by Allison Jeraci | January 26, 2019 5:40 pm
5 Skills Taught in Yoga Teacher Training Other Than Teaching
Most yoga students who pursue yoga teacher training often believe that they will learn how to teach yoga but don’t necessarily know that bountiful gift of additional professional skills they will reap from successfully completing a program. This also makes a great case for those students who adore the practice but aren’t keen on doing teacher training because they don’t want to teach yoga, to know that this training will positively impact their personal and professional life and teaching ends up being just a sliver of what the whole package has to offer.
1. Returning to your Studies
Participating in a training means that you will return to the studious life. This might mean pulling out the flash cards but it also means studying in a variety of ways which may change some students perspective of teaching and learning. It’s not just about book smarts. In teacher training students learn kinesthetically through self-adjustments, moving parts of the study buddy skeleton and with consent, working with mild adjustments to understand how other peoples’ bodies function.
2. Building Self-Confidence
Do you normally need to present your ideas regularly in front of a group of people? When you teach your first pose, a lot is revealed about how we connect through speech with others. We can feel exposed standing up there, even if it’s just in front of another individual. In teacher training, we can begin the process of overcoming our insecurities of speaking in front of others, making direct eye contact, enunciating and feeling comfortable in our own skin to communicate effectively with others. This builds tremendous self-confidence to represent yourself standing tall and expressing your thoughts and feelings clearly.
3. Multitasking Office skills
Teaching yoga isn’t just about putting together a nice class. There is a whole slew of office skills that are part of the yoga teacher training process. Teachers need good organizational skills to put together a well thought out and educative sequence. You might have already known that but what about time management, customer service and problem solving (perhaps all at once). Teachers learn not only to start and end their classes on time but also how much time to dedicate to each section of their sequence. While they have an eye on the clock, teachers then handle client concerns that are announced in the middle of class that the room is too hot or cold all the while trying to figure out how to prop or offer a variation to a student who is clearly distressed. I could have used these skills in my first job after graduating college. Where was yoga teacher training then?
4. The Art of Observation
Yoga teacher trainees are asked to observe a lot because it is an effective tool to understand the behind the scenes of teaching yoga. This is a long life process and the seeds are planted here. Students observe anxious tendencies like fidgeting and playing with props during relatively still moments of class (think of savasana). They read the energy of the room if everyone is fresh out of work and drained of energy or it’s the start of the day and ready to face the world. Being able to read students is applicable to every situation whether it’s with ourself and understanding why we feel the need to tap the ground our pens in a meeting or seeing someone holding back tears as they try to fight the urge while taking your coffee order. We become more effective human beings when we can peer into others and understand what they are going through in any given moment. The seed is planted in yoga teacher training.
5. Mastering Critical Thinking
From structuring your class to figuring out where to find a place to teach and retain students, your critical thinking skills strengthen infinitely. Teacher training teaches your how to analyze a situation, discern any problems, seek out more resources for answers, logically think about how to resolve the situation and make predictions about how this information will serve you in the future.
Teaching yoga is an art and it takes years of time, study and practice. The learning doesn’t stop after that initial 200-hour program. However, you will amass a plethora of professional and personal skills that will continue to strengthen as you apply them. These skills may not be what you first think of acquiring or developing when entering a yoga teacher training program but they are and will transform your perspective in your personal and professional life regardless of whether or not you decide to actually teach yoga.
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