This year hasn’t been easy, but for some, it’s provided some mental space to think about what’s really important.
Family, yes. Friends, yes (but perhaps not all of them). Yoga, yes.
Yoga has been a bedrock for so many people during this strange and uncertain time. Some of you may have found yourselves furloughed with oodles of spare time to develop your home practice (because there wasn’t any other sort of practice anymore).
Others of you – perhaps those on the front line of dealing with this pandemic – found yourselves busier than ever, but perhaps reaching for that quiet practice to ground yourself before yet another day.
And maybe, just maybe, THIS might be the year to become a yoga teacher – everything else has changed, so why not just DO it? And if you have any questions and doubts circling round in your brain then read on, we know all about them and have provided the answer right here.
1. How will I find the time?
This is a very valid question as most of us have already busy lives, and it can be tricky to work out when you’d fit in 200 hours of yoga teacher training as well as all the other time commitments you make. However, there are plenty of options when doing a yoga teacher training course with YogaLondon.
If you’re still furloughed and you’d like to make the most of the time you have now, you can do the intensive teacher training course which takes just one month. If you’re working and juggling other commitments you can do the same course but over a year, with just one teacher training weekend per month.
2. How long should I have been doing yoga before I do a teacher training course?
There’s no set amount of time as every student (sadhaka) is different. Generally speaking, it would be a good idea to have regularly attended yoga classes (either in-person or online) for at least a year.
3. What if I’m not good enough?
Yoga is NOT a competition. When we start doing yoga we are just trying to make the right shapes in the yoga poses, but over time we realise that yoga is not about doing more and more advanced yoga poses, but going deeper and deeper into yoga poses. The advanced yoga poses teach us about the foundation yoga poses, and we all have the poses that challenge us and make us face our fears.
4. Should I be able to do every single asana to be a teacher?
No. When you become a teacher you should be ‘ahead’ of your students in order to be able to teach and inspire them. But before you apply for teacher training you don’t have to be able to pop into Titthibasana or be able to press up into a handstand. What’s important is that you have a love of yoga, an understanding of the capacity of your own body (svadhyaya), and a thirst to learn more (tapas).
5. Should I have ALL the props before training?
All you need are some comfy leggings, a mat, a belt, a block or two, and a desire to dive deep into your yoga practice. Once you start your teacher training you might find that you want to invest in a yoga chair, or bolster to explore restorative yoga more in your practice. Or you might be a back-bending wheel to develop flexibility in your upper back for backbends. None of these props are essential, but once you’ve committed to the course, you’ll feel happier to invest in props that you’ll use for many years to come. As yoga teachers, we want to resist the urge to hoard unnecessary accessories that we might not need (aparigraha).
6. How can I afford it?
There’s no doubt that a teacher training course costs money. But for a top-quality teacher training course you wouldn’t expect to be paying peanuts – you get what you pay for. There are plenty of payment options to pay for the teacher training course, and you can always take advantage of the fact that you can start to teach halfway through your training course, meaning that you can get money back before you’ve even qualified.
7. How long will it take?
See the answer to question 1 – it depends on which course option works for you and your life. The maximum amount of time it will take is one year, and the minimum is one month. Both versions will be intense, strengthening and life-changing. As well as the training sessions, you will also be expected to devote time at home to your personal practice, as well as study time.
8. Should I know about yoga philosophy/Sanskrit/Hindu mythology before I start the course?
No, you don’t need any prior knowledge to do the yoga teacher training. Having said that, anything you bring to the course on these topics will be of value because there sure is a LOT to learn. So if you wanted to invest in a couple of books beforehand then why not? Cultural appropriation is something we are very aware of, and the more informed we can be about the heritage of yoga, the less we are likely to misappropriate aspects of yoga.
9. Do I have to teach after I qualify?
No! Lots of students take the course as a way to deepen their yoga journey and make it an integral part of their life. You might not have the time or capacity to fit teaching in to your life at the moment, but once you’re qualified, you’re qualified – there’s no sell-by date on it.
Of course, you might find that once you’ve done the course, teaching is something that just happens. Kevin Flee, a.k.a. @diaryofachubbyyogi did his 200-hour course at YogaLondon in order to be able to teach himself, but then found his niche with punk rockers who did yoga in their jeans…
10. Does the world need any more yoga teachers?
Yes! If the world needs more of anything at the moment, it’s yoga teachers. And yoga teachers of ALL size, shape, race, colour, sexual orientation, age and abilities. Every teacher will find their own yoga community, the students who will be inspired and guided by you and what you bring to your classes.