“Am I ready for yoga teacher training?” When I found out that The House of Yogi (THOY) was offering a 200-hour YTT intensive during the summer, I did what any good twenty-something would do when posed with such a question: I scoured the internet. I possessed the prerequisite love, fascination, and curiosity for all things related to yoga, but how does one know when it is time to go from practicing in class to being part of an intensive program?
Like with many of life’s greatest mysteries, the internet was not able to squelch my uncertainty. Establishing whether or not you are ready to become part of a teacher training program has little to do with your ability to arm balance or the extent of your dietary restrictions. It has nothing to do with how much your mat costs, how many perfectly gusseted pairs of yoga pants you own, or how many books you have read on the subject.
If you are curious about taking the next step on your yoga journey, then I would recommend doing some soul-searching and talking with your teachers and program leads. That is the only way that you will be able to gauge if the program is a good fit for you. It helps to have an understanding of the postures, yamas, and niyamas before you get into a program, but if your experience turns out like mine, your understanding of these things will change as you gather more information. As THOY Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) lead, Sheri Colosimo, said in class this week, “To be a yoga teacher, the only things you need proficiency in are kindness, love, and compassion. The rest will come.”
Our first meeting included a practice and established our intentions for undertaking YTT. As the name of the program and credentialing process suggests, the cohort will be able to serve as yoga teachers upon completion of the requirements, but all of us had different reasons for training in addition to teaching. Many of us wish to break through barriers in our own practice. We want to help people, tend to our health, and understand our Selves. We are learning different dimensions of the practice and how it affects us and the world on and off the mat. For the academics, yoga’s rich history intrigues us. For the scientists, the interconnectedness of our bodily systems serves as a microcosm for the Universe. For the seekers, the subtle body and the effects of energy and intention compel us. For the teachers, the use of language, our ability to connect with true compassion, and our ability to ground ourselves serve as focal points in our learning. All of the trainees are all of these things to varying degrees.
THOY’s YTT is an all-encompassing experience. Each day of the intensive requires 8+ hours of work and practice. This process is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding, but I don’t say that in complaint. Every day I find myself so driven by what I am learning that when I go home, I try to find more resources as I work to digest everything that was said. The more I feed my curiosity, the more it grows. I become so excited by the homework (the homework, people!) that I have fallen asleep with a book in hand more than once while trying to maximize every waking minute. While many things in life lose their luster if you engage with them to such a degree, YTT has inspired me to love this practice even more.
Angelina Phebus is a freelance writer, a purveyor of stories, and a voracious reader. She is looking forward to using what she has learned in YTT to help people realize their gifts through consistent yoga practice, whether that is in a class setting or through writing. Connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/angelina.phebus), or check out her blog (https://angelinaphebus.wordpress.com/).