The 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training course that I attended ran over the course of a year, one or two weekends per month.
The studio is about a one hour drive from my home in Northern Ireland. As a mum of three young kids, I didn’t have the option of flying off to an Ashram in India for a four week intensive study training.
This long term, less intensive option was perfect for me. And actually, I prefer to be able to take my time over things, and not rush. This option gave me plenty of time to digest and assimilate all of the information I was learning every month.
Before my course started, I began researching prepping for Yoga Teacher Training; I was hoping to find suggestions of what to bring, and maybe a list of tips and advice or a blog from someone who had completed their Yoga Teacher Training in their home country (as opposed to heading off somewhere foreign to study).
But I could only find this information for teacher training courses held in India, or somewhere else abroad (where what you need to bring and what you need to know is very different than if you are doing it in your home country).
Soooo…..I decided to create my own list….a journal of my Yoga Teacher Training journey and things I wish I knew before I started.
Here are my tips for prepping for teacher training and what to bring etc.
Before you start:
Attend as many different yoga classes as possible:
I went to lots of different yoga classes. I usually attend two or three classes a week in my local studio but I felt that I needed to experience a wider range of teaching styles and types of yoga. So I signed up for lots of workshops and classes in different studios.
My usual classes included vinyasa flow, ashtanga and a mixed ability class. I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended a kundalini class, a ‘luna’ yoga class, an aerial yoga course, a workshop called ‘deyogatox’ which involved lots of detoxifying twists and inversions (it was a STRONG yoga practice!), ‘yoga in the barn’, a restorative yoga class, I went to beginners classes, an intermediate class and advanced class (wow!). I also joined a meditation circle, being in a group actually really helped me develop my own meditation practice.
You definitely don’t need to try out all these, but you get the idea, go to as many different styles of yoga classes and workshops that you can. It really helps you decide what you like (and also what you don’t like) and see how different teachers deliver their class.
If something in particular stands out, good or bad, make a note of it to remind you for future classes. I went to a yoga class in a gym once, and it had some type of martial arts class on at the same time in the next room….very noisy, not great ambiance for Savasana….so I made a note to ensure if I was ever hiring a room I would find out what other classes are being held in the building at the same time.
Find the right yoga teacher training course for you:
Research the training courses in your area, or within a distance that you are able to or prepared to travel to.
Find out the cost, what days is it held on, do the dates and times suit you? What style of yoga do they teach? Ask lots of questions.
Oh and make sure the course is registered with Yoga Alliance (an association that ensures approved yoga standards); training with somewhere that is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School means you can become a ‘Registered Yoga Teacher’ (RYT), the bare minimum standard that is required to be able to teach at most studios.
Once you’ve decided which yoga school you would like to apply to, find out what their entry requirements are; most teaching schools require that you have at least two years of yoga practice.
Take the plunge and sign up:
Once you’ve signed up and been accepted, prepare yourself for yoga to take over your life! Eat, sleep, yoga, repeat.
Even though you aren’t immersing yourself in yoga study as you would if you were doing a one month intensive course in Costa Rica, it will still take over your life. In a good way! You will be thinking about your assignments during the day, carrying out teaching practice in the evening before going to bed with your latest recommended reading material (no, no more Marian Keyes for a while!).
Do a trial run of the journey:
Go and see the studio before you start the course. If you can, attend a few of the classes and meet the teachers. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do this but one Sunday afternoon, a few weeks before I started the course, I did a trial run of my journey to the studio; I got the train up to the town where my course was being held and I timed the walk from the train station to the studio so I’d know exactly how long it would take me to get there; I definitely didn’t want to arrive late on my first day. Luckily, the course tutor was available when I arrived so I was able to see around the studio and have a good chat about the course.
Back to school…..shopping list:
What do you need to bring? Ask before you start your course, your tutor may have a list of things you need, but you will likely be told you just need a pen and paper and probably a packed lunch.
Check if you will need your own yoga mat and any other equipment; most studios will have mats and blankets etc but it is nice to have your own stuff.
As an aspiring yoga teacher, it is best to have your own mat anyway. I have a few mats, it is good to try out the different materials so you can chat about them if your future students should ask your opinion. One of my favourite mats is the Yogi Bare one, check out my post ‘best yoga mat‘, I recommend this yoga mat to both beginners and advancing yogis.
A bag to keep everything in is essential. You could just use a back pack for your lunch, drink, notes, pens etc and carry your yoga mat under your arm, but I liked having a big bag to keep everything together.
I’ve had a couple of yoga bags over the last few years but I found them difficult to fit my yoga mat in easily (my mat is slightly wider than a standard mat). Plus they wore out quickly. Then I discovered the Yogabelllies Yogisac….oh my goodness, it is amazing!
Sturdy, lots of space, lots of pockets and very easy to carry. It was a great bag just for yoga classes but it is amazing for yoga teacher training….I can fit my yoga mat, my lunch bag (its massive….I took a LOT of food), flask of tea, bottle of water plus my teacher training folder, books, stationery, and more. The pockets are great for your storing your mobile, purse etc.
They are designed to: ‘offer an easy storage solution, this travel yoga bag can accommodate 4 full blocks, 1 mat, 2 bricks, 1 blanket, and 1 belt’.
They should easily hold all your teacher training equipment.
Food / drink:
You will get hungry during yoga teacher training! Very hungry. I packed a lunch bag with plenty of snacks and a filling lunch. Good snacks include nuts and seeds, fruit, breakfast bars, biscuits, and maybe leftover stir-fry or soup for lunch.
Bring plenty of water. I brought one of my BeWater crystal water bottles, the gemstones in them provide my water with much needed crystal healing energy.
Check them out on Amazon
Oh and a flask of tea (saves you waiting on the queue for the kettle).
Also, ask in advance what facilities the venue has in regards to a microwave, fridge etc.
An insulated lunch bag to keep all your food in is really handy. I packed all my food into my lunch bag the night before and stored it in my fridge, then just lifted it out in the morning and popped an ice pack into it.
There are so many fab lunch bags to choose from these days. Look for one with pockets; great for keeping your cutlery clean and handy to store tissues etc.
Below is the lunch bag I used, check it out here on Amazon
Technically, all you need is a pen some paper. But I like to be organised, so I purchased some nice new stationery.
Pencil case: a new pencil case, with lots of nice new pens (including green and red biros for underlining etc), highlighters, felt tips and a few pencils.
Paper: I got post-it-notes, lots of file paper and I treated myself to a super special, luxury notebook….you’re gona use it a lot so why not get a really nice one (make sure its A4 size, as a smaller one would run out quickly!).
Yoga Journal: You don’t have to have one of these of course, but it is lovely to journal your yoga teaching journey. I have had quite a few yoga journals in the past couple of years so I will do a separate post on these sometime soon. For now, I will share the one I am currently using which is ‘The Yoga Life Journal’ by Yogabellies.
Crytstals for yoga teacher training:
You can choose any crystal you like or feel drawn to. Crystals that are good for helping you to focus are good (try Fluorite or Malachite), or something that has a calming energy (Amethyst or Rose Quartz).
If you need courage to help you get up and teach in front of your classmates, go for Tigers Eye or Hemetite.
If you need inspiration and energy to get flowing in your asana class, try Carnelian. There is a crystal for everything.
If your new to crystals and want to know more, pop over to my crystals section on this website. Click here to check out my quick guide to properties and meanings of some of the most popular crystals. Or check out my post Gem Remedies for lots of ways to work with healing crystals when you need them the most.
Other things you might want to pack in your bag: A stick of deodorant, hair bobbles, lady products, yoga books, yoga towel/hand towel, tissues, spare change for a drink/snack machine, medication, painkillers, plasters, and maybe an eye mask for Savasana. Food, I know I mentioned food earlier, but bring more than you think you will need.
And that should be you covered. Good luck for your exciting new adventure.
Disclaimer: None of the information shared should be used as a replacement for seeking medical attention. Always seek advice from an expert.
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