How to Choose a Yoga Teacher Training Program
There are other factors to consider: every program places a different value on various elements of yoga. In my month-long intensive course, I spent almost no time learning Sanskrit or studying the yoga sutras. That was fine for me, because I wasn't looking for those things at that time in my life. But if that's something you want, ask before you sign on.
In the end there is no easy formula for choosing the right training, and the best advice seasoned teachers and trainers can give is to spend lots of time reflecting on what you need and asking questions of your own teachers and fellow students. Of course you'll need to investigate costs (some programs are as little as $1,500, while some cost more than $5,000), location (many trainings take place in urban yoga studios, some take place in isolated ashrams), and schedule (some are intensives, typically lasting up to month, while others are spread out over many months and are more incorporated into the students' regular life).
And if you can, take classes with many teachers to see what really moves you.
"In order to become a teacher, take an educated, intuitive approach," Zador advises. "Know the teacher and the program, and know if the practice is strong. But then still keep all eyes and ears open, and close to the ground." After all, teaching yoga requires every part of us--involving our emotional, spiritual, and intellectual centers simultaneously.
Another nice piece of wisdom comes from Apt, who reminds us that making it thorough a program doesn't bring you to the end of the yoga road. "Just because you've gone through the training it doesn't mean your training is over," she says. "We are always students."
Rachel Brahinsky is reporter for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and a brand new yoga teacher who hopes to keep learning new things about yoga for the rest of her life.
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