5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Doing Yoga Teacher Training

5 things I wish I'd known before doing Yoga Teacher Training
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Yoga teacher training is an important step on your journey to becoming a certified yoga instructor. But no matter how much you prepare for it, you can never fully know what to expect from yoga teacher training until you experience it.

This is something I learned when I did my first 200-hour YTT so I want to share with you the things I wish I’d known before doing yoga teacher training.

I’d been dreaming about it for a year. I didn’t even have to choose the location as my soul told me loud and clear that I must go to Koh Phangan, Thailand. I had it all planned out with a vivid image of what the 4 weeks of yoga teacher training would be like. 

Was I right? Yes and no. Some things were as I expected. But several things truly surprised me. 

What To Expect From Yoga Teacher Training

So if you’re preparing for your first intensive YTT and wondering what is yoga teacher training like, let me give you some insight by sharing the 5 things I wish I’d known before doing yoga teacher training.

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1. The days are Long and Tiring 

I’d seen the schedule and knew that the days started early and finished late, but I also noticed we would have a couple of long breaks during the day.

Perfect, I thought… I can use that time to hit the beach and top up my tan. Then I can explore the night markets and check out some cool beach bars in the evenings.

I thought I had it all figured out…

The first few days were full of excitement for being in a new place and beginning a unique experience. Like the rest of my classmates, my energy was high, and I’d use all my free time to explore the surroundings.

This lasted just a few days before the exhaustion started to set in. 

Our days would begin at 7am and end at 7pm. I’d be so exhausted by that time that going out no longer seemed appealing. So instead, I’d grab dinner at a nearby place and get an early night.

It also wasn’t long before my sunbathing breaks became nap breaks and designated time to do laundry, buy groceries, and other essential but mundane things. As free time was so limited, I rarely found myself able to relax on a hammock with a good book.

While this did not make the experience negative, it’s something I wish I had known and mentally prepared for beforehand. So, if you’re envisioning a combined yoga and travel trip, understand that you’ll have little time for the “travel stuff.” 

Now you know what to expect from yoga teacher training, you can plan to arrive a few days before the course starts or stay longer afterward. That way, you’ll have the time and energy to do and see everything.

Moreover, if you prefer a slower pace, opt for a course that lasts 5 or 6 weeks rather than 3 or 4. 

Yoga Teacher Training - the days are long and tiring

2. Every muscle in your body will ache

Even if you already have a daily yoga practice, chances are you don’t practise for 4 hours each day. So when you do your first YTT and practise yoga this much, you’ll feel it!

After the first week, you’ll notice the twice-daily yoga classes starting to take their toll on your body. I remember a point between the second and third week when my classmates and I “hit a wall”. We all felt physically tired, with aching muscles all over. 

Luckily our teachers noticed we were all struggling and took the opportunity to share more restorative yoga with us, which we greatly appreciated! Your course teachers know that YTTs are intensive and exhausting, so they will make the practice more gentle when needed. 

Now you know what to expect from yoga teacher training it’s a good idea to get as fit as you can and practise yoga every day before starting your YTT – your body will thank you for it. Also read this post for more tips on how to prepare for yoga teacher training.

3. You’ll learn much more than how to teach yoga

The main reason I signed up for yoga teacher training was to learn how to teach and become a yoga instructor. However, I didn’t realise that those 4 weeks would also be a huge personal and spiritual development journey. 

Along with lessons on sequencing classes and yoga teacher etiquette, we would practise different meditation styles and have many deep discussions about life, spirituality and yoga philosophy.

If you want to start learning more about yoga before your program read these yoga books. I even felt like I learned a new language with all the Sanskrit words and yoga terminology.

In addition, while learning to share the practice with others, I was also significantly advancing in my personal practice.

So if you’d like to do yoga teacher training but worry it’s not for if you don’t want to teach, read these 5 more reasons to sign up. Even if you never teach one yoga class, what you’ll learn about yourself and yoga during those few weeks will still be well worth the money!

4. You’ll make lifelong friends

Before doing my yoga teacher training, I had been travelling solo. Thus, I was used to meeting people and building friendships quickly and expected the same to happen during my teacher training. But what surprised me was how my classmates and I created such deep bonds in such a short time. 

When reflecting on my experience after, I realised that we bonded so deeply because we were all sharing an incredibly unique and transformational personal journey together. The YTT experience was more profound than any travel adventure I had previously had. 

A YTT is a life changing experience and is something people can only relate to once they have done it. You may tell your friends and family, but they won’t truly understand. But your YTT buddies experienced it with you, and this creates a special kind of bond that will last a lifetime. 

Make life-long friends at Yoga Teacher Training

5. Your life will never be the same again

The last but most important thing you should expect from your yoga teacher training is that your life to change, probably in more ways than one. 

Firstly, the course will start a massive career transition if you do YTT to become a yoga teacher. But if teaching yoga is not your goal, your life will still totally change.

The deep yoga practice, the spiritual discussions, the inner work, the sharing circles, and being away from your regular life will result in a huge shift. You’ll learn to look at things from other perspectives and likely won’t see minor stressors as such a big deal anymore. 

You’ll also learn that we are not all separate beings but are connected by the same universal energy. Thus, the way you treat others will likely change too. The transformations that can happen from a YTT are endless. The more you surrender and open your heart to the experience, the more you gain from it. 

Final Thoughts On Things I Wish I’d Known Before Doing Yoga Teacher Training

An intensive yoga teacher training course is a beautiful, unforgettable experience full of surprises, no matter how much you think you’ve prepared for it.

While these insights I’ve shared may help you know more about what to expect from yoga teacher training, I recommend approaching your YTT with an open mind and a go-with-the-flow attitude to get the most benefit from it!

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