What Is Yoga Teacher Training Like? I Spill The Beans On My YTT Experience!

So you've mastered some amazing yoga poses, and you're ready to take your practice and understanding of yoga to the next level. But you want to know, what is yoga teacher training like? In this article, I will reveal why yoga teacher training is much more than just striking a pose and perfecting your downward dog! Get my take on the benefits of completing YTT and more!

In this article, we'll explore what yoga teacher training is like beyond the asanas and yoga postures. You will learn that embarking on your YTT journey is like opening a treasure chest filled with pearls of wisdom that will transform your practice and open your eyes to a whole new universe of yogic wisdom.

So let's dive in and find out what yoga teacher training is like, and why it's where magic truly happens!


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5 Benefits of doing a 200-hour yoga teacher training

Whether you're a budding yoga enthusiast or simply seeking personal growth, yoga teacher training will benefit you and change your life in more than one way.

These are some of the benefits I experienced in my 200-hour yoga teacher training, and I’m sure you will too!

1. Deepen your yoga practice

  • Through 200-hour yoga teacher training, you'll delve into the ancient teachings of yoga, gaining a profound understanding of yoga philosophy, asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation. 
  • Under the guidance of expert yoga educators, you'll refine your alignment, master new poses, and improve your overall practice. 

2. Gain comprehensive yoga knowledge

  • You will expand your yoga vocabulary and learn the anatomical and physiological aspects behind each pose as well as their Sanskrit and English names.
  • Develop a deeper awareness of your mind-body connection, enabling you to fine-tune your practice and teach yourself and your future students how to prevent injuries. 
  • Gain insights into the principles of sequencing, class structure, and adjustments, empowering you to craft well-rounded and safe yoga classes.
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3. Focus on your personal growth

  • Yoga teacher training is not just about learning asanas; it's a transformative journey for your soul, and it’s a journey of self-discovery. 
  • By exploring mindfulness and meditation practices, you'll cultivate introspection and develop mental clarity.
  • Discover new perspectives, embrace self-acceptance, and nurture a positive mindset that extends far beyond your yoga mat.

4. Create connections with like-minded peers

  • Connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for yoga.
  • Collaborate with fellow trainees, exchange ideas, and learn from each other's experiences. 

5. Empower yourself

  • Upon completion of 200-hour training yoga teacher training, you'll earn your yoga teacher certification, empowering you to share your love and knowledge of yoga with others. You will be qualified to teach and share your unique style and voice.

9 things I wish I knew before starting yoga teacher training

It's hard to fully prepare physically and mentally for YTT when you don't have a clear answer about what is yoga teacher training is like. So to help, below are some things I wish I had known before I did my 200-hour yoga teacher training. And here are my tips for surviving YTT too!

  1. You don't have to want to become a yoga teacher to do a yoga teacher training course.
  2. You don’t need to have 10+ years of experience practicing yoga, but you should be very familiar and comfortable with basic poses and sun salutations.
  3. The days are long and tiring. A YTT is nothing like a yoga retreat and requires great discipline and hard work.
  4. You will meet amazing people who will be an integral support network during and after the course.
  5. You will learn so much about yoga but also about life, the world, and yourself.
  6. You might find your current views and beliefs challenged. While you don't have to take everything you learn as the gospel truth, keeping an open mind is essential. 
  7. The experience will help you discover your strengths, weaknesses, fears, and insecurities – embrace it all.
  8. You'll feel transformed in various ways, whether it's gaining more confidence and self-belief, discovering your purpose or passion, or breaking through a deep-rooted limiting belief.
  9. No matter how good or thorough the course was, you'll feel nervous to start teaching after you graduate – this is normal and ok!

10 tips to help you prepare for yoga teacher training

A list of how to prepare for yoga teacher training: 1. Cultivate a daily self-practice 2. Master the sun salutations 3. Learn the basics of yoga philosophy 4. Research the location of your course 5. Plan your journey 6. Take a break from all other commitments and responsibilities 7. Be open to feedback 8. Stay present and remember to enjoy the whole experience 9. Don't forget to practice self-care 10. Schedule at least one week after the course ends to process everything

Here are my top tips for preparing for yoga teacher training, and smashing it!

1. Cultivate a daily yoga self-practice 

The number one thing you can do to ensure you survive yoga teacher training is to prepare physically by practicing yoga daily. You don't have to do a full 1-hour practice every day; just get into the habit of coming to your mat regularly.

2. Master the yoga sun salutations

You'll need to know how to sequence yoga classes effectively to gain your yoga certification. One sequence you'll include in almost every Hatha/ Vinyasa lesson is the sun salutations, so it makes sense to learn the correct order and alignment of these postures now. This will give you a head start and allow you to focus more on the other, more challenging sequences.

3. Learn the basics of yoga philosophy

Knowing where yoga comes from and how to practice it off the mat will help you wrap your head around the terms and concepts you will come across in your lectures. For example, briefly knowing the eight limbs of yoga will make it easier to learn about each one on a deeper level.

4. Research the location of your yoga course

While you'll spend most of your time in school studying, most YTTs give students one day off a week. I recommend using this time to switch off by exploring your surroundings, so research the top attractions and places to visit before you go.

5. Plan your journey, including how to get from the airport to the yoga school 

Trust me; this will immensely reduce your stress and anxiety if you don't have to figure this out at the airport! Note that any YTTs offer airport transfers, so check with your school.

6. Take a break from all other responsibilities and commitments during your YTT

This will allow you to focus entirely on learning and get the most from your yoga course. I did this by having my phone on airplane mode for most of the day. That way, I could be more present with my yoga teachers and fellow yogis rather than becoming distracted by notifications and work emails. 

7. Be open to feedback 

As part of your YTT, you'll practice teaching yoga to a small group of fellow students. Your teachers will observe and give you honest feedback. While you may not be happy to hear about what you did wrong, this is a crucial part of your learning journey, so stay open to all constructive feedback and use it to improve your teaching skills.

8. Stay present and remember to enjoy the whole training experience

YTTs are so fast-paced that getting swept up in all the learning is easy. I set the intention to take moments throughout the day to pause and observe my surroundings (which wasn't hard as my school was directly on the beach). This tip will also help you whenever you start to feel overwhelmed with the challenges, as it will shift your mindset from worry to gratitude for simply being there. 

9. Don’t forget to practice self-care during your yoga teacher training

While you may desire to study every waking hour, I highly suggest you dedicate some time to unwind in the evenings and on your day off. Yoga teacher training is intensive enough, and the days are already long, so give yourself some time now and again to practice self-care, whether it's getting a massage, sunbathing on the beach, or calling a good friend for a catch-up.

10. Schedule at least one week after the YTT ends to process everything 

Because you learn so much in such a short time, you'll find that you need longer to process everything. So avoid rushing back to your everyday life after you graduate. Instead, stay for another week or two to process, integrate, and evaluate the experience you just had. Journal about how you can incorporate your newly gained knowledge into your daily lifestyle

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Is yoga teacher training hard

A 200-hour YTT is a super-intensive program. Even if you already have a daily practice, the intensity of yoga teacher training will still shock your system.

The first mistake you can make with yoga teacher training is thinking that you don't need to prepare for it! 

Luckily I was warned about this beforehand, so I spent the six months leading up to my YTT increasing my own practice so that my body was better prepared for what was to come. 

Yoga teacher training is challenging both physically AND mentally. Between asana practice, you'll be busy studying all things yoga, from philosophy to anatomy to adjustments.

Your brain takes in a HUGE amount of new knowledge in a short space of time. So expect your mind to feel overloaded!

Is yoga teacher training worth it

If you're ready for a fulfilling experience that will transform your yoga practice and nurture personal growth, yoga teacher training is a worthy investment of your time and money.

You will discover your inner wisdom, feel empowered and accomplished, and it will reveal things about you that you didn't know. Even if you don’t aspire to teach students, yoga teacher training is still worth it for the personal-growth aspect and to learn yogic wisdom. Everyone can benefit from incorporating the principles of yoga philosophy into their life!

Takeaway on what is yoga teacher training like

I hope that you now have a better understanding of what yoga teacher training is like now! If you're ready to go beyond the physical realm of yoga and dive deep into the rich and fulfilling world of yoga teacher training, you will discover the intersect where ancient wisdom meets modern practice.

With an open heart, open mind, and a readiness for a life-changing experience, you will be in the perfect frame of mind to soak up all of the benefits that yoga teacher training will offer you. Still unsure?! Read about yoga teacher training pros & cons before fully committing to a yoga teacher training.

FAQ about yoga teacher training

How long should you practice yoga before teacher training?

You should have a strong and consistent practice before yoga teacher training for at least three months, and ideally longer. You'll want to be very familiar with all basic poses including their names and how to do them.

Is yoga teacher training worth it if you don't want to teach?

Yoga teacher training is a great idea for any yoga enthusiast, even if you don't want to teach. The yoga philosophy you will learn in yoga teacher training will change your life, and all yogis can benefit from learning proper alignment, which is, of course, a big part of yoga teacher training.

Some online yoga studios, online yoga teacher training programs, and brands that we write about may offer us a small percentage should you decide to purchase after reading our content. Thank you for enabling us to exist! 

Gemma
Gemma

Gemma is a Certified Yoga Teacher of over 5 years. Aside from being a CYT 200, Gemma is also certified in Yin and Yoga Nidra. Gemma is passionate about sharing her expertise of yoga and wellness through words, guiding others along the path of personal and spiritual development. She is in LOVE with everything related to personal-growth and psychology. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma runs a kitten rescue project in Thailand, where she is currently residing. Gemma can be reached at gemmac@theyogatique.com, or you can connect with Gemma on LinkedIn.

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