Today on the blog, we have Cora Geroux - the lead trainer for the Yoga Village 200HR teacher training on board to answer the most common questions she gets asked when it comes to all things 'becoming a yoga teacher'. Over to you, Cora.
First of all, I just want to say how excited I am to be leading the Yoga Village Teacher Training. When I first decided I wanted to teach yoga, it took me a good 3 years before I actually signed up for my first teacher training. I had so many questions and worries, that I kept putting off actually doing the training, and I think that's pretty common.
After meeting 1 on 1, with many yogis who are considering doing the teacher training here at Yoga Village, I noticed that almost everyone asked similar questions - this is part of our shared humanity... really, we all want the same things in life, and our separateness is just an illusion. I love when I see real life examples of yogic principles - it totally puts a smile on my face.
Anyway, after noticing these reoccurring themes pop up in regards to teacher training, I thought it would be really useful to compile a short FAQ, of all the most common questions I get asked about becoming a yoga teacher. If you're wondering something that's not on the list below - shoot me an email at email@example.com and I'm happy to chat.
Yoga Teacher Training FAQ
1. Am I good enough to become a yoga teacher?
Of course! Your worth is inherent in the fact that your on the planet right now. You don't need to be 'better' or 'different' in order to become a great teacher. Some of the most inspiring teachers don't comply to the yoga teacher stereotype, and do things their own way.Teaching yoga isn't about obtaining an idealized version of perfection, its about knowledge, experience, communication and compassion for yourself and your students.
2. Do I need to be able to do a headstand/handstand/full wheel etc. to become a yoga teacher?
Nope - absolutely not.
There are 8 limbs of yoga, of which, asana ( physical postures ) are only one. In most teacher trainings, there is a big focus on asana, as this is mainly what we teach in group classes. However, there is no requirement for the teacher to be able to perform every asana perfectly. We all have our own strengths and weakness, and over time we work to balance those out. However, when you enter a training your ability, or inability to practice a certain pose will have little bearing on weather or not you become a great teacher.
For example, I've been working on handstand for the last few years, and I can't free balance in the middle of the room...yet. Hand standing doesn't come easily to me, so I have had to work very hard at finding strength and alignment upside down. I've taken workshops, read countless books, articles, watched videos, worked with a teacher one-on-one.
Now even though I can't perform the asana perfectly, I feel damn well equipped to teach it, because I have been studying it so diligently. Perhaps even more so, than a teacher that could handstand easily from the beginning.
Get my point?
3. I'm not sure if I want to actually teach yoga, but I want to deepen my practice. Is a teacher training right for me?
This is honestly one of the most common questions I have been asked about teacher training, and I think the answer is unique to the individual. However, before I get into detail - I think it's wise to consider weather or not your story of 'not wanting to teach' is a scapegoat for a fear of putting yourself out there, or not being good enough. If that's the case, face your fear, and do it anyway.
In the Yoga Village Training, you have 2 bonus coaching sessions with me, and we can work through this together.
4. What if I have a fear of public speaking, can I still become a great yoga teacher?
If you just genuinely don't have an interest in teaching, but want to deepen your practice, a teacher training is definitely one way to do that. You will explore topics like philosophy, anatomy, meditation and pranayama, that don't get much air time in a group class. As long as you don't mind learning teaching specific skills, like hands on assists, and communication - then go for it. You can always change your mind, and teach at a later date.
Totally. I used to have anxiety and sleepless nights for a week before I had to do a presentation in Uni. Today, I've taught more than 4000 hours of yoga in front of groups of as big as 100 students. It's all about desensitization. The more you do it, the easier it gets. I promise.
5. I have a physical limitation or injury, can I still do a yoga teacher training?
It depends. Are you taking yoga classes regularly? If yes - then without any personal information, I would say your more than fit to do a teacher training. If you're not practicing yoga at the moment because of an injury, but still want to do a training, get in touch with your teacher to discuss the specifics of your situation.
6. Who would want to come to my class, when there are already so many great teachers out there?
It's true, there are a lot of great yoga teachers out there these days. Gone are the days when you need to leave the country in order to study with exceptional teachers. However, each teacher, just like each student is unique. What you bring to the table will appeal to certain students, the combination of your unique life experience, prior learning and style will help differentiate you from everyone else. Imagine if your favourite teacher didn't start teaching just because there were so many teachers out there already. Your perfect students are out there waiting for you - don't let them down.
7. How long should I be practicing yoga before I take a teacher training?
While you could take a teacher training at any time in your yoga journey, I think its best to have at least 18 months of a consistent yoga practice before you take a training. This way, you will be in touch with how your body feels in the various postures, you will be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, and you will have an understanding that yoga is more than physical exercise.
Keep in mind that teacher trainings can be delivered in two main ways:
1) Intensive - in which the whole training takes place in a short span of time, like a month, with full days of practice & learning, usually 6 or 7 days a week.
2) Part Time - is when a training is spread out over several months, in a longer, but less intense format, like the Yoga Village training.
If you have been practicing yoga for quite some time, an intensive could be a great option for you, however, if you are still relatively new to yoga, a part time course would be a better option as you will have much more time to let your practice develop throughout the training.
Well that rounds out the most common questions I get asked about becoming a yoga teacher. The journey from student to teacher has been one of the most fulfilling and transformative experiences of my life - and if you are feeling the pull to open yourself up to yoga in a bigger way, I can't recommended teaching enough. It requires you to look your fear, insecurity, weaknesses and ego straight in the face and make peace with them. It's the best personal growth journey you can take. Not to mention, how good it feels to know that you are truly making a difference in other peoples live. #winning
If you're interested in the upcoming Yoga Village Teacher Training, you can get in touch with Cora at firstname.lastname@example.org