Updated: Jan 20
An estimated 33% of students who complete a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program never actually teach yoga. In my experience, about half of students who get that YTT certificate do not go on to teach in a gym or studio, though many use their training to pursue other goals. So why would you go through 200 hours of training for something you don’t intend to do? Here are some great reasons why:
1. You will get in touch with your body.
Before YTT, my body consisted of major parts: thighs, knees, shins, feet, for example. Now, I have a deeper understanding of my anatomy: hamstrings, quadriceps, ischial tuberosity. This knowledge not only helps with body awareness to avoid injury in other activities, but it also will help you to better communicate with medical professionals.
2) You will develop strength and coordination, and lessen your chance of injury.
Before yoga, I constantly tripped over my own feet, often twisting an ankle or worse. After YTT, my balance is better and my core is stronger. Not only can this strength help you now, but later in life it will help you with basic activities that we take for granted such as bending over to tie your shoes and twisting in your seat to look over your shoulder when driving. A consistent yoga practice can help you in these areas as well, but YTT helps you commit to that regular practice!
3) You will make new friends!
Let’s face it, making friends as adults can be challenging, particularly if you have moved to a new area or changed careers. After spending 200 hours with your YTT tribe, you will make lifelong friends who have similar interests as you: YOGA!
4) You will develop or deepen your spiritual practices.
Learning to let go and let God (or whatever your Higher Power is) is one of the key benefits of a yoga practice. If you do not already have a relationship with something greater than yourself, YTT will introduce you to many different spiritual practices. If you do have that relationship, YTT will help you deepen your awareness through chanting and meditative techniques.
5) You will learn new things about yourself.
You will learn just how strong you are and open minded and committed. Throughout my own yoga teacher training program, I kept asking why they didn’t teach this stuff in high school. If I could have learned then what I learned now, I could have increased self-love and self-acceptance so much earlier in my life.
6) You will gain confidence in yourself.
You will learn to speak louder and express yourself clearly. You will learn to graciously recover from mistakes and missteps. You will learn to be kinder to yourself.
7) You will learn how to connect with others.
In addition to reading bodies, you will be able to pour loving energy and light into a room. You will learn to “hold space” for others. You will learn to communicate with people in all walks of life, and make community accessible to all.
8) You will improve your asana practice.
A major benefit of YTT is deepening your own personal yoga practice. You will learn safe ways to get into more advanced poses and learn modifications. You will also be able to identify when you should rest your own body and when you can push further. Many YTT grads are able to develop their own daily or weekly asana practice outside of a yoga class. And if you’re traveling on vacation and can’t find a yoga studio, you’ll know exactly what to do!
9) You will be able to share with others.
If you do not want to teach in a traditional setting, you can still share what you have learned with family, friends, and children of all ages. In my YTT program, one person shared yoga with the preschoolers she taught to get them to be quiet for a few minutes each day; one person taught boardroom yoga at her corporate job; one person helped his staff stretch after a long day in the construction industry; one person used mindfulness techniques in her therapy practice; another person used the asana practice for her high school theater group...the possibilities are endless!
10) You will develop an appreciation for the study of yoga.
Yoga Teacher Training opens up doors to new experiences and wisdom. There are many avenues to pursue beyond the physical practice. Whatever grabs your interest during training can be pursued further after training. At the very least, you will be able to practice mindfulness in every aspect of your life!
I'd love to hear from you! Why did you take or consider a 200-hour yoga teacher training program, and what was your biggest takeaway? If you have not previously considered a program, but would like to, visit my YTT page to learn about the teacher training programs I'm leading in 2023.