Why I’m not a yoga teacher… yet

Hope everyone had a restful weekend! It was rainy here in Chi, and aside from possible food poisoning, we had a pretty low key, relaxing weekend. We made spaghetti and homemade meatballs/sauce last night, and I’m 99% sure the sausage was not cooked all the way through. Oh, well.. by mid-afternoon, we were back to normal and I got to spend the afternoon with my fave 5-year-old little lady and get mani/pedi!

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I thought I’d use this time to talk a bit more about yoga teacher training (YTT), what it entails, and why I’m not a certified instructor (yet).

Ever since I embarked on this adventure, I realized there’s a lot of misconceptions (some of which I spoke to here), but today, I wanted to talk about the misconceptions around what is involved in 200 hour certified Yoga Teacher Training, and also address the biggest questions I get daily – “Where are you teaching?” Or “Why aren’t you teaching yet?” Or my all-time favorite, whenever someone who knows me says to someone else “Ashley’s a yoga teacher!” And I have to say, “wellll, not quite.”

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This picture is actually from my very first day of YTT!

First of all, I’ll say this was my experience at my studio, and obviously may be different than others. I think many people (me included at first) didn’t realize how much of a commitment becoming a yoga teacher is. 200 hours means just that – 200 hours! You actually have to get 200 hours whether through lecture, study, practice teaching, etc., but this takes time! This isn’t some quick weekend class you go through and BOOM – you’re a teacher. Nope, it doesn’t work that way.

For me, this meant going to the studio twice a week from August through January on Sundays (11am-5pm) and Wednesdays after work (5:45-9:30pm) and one Saturday per month. Studio trainings could vary from lectures on anatomy, meditation, sequencing (among MANY other topics) from our amazing instructors to independent study (reading one of our many assigned readings from our like 5-6 books, working on projects), taking classes and practicing teaching.

On top of all that, once the last day hit on Jan. 15, I didn’t automatically become a certified instructor. I still have SO many items to check off of my list, including:

  • Taking 9 different types of classes and journaling about them
  • Observing 8 different types of classes and journaling about them
  • Defining and explaining what the yoga sutras mean to me, as well as about 823742387 terms (a few of my YTT friends and I still need to “come to terms”)
  • Teaching our instructors and fellow classmates a 45 minute class on the last day of training
  • Creating a sequence for a type of injury/ailment or something related to anatomy
  • Teaching 4 community classes, one of which has to be at the studio (1 down, 3 to go!)

Eek! I’m stressed out just reading all of the above, and I’m sure I probably missed something. But as you can see, with a full-time job, a live-in boyfriend, adorable niece and nephew 30 minutes away, blogging, etc., it can be difficult to make time to do things like coming to terms. Luckily, I have some good yoga friends I made in YTT and we get together every so often to force each other to work on things over a bottle of wine. Also, I was lucky enough to get a yoga/work trade at my studio where I’ll work 2.5 hours/week at my studio in exchange for free yoga. I figure, if I’m at the studio for a few hours with the schedule staring me in face, it will motivate me to at least sign up for observations and get my community class on the schedule!

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And while I still haven’t figured out quite yet what I’m going to do once I finally become certified,  I’m excited to see what unfolds along the way! Like I said at the end of YTT, I never thought becoming a yoga teacher was something I would ever do in a million years! And while I may not be where I’m “supposed” to be in life, I’m where I want to be – and that’s all that matters!

Do you have any questions about becoming a yoga teacher? Let me know and I’d be happy to answer!

xx

Ash

PS – Stay tuned for my next yoga post where I’ll share what it was like to teach my first community class!

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