Yoga Teacher Training....Is it for me?

Should I become a yoga teacher?

Do I have the time to do a training?

How is this experience different than taking weekly classes?

Have you teeter tottered on these questions too?

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How can I deepen my yoga practice?

Driving to make groceries this morning my mom asks me on the phone, "So what is the deal? Why is everyone taking Yoga Teacher Training these days?"  That is the question. From retirees, Veterans, college students, and young tweens, people are stepping up and doing 200hr. Yoga Teacher Trainings. Keep in mind that Yoga Teacher Trainings have only been around for the past 50 or 60 years. So what makes them so alluring all of a sudden?

Of course in the United States there is more Yoga being practiced than ever before. In general we no longer do the method of studying rigorously with one Guru or teacher and then showing up for class one day and being told, "Ok, now teach!"

These days we find a studio we love, a style, a teacher, and we dig in. We practice a lot, and we feel well, incredible. Making a commitment to participate in yoga teacher training is one path to deepening your own physical practice, learning about fully balanced healthy living, solidifying a meditation practice, learning about the history and philosophies of Yoga....the list goes on and on. These trainings if selected with rigor and discernment can lead you straight into the heart of self-realization. No biggie.

I am on the cusp of beginning to co-teach my third annual Yoga Teacher Training at Balance Yoga and Wellness beginning this September with my friend and colleague Jessica Blanchard. In addition I am returning to my home studio in Albuquerque in September to also co-lead a Teacher Training with my beloved friend Marisol Brito at Bhava Yoga Studio.

I feel engaged, lucky, and challenged to keep growing. I am excited to be a part of making the world a better place, one yoga class and yoga teacher at a time. The decision I made in 2002 to become a certified Yoga Instructor has completely altered the path of my life for the better. If you are interested in growing exponentially and perhaps stepping into a new dharmic path, then yes it may be time to sign-up for Yoga Teacher Training.

I did my first “official” yoga pose in a dance studio in the dark New York winter of 1998.  I grew up calling it candlestick, but my dancer buddy told me it was a shoulder stand, the Queen of the yoga postures, and that sounded pretty alright to me. I also had the opportunity to take a course in breathing techniques through functional anatomy that same semester from a student of Irene Dowds. Spending an entire semester laying on my back and feeling breathe move through my body and swirl around my spine was a subtle body experience that I had never before had. It slowed me down, it calmed me down, and it made me deeply curious about Yoga.

Within two short years of practicing Yoga I was thirsty for a deeper layer of understanding. I enrolled at a local Albuquerque Yoga Studio in their first yoga teacher training under the guidance of Metta Hirschel and Nancy Ruby. The desire to know as much as I could about a movement system that consistently brought joy, health and mental clarity into my life was ignited.

What was it that moved me to move from developing my personal practice to having a desire to teach yoga? Coming from a household of educators, it was no surprise that I loved working in a learning capacity. When I find something that stirs my interest I am always inspired to dig deeper. Yoga was no exception. I realized that if I endeavored to invest my time energy, and meager undergraduate income into this practice, not only would my own knowledge deepen, but so would my capacity to share my passion.

This teacher training was the foundation I needed for a life long passion. I learned basic yoga alignment, anatomy, sanskrit, and how to lead others through a safe and fun yoga class. I also learned one of the biggest tools that I continue to use every day ever since; how to interpret people, personalities, and limitations.  When I started cultivating this sensitivity I knew that not only did I want the depth of knowledge offered through the training, but that I indefatigably wanted to teach yoga too.

I swept my living room floor, invited friends and acquaintances over, and started to teach!

It gives me great joy to know that some of those very first students who came to my home are now flourishing yoga teachers themselves.

I experienced what it is like to see a student's’ eyes simply glimmer after a challenging practice.

Yoga Teacher Training was an opportunity for me to grow in my capacity as a teacher but also to develop an authentic and deep knowledge base of Yoga philosophies, styles, and therapeutic approaches. My desire to share what I know with others is coupled with the aspiration to always keep learning.

If you identify as a lifelong learner and have a desire to thrive through Yoga then Teacher Training may be the perfect next step. Settle into yourself, into your conscious body, and learn to share what ignites your spirit, strengthens your body, and softens your Self. Yoga Teacher Training will surely challenge you to advance your practice and develop your tools.

Sweep out your space, roll out your mat, and let’s get started!