photocredit: sandra db
Many if not most Yoga practitioners participate in a teacher training at one point in their life, whether they have the intention to teach after or to just grow in their personal practice and dive deeper into the study of Yoga.
And almost everybody I know has made tremendous progress during their teacher training, may that progress be in terms of knowledge, physical ability, open-mindedness, experience of new aspects of our being or acknowledging new approaches to practice and life. It’s usually a very intense time of trying out new things, focusing our efforts and intentionally walking our path.
Progress is limited without a teacher and without a time of pure focus
I guess there is only so much you can progress when practicing Yoga by yourself without somebody guiding you. Without a teacher showing the way and correcting flaws that the practitioner is unaware of and without the proven approach of a teacher that has walked the way and can guide from experience, taking the necessary steps is very hard.
And even when we make great progress practicing with a teacher, there is an additional benefit of doing an intensive training. The fact that we commit to the training, that we invest time, resources and dedicate ourselves to participate in the program unleashes energy that is needed to make exponential progress. It’s not necessarily the brilliance of the teacher or the program (even though that helps obviously).
Rather it is our willingness and motivation to fully commit and follow the prescribed steps and surrender to the process.
Where do Yoga teachers get guidance for building a successful teaching practice?
The same could apply to Yoga teachers that want to take the next step after their teacher training and actually want to build a life teaching and sharing Yoga and offering the benefits of Yoga practice to their own community of students.
Unfortunately at this point there are not so many opportunities in the Yoga world. Where you can find a teacher training on every corner nowadays, not many options are available to find guidance and mentorship to evolve as a Yoga teacher and find orientation on what’s important and what to do first.
Apprenticeships with senior Yoga teachers are one of the few option.
Following a teacher and assisting him/her with everything they do is a great way, as one is getting to know everything involved in a life of a Yoga teacher and one can learn by doing. Unfortunately this is not always available to everybody.
Another way is finding a coach or mentor that can offer guidance and ideally has gone through the process of becoming and living as a Yoga teacher themselves. Those courses are also still quite rare.
That’s why I started my own coaching programs to help and guide young Yoga teachers and provide them with a support structure to find fulfillment, success and happiness as a Yoga teacher. And it works in a similar way, too:
You sign up and invest yourself with a strong intention to take action for the time of the course.
You work through a proven step-by-step process, guided by a teacher/coach, supported from fellow students, growing in awareness as you make progress and learn new things about yourself.
You get direct feedback. Verbalizing your ideas and plans helps in gaining clarity and sharing your thoughts with a group of people that want similar things encourages you to take action and stay with it when times get tough.
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We don’t have to find everything out ourselves. But we do need to take responsibility for our own path, do our own exploration to find clarity and take action to get to where we want to be. We have to create our own life, but it helps to get some guidance on the way.