You love yoga. You’ve been going for a little while now, and you’re pretty sure that you’re quite good at it. You look forward to your classes and you daydream about being a teacher, with all the freedom and extra yoga-ing that that would bring to your life. But it’s a pipe-dream, right? WRONG! Here’s eight ways to know if you’re ready to start your yoga teacher training.
1. You’ve started a home practice
This is at number one for a reason. Going to a class every week, or even going to two, three, five classes a week is not the same as establishing a home practice.
Let’s compare it to driving a car. You could sit next to someone and be driven to the same place for a year. If you’re then asked to drive the car to that place it’s likely that you won’t know where to go, because you weren’t in the driving seat. It’s the same with yoga. As long as you’re relying on someone else’s voice to guide you through your yoga (which is a necessary part of the process) you won’t start to cultivate the inner teacher in your own head. Which is why some students can stay at beginner level for the whole of their lives – again, nothing wrong with this – but if you’re thinking of stepping up to teach yoga you have to move beyond the yoga class.
2. You miss yoga when you don’t do it
There are those people that can dip into yoga, or use it as a way of stretching out their bodies after exercise. But you know when you’ve become a yogi when it’s yoga that you miss, not just physically, but mentally too. Yoga can start at the fringes of your life, as something that you feel you ought to do, and then you take stock and realise it’s migrated into the centre of your life and you can’t imagine life without it.
3. You’ve started to watch other students for how they do the poses
This is a subtle one, but it is a sign that you’re starting to think more like a yoga teacher than a yoga student. Sometimes it’s not until the training starts that you get your teacher’s gaze going, but if you’re really absorbed in yoga, and have started to learn the classic bad habits that we fall into, you’ll start to see them in others. You’ll also start to see how other students can do poses you can’t, and instead of feeling jealous (or maybe, as well as feeling jealous) you’ll also realise, ‘Ah, it’s because they’re more flexible in the hamstrings’ – and so on. You’ve started to see bodies, in all their miraculous infinite variations, rather than seeing people.
4. You’ve started buying the books
You spotted the first one in a charity shop, and then you sneakily ordered one at work, and then you found you were looking at the pictures and trying to do the poses at home…with mixed success. There are so many important yoga books out there, and although YouTube is fantastic, there is something about having a book on your shelf that states: this is a subject that’s important to me.
5. It’s verging on an obsession
You’ve become all evangelical about yoga and find that you’ve bored your other-half/besties about it, so take every opportunity to talk about it to, well, anyone who will listen! There’s nothing you enjoy more than a detailed discussion about the latest pose you’ve just aced after weeks/months/years of trying. You’ve started stalking your favourite yoga heroes on Insta, Tik Tok, Twitter and any other social media accounts you might have. You’ve also been lusting after some new yoga leggings that you probably don’t need. To summarise, you’re officially a yoga nut.
6. It’s a cliché – but you want to go deeper into yoga
Despite going to classes and starting, or having a committed, home practice, you feel that you want to go deeper into the vast subject that is yoga. You know that there is so much more to learn and by taking on the responsibility of being a yoga teacher, you’ll be starting a lifelong voyage of discovery.
7. You want others to feel as passionate about it as you do!
You’re so obsessed that you can’t understand why everyone isn’t doing yoga, so the thought of teaching people the thing you love is a no-brainer. Committing to a teacher training course is the first step you take on committing to your future students. You might not know it yet, but you’re doing it all for them. They will challenge you, make you laugh, make you irritated, make you proud. But best of all, you’ll see them start to love yoga as much as you do. And that makes all the blood, sweat and tears hundred percent worth it.
8. You’ve worked out the logistics of doing the training
You’ll know you’re ready to commit to a teacher training course when you’ve googled them all, worked out which course you could fit into your diary, and then started thinking about how you could pay for it! The last piece of the puzzle is simply taking a deep breath, screwing up your courage, and just going for it!