Good day everyone! I hope this WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY blog post finds you well. I have had a pressing urge to tell a small story about how I became a yogi, why I became a registered yoga teacher, and how you can do it too!
For starters, I had no idea what I was in for when I first stepped foot in a yoga studio around my early 20’s. I had been an elite gymnast and runner my entire life, and figured I would give it a try, just for fun, no commitments, just something new.
After experimenting with different types, I ended up practicing yoga for about 10 years before I finally took the plunge to stop being a yoga student alone, and become a registered yoga teacher (RYT)! I had no idea where to start or what I was doing. The only thing I knew about becoming a teacher, was teacher trainings offered in the current studio I had practiced (WAY overpriced). So, I searched and searched until I found what I needed. I hope this blog post helps you decide if becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher is right for you, and also takes out a lot of the work and questions on how to get there.
Before I get started, I want to inform you (because many don’t know this….I didn’t!), there are MANY yoga teachers that are not even registered yoga teachers. They are practitioners and you’ll see the difference through this post. That is extremely scary to say the very least, knowing that a lot of gyms hire personal trainers or even just yogis to teach yoga, and this is a big no-no. There are so many different types of yoga, so many modifications, and yoga teachers require a lot of experience and training in order to prevent injury. The poses may seem minimal at first sight (especially beginner yoga), but everyone is different anatomically. An experienced certified trainer is able to offer modifications and really stay hands-on with their students. Even the best yoga teachers can make one small move and injure THEMSELVES! (One of my former teachers injured his groin for an entire year!) That is why becoming a registered yoga teacher, or taking classes only from a registered yoga teacher (RYT) with the proper credentials and experience is so important. I cannot stress that enough. Even more, yoga is not just a physical practice. Yoga is mind – body – soul. It may seem like an exercise of the body, but it is so much more. You reap benefits of the mind while practicing through the body. We have so many channels and sources of the subconscious, while we are doing everyday tasks. Yoga truly hones in on our subconscious, conscious, channels, vessels, and we really aren’t even aware. (Usually we just note that we “feel good,” and I always attributed that simply to endorphins.) You can let go of stress, ailments, dis-ease, clutter of the mind, and reach a new level of consciousness, selflessness, awareness, soulfulness (the list goes on) through the art of yoga.
One of the first things I want to press is that the Yoga Alliance is the GO TO. Please don’t be sucked in to getting certified if it’s not through a Yoga Alliance school. The protocols they adhere to are strict, in a good way – no one should be helf-certified through other means. I would never direct someone to take any type of training that is not with a designated, certified Yoga Alliance School. You can go to https://www.yogaalliance.org to search for schools, but I have a lot of experience and this post will lead you to the absolute best school out there! If you are ready and your schedule permits, start as soon as you can! You will not regret it.
It takes a lot of time, dedication, energy, passion, and effort to become a registered yoga teacher. Below I will outline the different main designations, as you have to start at step 1 and work your way up (if you want to, or you can stay there. The choice is all yours). The possibilities are endless.
RYT 200 – Registered Yoga Teacher 200 Hour – this is your starting point!
RYT 300 – Registered Yoga Teacher 300 Hour – I recommend this next, to go to:
RYT 500 – Registered Yoga Teacher 500 Hour
(I will add there are other designations, for example YACEP, and other certifications (such as prenatal yoga). I totally recommend, but for starters I outline the 3 above as my personal go-to.
Now, I will add in a side note, you can choose to be an E-RYT 200 instead of jumping to 300 and 500 hour. However, for my experience, the above is what I recommend. After you’ve completed those, you will then add up hours to becoming an E-RYT 500. The sky is the limit! YOU choose where you want to be!
What’s wonderful is that you will not just learn anatomy & physiology (like physical trainers), but also mindfulness, grounding, coping mechanisms, restoration, and so much more. If you’re choosing to be a student and not ready to take the plunge, just know that there are so many different types of yoga. If you don’t like your first class, that’s OKAY! Try another. I can say without a doubt that there is a yogic practice for everyone.
Now, let’s back up. I try to connect with my bloggers on a personal level. So, while I do give facts and recommendations, I also connect with you and allow you into my life, as I know someone will connect. I also want my personal experience to help you through whatever journey you choose. I always pray before I post anything, that someone who needs this will be led here.
So – when I decided to take that leap from student to teacher (I had been wanting to for YEARS), I was going through an arduous divorce (as a new mom – arduous is putting it lightly). I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was in a constant state of fight or flight. My mental health and my energy, my prana, my frequency was at an all time low (higher frequency = better health). I cannot explain to you how bad it was, and I can honestly say I didn’t even know how bad it was until I’ve looked back in retrospect.
I loved the practice of yoga, and how I felt energized after classes. I’d go in drained, and leave renewed. I felt SO HAPPY, even when I was SO LOW just an hour prior. I didn’t know until I took YTT (Yoga Teacher Training), why I felt the mental clarity and complete change in my mindset. It was a complete 180. All of the years I had been practicing, I thought I was simply working out. Not the case! As a yoga teacher, we learn not just anatomical safety, teaching, but we also learn the background of yoga. We learn the origins. We learn yin and yang. We learn duality, polarity, mindfulness, grounding. We learn why these poses affect us mentally and physically and how they connect to certain organs and systems of the body. We learn breathing exercises (try looking up alternate nostril breathing for brain hemispheres!), and how to connect the breath and the body. We understand fight or flight, anxiety, stress, root chakras, and so much more. This helps us as teachers to send that to our students, aid them in achieving their highest potential and awareness, and we learn the art of letting go. The timing of taking the training during my divorce, at my absolute lowest point ever, was a complete miracle. I honestly don’t know where I’d be if yoga was not integrated so deeply during that time.
I’ll add once more – I was able to handle things that I couldn’t handle before. (As you know, I am a single mom). So not only was I able to handle this tremendous anxiety, depression, fear…I was able to become a better mother. A better parent since I was playing both roles. I started noticing the way I spoke (not even just to my daughter, but to everyone), the way I was parenting, the way I handled myself, the way I carried myself…everything had shifted. I was always a kind and patient parent, but it was so difficult being a single mom (my daughter having an absent father almost her entire life). I had always made sure not to let that show to her, but prior to YTT, I would have intense meltdowns after she went to bed. Then, suddenly everything shifted. It became less and less tough and more and more fulfilling than it even was before. The way I handled the stress was different. No more meltdowns and panic attacks. (If they arose, I knew exactly what to do). I even noticed that I was talking to her in the same way I’d talk to a class (or teachers talked to me), and my energy plus my frequency was extending to her. I was extending the light and extending the love even more than I knew possible.
[Since this is also a parenting blog, side note to parents: Our children are so resilient, and they feed off of what is around them. When there is chaos in you, they will be in chaos in them. When there is tranquility, they will be in tranquility. So, again, the timing couldn’t have been better. The training served my daughter, just as it did me. (My daughter was 2 years of age).]
So, now that I’ve revealed my personal experience, perhaps you have more of an idea of what you may want to do! If you feel teacher training is good for you – I have great resources to share.
Disclaimer: this is not an ad. My blog is 100% not for profit. My blog contains nothing but my own experiences and thoughts.
There are many schools that you can find, but you definitely need to make sure that they are a registered yoga school (RYS) through the Yoga Alliance (you can do an easy, super user-friendly search to verify at www.yogaalliance.org). However, as I’ve said above, I have a lot of experience with different schools and teachings. For the purpose of this blog, I’d like to give you a straightforward path to get you where you need to be, if it is your desire (I’m cutting out a lot of work for you that I had done on my own for a long time!)
The best school that I have ever encountered is My Vinyasa Practice (www.myvinyasapractice.com) – https://www.myvinyasapractice.com/online-yoga-teacher-training/ . They are a registered yoga school (RYS) that offers an array of trainings, workshops, personal FAST support (and even phone lines for assistance), in person and ZOOM classes, recording libraries, book clubs, peer reviews, live peer review practice teachings, insurance, help for business growth and development, podcasts, and so much more (every week they are collaborating something new; this is the most IN DEPTH studio ever!), and you can still sign up online through 2021 – so no need to worry about location! They are fully accredited through the Yoga Alliance and AFFORDABLE. So to cut out all of the searching, if you are ready to take that plunge, I highly recommend heading straight there, they are a one stop shop for literally everything. See what they have to offer, as they have more offerings than any other school I’ve ever come across (and I’m talking YEARS of research and personal experience). Even if you’re already an RYT, but ready for other designations or just want to learn more or take a retreat, I highly suggest to check them out. (Again, this is not paid, not an advertisement, it’s simply me helping my readers with what I wish I would have read years ago!) It has been my delight and such an honor to have come across them. Also, you can search their Youtube for classes too! You can take it with you wherever you go with their live-stream as well!
Honestly, I could write forever, as this is such a passion and has changed my life tremendously, given me so much gratitude, but I’ll let you all soak in this WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY post! As always, the choice is yours, but now you have my personal, unbiased feedback on training, teaching, schooling, and more. I hope this has helped guide you, wherever you are at. I’ve listed the links below for reference in one place as well. May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be whole.
Until next time my friends, NAMASTE