5 Ways To Continue Learning After Your Yoga Teacher Training
Whether you’ve just completed a 4-week intensive TTC or finally finished a part-time TTC, your brain will undoubtedly feel full to the brim with newly obtained knowledge. From the Yamas and Niyamas to alignment cues to sequencing techniques, you’ve learned an incredible amount in your first 200-hour yoga teacher training.
However, as you come to the end of your training, you also realize that there is so much more to learn. Yoga teacher training opens you up to the vast yoga world, and a 200-hour course is only the beginning. Now the world is your oyster, and you can choose to explore the sutras, learn the anatomy of the body, or practice perfecting your cues. Either way, it’s certainly not time to stop learning.
So how can you keep up your studies once you are out of that YTTC bubble? Here are five ways you can incorporate further learning into your day-to-day life.
Read, read, read
I’m sure your teachers shared many fantastic book recommendations with you for continued study. So, instead of forgetting about that list, be proactive and start working your way through it. First, check your local library to see which ones you can borrow for free, then source the rest. Set yourself a goal to read one book a month. Plus, take notes, highlight sections, or whatever you need to do to help you absorb the information.
If you’re not sure where to get started, here are a few of my favorites:
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Most 200-hour TTCS don’t have the time to dive into the sutras, but this is an essential text that every yoga teacher should study. The Sutras are the backbone of yoga philosophy, explaining how we can find that union of the body, mind, and soul.
Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff - If anatomy is not your strong point like me, this is the book for you. It gives a clear understanding of what happens in our bodies in each yoga pose through color illustrations showing the specific muscles we stretch and strengthen.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - This is one of the best books for continuing your spiritual journey. Eckhart Tolle explains how our ego works, how we can become more self-aware, and how we can find presence in our everyday life.
You’ll be surprised how much new knowledge you will learn and how much you will have already forgotten.
Listen to podcasts
If in 2020 there was an app for everything, in 2021, there is a podcast for everything. Nowadays, you’ll find many brilliant yoga-related podcasts that will help you continue learning after your TTC.
I recommend checking out “The Connected Yoga Teacher” by Shannon Crow. This podcast offers information and advice on a wide range of yoga teaching topics. However, it has a particular focus on the business of yoga. Therefore, there are many fab episodes to help you get started in your teaching career. You’ll learn how to find yogis, increase your class size, and teach inclusive classes.
Another podcast that I have found super helpful over the years is “The Yoga Teacher Resource” by Mado Hesslink. Mado shares some excellent advice on teaching skills, philosophy, yoga ethics, and creating a yoga business.
If you are interested in more podcasts, maybe take a look at our other blog about podcasts.
Of course, one of the best ways to learn anything is by putting it into practice. Even if it’s just teaching to friends and family, the sooner you start instructing, the better. Yes, I know you may not feel 100% confident to teach yet, but that’s ok; no one does straight after a 200-hour course.
Even so, the longer you put it off by telling yourself you are not ready, the more likely your nerves will get the better of you, and you will never start. When you finish your TTC, you feel positive, energized, and full of life. Therefore, this is the best time to push yourself a little further out of your comfort zone and start teaching the people in your circle.
Teaching will help you grow as a teacher in many ways. You will become more comfortable and confident in sharing your knowledge and start to find your unique style. Plus, you’ll receive valuable feedback from your yogis.
Another way to learn and improve is to record your classes then listen back to them. This is a powerful way to see what you need to work on. Are you stuttering often? Are your instructions clear? Are you using too many filler words? I did this for the first month after completing my TTC, and it allowed me to improve my teaching quickly.
Attend lots of yoga classes (by different teachers)
As well as practicing your teaching, it’s just as vital to keep your own practice up. Now you’re a yoga teacher and know the ins and outs of putting a class together; you’ll have a whole new experience going to yoga classes. So, try out a bunch of different teachers and classes.
Watch how the teacher sequences the class, listen to the way they give cues and see how they create a safe and welcoming space. This will provide you with many takeaways, and you’ll pick up some great cues and sequencing ideas. What’s more, you may also learn how not to teach a class!
Review your TTC notes and manual
Remember all those notes you took during your TTC? You didn’t make your arm ache by writing down every word of wisdom just for your notebook to gather dust on your shelf. Our brains can only absorb so much information during any yoga teacher training, especially an intensive one. That’s why it’s so important to review your notes a few weeks after you’ve finished your course. You’ll be surprised how much new knowledge you will learn and how much you will have already forgotten.
While it’s necessary to give your frazzled brain a rest initially after your teacher training, be sure to keep studying, learning, and growing. Now you have a strong foundation of knowledge; you can use the tools above to build on that and become an incredible yoga teacher!