Why You Should do Teacher Training Anyway
Yoga is for everyone. However, that doesn’t mean that teaching yoga is also for everyone. Some are motivated to uplift others through the practice, and consider teaching yoga as the next concrete step in their yogic journey. For others, yoga is more about the personal connect. While they love the positive aura yoga builds around them, they are content being good samaritans. Both types of practitioners are true to their inner calling, something that is pivotal to a yogic lifestyle. However, in most cases practitioners are bombarded with questions about their future and when they will begin teaching.
In fact, the minute someone decides to take up yoga, they are expected to behave in certain way, do certain things, and even talk in a particular fashion. This attitude is absolutely wrong and unfair. Most of it is media propaganda purported by charlatans and publicity hungry “yogis”, who believe that giving the practice a ‘holier than thou status’ and putting fake mannerisms on the pedestal would elevate their position even further (but that’s for another post). However, true practitioners understand that yoga is not about stereotyping behaviors. It’s about setting the soul free. And this is one reason why you should take yoga teacher training, whether or not you plan to teach in the future.
The training is grilling. Its breaks you – physically and emotionally. However, you emerge much, much stronger than you ever imagined. When you go to a new place to do teacher training, you naturally feel free of the societal pressures. The freedom that anonymity brings with it helps you drop all your masks, some which may be hidden from you as well, and discover the bare, true you. This is your first step towards self-discovery.
Training lets you go much deeper with your practice. You may have been practicing daily. You may have even learnt two or three more styles to add a little fun to your practice. However, to truly go deep you need to disconnect with the world. Introspect and then decide what your body and soul want. Yoga is not about calories burnt or the sweat produced. It’s about experiencing exhilaration and the mind- body connect which don’t come in a set prescription of asanas. It comes with introspection and practice. By disconnecting from the world, routine chores, and stress, you go into a path of discovery. You observe minute details in each asana. You focus on your practice. You learn new and sometimes more difficult asanas. And eventually you realize what set of asanas you need to experience exhilaration every time you take to the mat.
Nothing feels better than connecting with like-minded people. And when you are surrounded by people who may look different, may not speak your language but for sure have the same purpose as yours, you discover how deep down we are all similar and how easy it is to connect with people from anywhere across the world. Few places give you the opportunity to connect with people from different backgrounds in this fashion. It’s like going back to school. Remember, as a child stepping into a new class, full of strangers. Yet it didn’t seem intimidating at all. As we grow older, our self-conscious approach towards everyone in general dulls the flame of human connect. But at the yoga teacher training you are able to drop your inhibitions and become friends with people whom you meet for the first time. It is connecting with people at a human level, not for what or who they are in the society.
So while you may or may not choose to become a teacher, but your stint at teacher training may be the starting point of a journey of transformation and self-discovery.