Why everyone should take yoga teacher training

After attending 16 yoga classes, doing 3 class observations, spending 172 hours with my yogi cohort (or kula, as it’s referred to in yoga) on weekends over 10 weeks, spending 35-ish hours reading textbooks, working on research assignments and writing blog posts, and after having many eye-opening, ah-ha and emotional self-discovery moments, I’ve completed the in-class portion of yoga teacher training at MokSana Yoga Center. And it was worth every second.

I still have one more observation to do as well as my practicum, which involves shadowing the teacher, assisting by handing out props and then teaching the warm up over three consecutive Foundations classes before I take my final certification class. I’ve scheduled my certification class for February 18, so I have lots of time to practice my cues.Last weekend for our final class we all got to teach a 15-minute section of a class. I think we all improved immensely over the previous weekend, and it definitely wasn’t as scary as it was the weekend before. That said, I know I missed a few cues, and used too many present participles instead of direct commands (“bringing your arms up” vs. “bring your arms up”). My sequence also came up short, so I had to throw in a few unplanned poses until my 15-minutes were up. But that’s why we practice teach, right?

Class observation night!

For someone who hates public speaking and getting up in front of groups, I wasn’t sure how I would do in front of a yoga class. It’s not the same as giving a presentation where everyone is sitting there staring at you the whole time, and it’s not the same as teaching a group fitness class where you have to be motivating and get people fired up. Teaching yoga feels different — you have to be focused on your cuing (until you get more experienced, of course!), but there’s something very rewarding about guiding students through such a healing practice. I was surprised how good it felt to do it. I’m still not sure what I plan to do with it yet, but hopefully by the time I teach my full community class I will know.

My new favourite street

Looking back on the last 10 weeks, I couldn’t have imagined a more fulfilling and transformative experience. I’ll save some of those experiences for a future blog post, but just know that I don’t think anyone could do this program and NOT come out the other side changed for the better. On our last day we went around the room and shared some of those experiences, and almost everyone, including myself, shed a few tears as we shared our stories and supported one another. My kula was a truly special group of people who I know will all be fabulous yoga teachers.

Malas I made for my final research project!

Most of the personal transformation took seed during the yoga immersion part of the program as we learned about yogic philosophy. It truly is a gateway to conscious living and discovering your true self. Even if you’re new to yoga and have no interest in ever teaching it, I would still highly recommend the immersion part of the program, which can actually be taken separately fro the teacher training part of the program but still with the same cohort of people going on to do their teacher training.

“The intention of our Yoga Immersion program is to deepen your practice and empower you with knowledge by steeping you in the theory and diverse practices of yoga. Explore the practice among a ‘kula’ of like-minded people on a similar path.

You will receive the personalized attention and opportunity to dialogue about yogic practices in a way that is not possible in drop-in classes and you will leave the program with the ability to safely and intelligently modify/progress in your practice whether attending drop-in classes or practicing at home.”

The next yoga immersion and teacher training program at MokSana is coming up this spring, from February 2 – March 25, and runs every other weekend as opposed to every weekend like the fall program. The yoga immersion program is 5 weeks long and includes an unlimited membership to MokSana for the duration of the program, training materials, morning asana classes on the weekends, meditation workshops, pranayama (breathing) techniques, kriya (cleansing) techniques, paths of yoga, western anatomy, intro to Sanskrit, philosophy, chakras, Ayurveda and more.

Vegan potluck on our last weekend

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in (or you’re in need of a life makeover), sign up before January 12th for early bird prices. I promise it’s worth every penny, and you’ll probably have just as many personal breakthroughs as you would have had at a Tony Robbins or Landmark conference (and for half the price and none of the weird physiological tricks).

Have you ever thought about taking yoga teacher training or yoga immersion?
What would you be most interested in learning about?