/may encourage you to shift away from your habits, patterns and tendencies and move you towards a greater sense of understanding of who you are, and who you want to be. Not only will you grow a deeper sense of your true Self, you will also learn the framework for creating the changes in your life you need to employ in order to embody those traits and live your yoga (in the right program, and with the right teachers)!
Learn Your Voice, Own Your Power, Lead
The ability to lead a group of people towards a common goal, to speak succinctly to a group, to remain neutral and grounded in your own body even when there was external drama and turmoil; these are all things that you’ll gain from yoga teacher training- even IF your only experience is practice teaching in your training. Building confidence in yourself, finding your voice, owning your power and becoming a leader will happen regardless if you continue on to teach yoga for a living or not.
There is no doubt that attending a teacher training is a significant financial and time commitment and one that should be taken seriously. Considering the above benefits (and recognize too there are many more benefits not listed!) ask yourself; Am I ready to take my passion of yoga to the next level? Whether you end up becoming a yoga instructor for means of income or you solely want to grow your understanding and awareness of the practices and science of yoga, there is no doubt that completing a teacher training will change your life.