I’ve lived my whole life with the mantra that you write your own life and that you’re responsible for it. Even though I had no intention to teach whatsoever, one of my many dreams was to take yoga teacher training.
I thought it would be a wonderful way to deepen my yoga practice, enrich myself, and grow as a person. It would also provide a nice break from my working life at the United Nations.
With this mindset, I finally decided to enroll in an intensive four-week yoga teacher training at the reputable Yoga Works Soho last summer. And I don’t regret it. As challenging as it was, it offered a great experience.
Now, I’m convinced that this undertaking would be beneficial for a lot of people, especially here in New York, where it’s so easy to fall into the emptiness of a busy life.
Here are a few reasons to take yoga teacher training even if you don’t want to teach:
1. Challenge yourself. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so if something scares you, it might be a good thing to try.
When was the last time you did something new? You don’t need to be a superhero to enroll in a yoga teacher training or to master perfectly the Headstand or the Lotus pose. Remember, there’s no wrong in yoga, and we simply start from where we are.
2. Improve your alignment. Do you think you have mastered the Downward Facing Dog or Warrior 2? Well, even so, you can still improve. The instructors will thoroughly analyze each asana and explain their proper alignment. They will also help you with hands-on adjustments.
3. Discover the logic of sequencing. Have you ever wondered why we do some asanas before others? At the yoga teacher training, you will learn about the art of sequencing. You will never look at your yoga class the same way again.
4. Honor your body. There’s a big difference between practicing yoga once a week in a relaxed way and practicing yoga a few hours a day, every day, for four weeks. The latter pushes your body to its limits.
Your body will get firmer, you’ll lose a few pounds, and you’ll develop a nice glow. Plus, with the anatomy classes, you’ll understand your body better. What else can you ask for? Invest in yourself.
5. Live the yoga philosophy. Studying the yoga sutras and the eight limbs of yoga will help you in life way beyond the sticky mat. Understanding the restraints and fluctuations of the mind will help you become a better self.
6. Build confidence. You’ll practice teaching an entire class many times. Teaching the group, even if only for training purposes, and demonstrating asanas at the same time is more challenging than it sounds, but it’s a great way to increase confidence in yourself.
7. Inspire yourself and others. Completing a yoga teacher training will inspire you to achieve more things in life. It will also inspire and benefit your friends and family.
8. Meet new friends. You will meet an incredible group of people. There is something magical in sharing this life-changing adventure with others.
9. Become a certified yoga teacher. I don’t want to sound snobbish, but I must admit that I find it pretty neat.
If you’d like to take a yoga teacher training, do it with a positive attitude. Don’t expect anything and accept everything—this is always a good philosophy to have in life. Take one day at a time and enjoy the journey. As the saying goes, “Enjoy this moment. This moment is your life!”
Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris, but now lives in New York. She is a graduate of Sorbonne University and the author of a children’s book, “Argy Boy! A New York Dog Tale.”