How To Select The Best Yoga Teacher Training Course

How To Select The Best Yoga Teacher Training Course – 7 Helpful Guidelines


A Yoga Teacher Training course can be a deeply transformative and profound journey into your innermost self. Here are 7 helpful guidelines in choosing the right yoga teacher training program for you.


1. Make sure your Yoga Training is Spiritually Focused

Spiritual Awakening is the very essence of yoga. Yoga offers not only an approach to work with the body and mind but also offers a complete and holistic system of self-transformation that allows for each individual to discover their true Spiritual Self. As such inner transformation is integral on the path of yoga and any teacher training course that emphasizes yoga as spiritual path will give you the opportunity to discover and deepen your spiritual connection.

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2. Choose Yoga Teachers Who Live and Embody the Essence of Yoga

Some students choose a training program based on their personal holiday schedule or their preference for one style of yoga asana practice, without ever understanding who they will be learning from. While this is now common, central to authentic yoga is finding a teacher that is truly able to embody the balance, wisdom and compassion that is the hallmark of a real yogi or yogini. Their life experience and spiritual maturity will act as an ongoing source of inspiration and guidance for you as you deepen your own spiritual connection and learn how to teach yoga through the intuitive heart.


3. Research the Content of the Courses

Aim for a well-rounded and holistic approach to yoga. Yoga trainings that are deeply rooted in the classical yoga tradition while still being highly applicable to the modern age offer you the best all-around training. Be careful of courses that are only asana based, those that emphasize only health and fitness, or those schools which have trademarked their style of yoga©. Though anatomy training is important, when it becomes dominant and there is too much focus on the physical body it can indicate that the essence of yoga is being overlooked. The schools that teach you how to market yourself as a yoga teacher, how to start your own yoga school or how to do business are adding to the confusion and wasting your time. Being a real yoga teacher is neither a job nor a profession. It is an inner calling from the heart that will open the doors to higher levels of awareness from which you will be able to heal and guide others on their path of awakening. Schools that support this, will rather, encourage you towards disciplined self-practice, healthy diet, silence, self-reflection, meditation and other practical spiritual techniques. These tools will enhance both your prana and awareness, so that you may gain the inner strength to meet every moment with peace and equanimity.


4. Find an Intimate Group Setting

One on one attention and care for your individual process will offer you a safe and supportive environment from which you can learn, ask questions and develop a personal connection with your teachers. The essence of Yoga is actually impossible to learn. It is in actuality a heart to heart and mind to mind transmission of pure awareness that occurs when both the teacher and student are ready. Try to attend only small group retreats as it will be easier for you to develop this personal connection. Though large groups can have a lot of energy, yoga teacher trainings are an intense learning environment where you may benefit more from the intimacy and affection shared in smaller gatherings. Be mindful of yoga trainings with large faculties of teachers. This often indicates that the main teachers do not have enough experience with the various facets of yoga and have only studied yoga asana sufficiently enough to teach only this aspect of yoga . Unless the faculty is well organized and has much experience complementing each other’s teachings you may get a disconnected and fragmented body of teachings that are hard to integrate.


5. Practice Yoga in Nature

Yoga is best practiced in a natural environment where the earth is clean, the water is abundant, the temperature is mild, the air is pure and the space is clear. Yoga studios, small rooms, rented halls in cities are probably not the best choice. A retreat center or ashram in nature, away from the faced paced lifestyle of modern cities, is ideal. If at all possible find a community of other yoga practitioners and spiritually minded people. There you will find community support, a slow paced lifestyle and the conditions necessary to deepen your own practice with little effort.


6. Pre-requisites and Screening

Many yoga schools and teachers are teaching with the aim of learning a livelihood to support themselves and their families going what they love – yoga. While this is totally reasonable sometimes in order to fill their courses there is a lack of discernment as to who is really ready to become a yoga teacher. Many yoga schools have zero pre-requisites and will accept anyone, no matter what age, how much background or experience they may have. Many unqualified yoga teachers graduate from yoga teacher courses each year, only because they paid their tuition; thus, diluting the noble tradition of yoga. Though these students benefit deeply from their training they may not be really qualified to teach based on their own experience of yoga. If a school screens their students you can presume that they are not in it for financial reasons & are wanting to attract the highest quality students. As such you will likely be in a training course with many other mature and competent fellow students.


7. Practice Teaching

To apply what you have learned while in the yoga teacher training it is important that the course you choose has ample time for practice teaching. Practicums, or practice teaching time, provide students the confidence they need to teach classes skillfully and compassionately. Many students remark on feeling inadequately prepared to teach, if they have attended a program with little practice teaching time. The learning curve, which can be full of learning from mistakes, can be easily surmounted in a supportive and nurturing environment in the presence of your fellow students and teachers. They will gently guide you to teach yoga from the heart even when the mind gets in the way.

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