I felt the same way.
It was the Fall of 2010 and I was going to yoga every single day. Power Yoga Canada Clarkson was like a second home to me. I was in love with the practice, inspired by the community and was finally starting to understand those people that claimed yoga had changed their life. I was constantly eyeing posters and hearing buzz around the next round of Kinndli’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program that would be starting that January.
Over the course of those months leading up to January, I thought to myself more times than I can count, I really want to teach. Then very quickly and very loudly, the BUT would come in.
I can’t hold a handstand yet, if I’m going to teach I need to be able to do that.
I need to tone up more if I’m going to be at the front of the room.
I’m not confident enough to talk for 60 – 90 minutes to a room of strangers.
Nobody would even want to take my class. I’ll never get hired anywhere.
I don’t know if I can handle the big investment of my money and time right now.
I haven’t been practicing yoga long enough to take this next step.
There’s already so many great teachers out there, there’s no room for me.
The list was long and the doubt was loud but at some point I hesitantly mentioned to Pauline that it was on my mind. Those of you that know her will also know that once you tell her you want to do something you pretty much have to do it because she’ll be right there behind you – pushing if she has to.
I’m so grateful that she gave me that push and now, whether we know each other or not, I’m here to do the same for you.
If you’ve been thinking teacher training is something you want to do, then you’re absolutely ready to do it.
After almost 7 years of teaching full time, opening a studio and making yoga my ‘real’ job, here are the four things I wish I had known then.
1. It doesn’t matter what your practice looks like.
There are amazing teachers in the world that can float into handstand. There are also amazing teachers out there that can’t even hold it for a second. In my opinion, there is no correlation between a teachers ability to do advanced poses and their ability to teach an unbelievable yoga class. There will always be another pose to work on.Don’t fall into the trap of waiting until your practice is ‘good enough’.
A powerful teacher loves yoga. Their practice changed their life and they want to share that gift with others. They have a sincere desire to dive deeper and learn. They’re passionate about helping people. If you have all that and you can hold a handstand, high five! If you can’t, high five! You love yoga and that’s what matters. You have SO much to offer.
2. It’s a lot of money and time but totally worth it.
My plan was to do my Teacher Training while I had the time and then get a corporate job. I thought I’d learn how to teach a yoga class, figure out how the body worked and understand the basics of explaining yoga poses to other people. I’d teach 1 or 2 classes per week on the side of whatever job I had but lucky for me, life didn’t go as planned!
But let’s say it had. If I was a corporate girl who never taught a single class after my training, it would still be the best investment I’ve ever made in myself and my growth. It’s so much more than a yoga training. Yes you will learn (a lot) about yoga but more importantly, you’ll learn (probably more than you want to) about yourself. You can’t put a price on the growth that this program inspires in every aspect of your life. I would go back and spend that money again in a heartbeat.
3. You’ll never feel 100% ready.
If you’ve convinced yourself that you have some sort of physical, mental or emotional barrier that you need to overcome before you’re ready to stand at the front of the room, I have some news for you. Sitting around and hiding from people is not going to get you over that barrier.
We all have something standing in our way. Maybe you think you need to lose a few pounds. Maybe you think you’ll teach when you somehow get over your anxiety around public speaking. Maybe you think you need to get over your fear of judgement and what others think of you. Whatever it is, there’s something you want to work through before you teach. These are the very things you get to tackle with a group of amazing and like-minded people all going through their 200-hour training with you. Sitting at home thinking about how you’ll one day feel comfortable talking in front of a group is not going to get you there. You’ve got to do it, even if it’s scary.
4. The world needs you, yes YOU!
If you remember one thing, let this be it. Yes, there are many, many great teachers in the world already but guess what? None of them are you. You have something so unique and so special to share with your future students and believe me, they’re out there just waiting to hear what you have to say.
We all have our own stories and life experiences to share. We’ve all found yoga for different reasons and the benefits of this practice are profoundly personal. We experience them in our own way. One of the things I love most about yoga is that no two teachers are the same. We're all sharing this ancient tradition but adding our own unique flare to it. So stop telling yourself that there are enough teachers out there. There's more than just room for you, there is a need for you.
You’ll doubt yourself. You'll probably have a long list of 'buts' like mine. You’ll question if you’re ready. You might even have a little crisis before your training starts or you teach that first class thinking: ‘I can’t do this’.