Fancy quitting your city job and re-training as a yoga instructor? DOSE contributor, Sam Lewis, gives her 10 tips on things to know before signing up…
I can’t remember the exact moment I decided to train as a yoga teacher but it happened somewhere between a downward facing dog and handing in my notice. I had turned to yoga to deal with the stresses of my job and was desperate for a new challenge, so when I found out about a course in India that seemed like a perfect fit I decided to go for it.
Before I knew it I had quit my job, packed my bags and was on my way to Sampoorna Yoga to complete an intensive 200 hour yoga teacher training programme. I wouldn’t say I booked the course on a whim but it was definitely one of my more hastily made decisions and looking back now there’s lots I wish I’d known, so here’s a list of things to help you if you’re thinking about turning your passion into a career:
1. You don’t have to be a yoga superstar
Let me reassure you that being able to get into Pincha Mayurasana is NOT a pre-requisite of the course. There’s so much more to yoga than being able to nail an instagrammable pose.
2. You will do more yoga than you ever thought possible
Be warned the days are long with hours of physical practice and very little rest. Every aching bone in your body will want to hit the snooze button when your alarm goes off at some ungodly hour and you’ll probably nod off during a Savasana or two.
3. You will start teaching from the get-go
From day one will get up close and personal with your classmates and learn how to safely adjust your students and cue movement. It will feel scary and unnatural but you’ll find your flow (no pun intended).
4. You will build some serious strength
If I had a pound for every Chaturanga (aka yoga push-up) I did on the course I’d be a very rich yogi, so it’s no wonder I discovered muscles I didn’t even know existed.
5. You will be out of your comfort zone
Most of the time, actually. We did all manner of crazy things designed to boost our self-confidence. The most bizarre: screaming at the top of our lungs into each other’s faces.
6. You will learn Sanskrit
Your brain will be filled with a whole new vocabulary of strange sounding words. Don’t stress, you aren’t expected to memorise the names for all the poses but you’ll need to get to grips with the basics.
7. You will get homework and take exams
Prepare to soak up a lot of information and re-learn what you thought you knew. On top of teaching classes, you’ll study yoga anatomy and philosophy and will have written exams at the end of the course.
8. You will need your yoga family
You will make fantastic friendships with your fellow trainees and bond over the fact you all feel as overwhelmed as each other.
9. You will feel epic when you qualify…
There is truly no better feeling in the world.
10. But you may not be 100% ready to teach, and that’s okay
It’s a cliché but this will only be the start of your yoga teaching journey so remember to breathe and enjoy the ride.
Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.