Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Are You Ready for Yoga Teacher Training?

Image by Flickr user RelaxingMusic

1. Your biggest motivation for unrolling your mat is ________.
     A. To achieve the perfect yoga butt.
     B. To get to know yourself better inside and out.
     C. To relieve stress.
     D.  Because your friend invited you to class and you want him/her to see how awesome you are.
     E.  All of the above.

2. Your friend is on the fence about attending a yoga class. How do you try to convince her?
     A. Do nothing. She's obviously not as spiritual as you are so it's a lost cause.
     B. Say you know she'll love it whenever she's ready to go, you'd love to unroll your mat beside hers
     C. Not applicable. You don't associate with people who don't have a regular yoga practice.
     D. Tell her she HAS to go and list all the celebrities who do it
     E.  Do nothing. It's not your job to make others try yoga. She'll have to figure it out on her own.

3. Life is crazy. You realize you're going to miss your favorite weekly yoga class. What do you do?
     A. Panic. The last time you missed that class you went nuts and there was a series of unfortunate events.
     B. Take a few deep breaths wherever you are. Asana is only a small part of your practice.
     C. Unroll your mat at home for at least 5 minutes. It's better than nothing.
     D. Vow to take an extra class next week to make up for it. 
     E. Don't sweat it. Life happens.

4.  Your teacher is out and the sub instructs a pose that you feel most of the class is not ready to attempt. What do you do?
     A. Call her out immediately. You can't let your classmates injure themselves on your watch!
     B. Realize that there are different approaches to the practice, and try this new style with an open mind.
     C. After class you call the teacher over and quietly ask her about her style. It's different than what you've learned, but maybe she knows something you haven't considered.
     D. You make sure you practice the pose perfectly so that your classmates can see how it's done!
     E. You don't concern yourself with it. She's the teacher. She probably knows what she's doing.

5. How do you describe your yoga skill level?
     A. Expert, master, or enlightened.
     B. Intermediate, but you still have lots to learn.
     C. Intermediate. You can do more than most.
     D. Advanced.
     E. Beginner, in body and mind.

Should you enroll in teacher training?

Answer key:

Mostly As
Maybe not. It's helpful to approach a teacher training with the mindset that you're a student first and have a lot to learn. If you already feel you know everything you need to know, you might not get much out of the training. Not to mention, once you're done with training you'll be more relatable to students if they see you're humble and are on the same path of learning that they are. Keep practicing!

Mostly Bs and Cs
Dooooo it! You've practiced enough to know that you've just skimmed the surface of a limitlessly deep subject. You're open to learning, and you know that the best way to lead others is through your example.

Mostly Ds
Proceed with caution. Think about why you want to be a teacher: Are you trying to impress someone? Are you doing it to fit into a certain image of what you think a yoga teacher is? Yoga is about exploring your body, mind, and spirit. If you're not focused mainly on that, it might be hard to help others on that path. Keep practicing!

Mostly Es
It could go either way. You have the right attitude about learning more, but maybe you're more concerned with deepening your own practice than you are sharing it with others. Of course, that's a perfectly legitimate reason to enroll in a teacher training, but you might benefit even more from an immersion that doesn't focus as much on teaching skills.

Note: I did a teacher training when I was 22 years old.. and if I am really honest about it, I probably wasn't ready. And, truthfully, I know I didn't get as much out of the training as I could have. But I still wouldn't change a thing about it! It still helped me to deepen my practice, learn more about who I was and who I wanted to be, and I think I'm a pretty decent teacher now--even if I wasn't when I first got my certification. :) So, really, you're the only one who can determine when you're ready and what you want to get out of the training. I hope this little quiz gave you some food for thought, but please don't be discouraged no matter what the result! If you want to be a good teacher, you'll be an awesome one whether you take your training now or in 10 years.

I want to hear from the yoga teachers.. How did you know you were ready to enroll in teacher training?