My Yoga Teacher Training Journey: Part 1 

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If you are considering yoga teacher training, or are curious about the value it can bring to your life, this blog series is for you.  

In February of 2017 I fulfilled my goal and dream of completing a 200-hour yoga teacher training program.

As a way to document my experience and help anyone considering Yoga Teacher Training (whether the goal is to teach or not), this 6-part blog series is designed to help prospective YTT students get an idea of the sorts of information and lessons one could expect to learn in a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher training program.

In this blog series I will be sharing about my experience in themes. Truth be told, every day we did a little bit of everything. So for those interested in one aspect or another, the content has been broken up into the following 5 themes:

·      STUDY ~ BECOMING A PROFICIENT TEACHER I’ll review the things we learned related to: crafting a 60-minute yoga class, communicating yoga poses, and about how we put everything into practice by teaching each other.

·      PRACTICE ~ HOW MUCH TIME WE SPENT ON THE MAT Everyday we practiced. Most mornings we started with an hour or 90 minutes, and worked on individual poses and sequences throughout the day depending on the scheduled activities. We also learned from other Kindness Yoga teachers about Yin, Nidra, Restorative, and pre-natal yoga styles.

·      LEARN ~ ALL THE TOPICS WE COVERED We were given a lot of other context into topics related to yoga. We learned about anatomy, the impact of injuries, breathing techniques, meditation, yogic philosophies, the history of yoga, and much more.

·      GROW ~ THE LESSONS I LEARNED From what I’ve both heard and experienced, YTT can be a transformational experience. In this post I’ll share what life lessons I learned from training that I feel transcend past yoga into life off the mat.

·      TEACH ~ THE BUSINESS OF YOGA What I learned about the business of yoga, what you need to get work as a teacher, and how to find teaching jobs. I will also offer a couple of tips based on my own experience in the Denver yoga community over the last few years.

Before diving into the content of the program, here are a couple of things to keep in mind about the posts:

·      200 hours is a lot of time! This blog series is a mere summary of how my 200-hour YTT program at Kindness Yoga was structured, and about the broad topics we learned about and put into practice during the 4-week intensive.

·      Kindness Yoga in Denver, CO was where I chose to do my training.  After much research, I chose them based on their reputation in the community, the fact that they teach Vinyasa style yoga (the style I wanted to learn), and because I heard from other teachers that Kindness’ YTT program would give me the tools and knowledge to become a teacher shortly after program completion. As a full disclaimer, Kindness offered me a scholarship (discount) to blog about my experience on unlimitedyoga.com. That said, all opinions in this blog series are authentically my own.

·      While exploring YTT programs I quickly learned that YTT curriculums differ from one program to the next.  And no program, from my research, shares their entire agenda online. So you really have to make an effort to talk with people about their experiences and with the program managers in order to get an idea about the details and nuances of each program. I was surprised to learn that some programs make the ‘learning to teach’ part ancillary and focus more on yoga history, philosophy, and about the individual poses. Depending on your goal(s) for training, the details you find out could affect which program you invest your time and money in. Definitely do your own research and weigh your options.

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·      Something that cannot be understated in the whole experience is the people. While this blog series documents my experience, and my experience only… my classmates and teachers shaped everything about the program and the feel of each day. I am grateful to each and everyone one of them for their friendships and the lessons they taught me. They inspired me by the strength they exuded in the face of challenges and uncertainties, the vulnerability they let go of to learn something new, and their perseverance in a program that is appropriately entitled an “intensive”. 

If you have any questions or thoughts, please drop them in the comments below!

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