In advance of the Yoga Teacher Training coming up in a few weeks, we spoke to some of the instructors about their own teacher training experience and how it impacted their lives both personally and professionally.
While yoga teacher training requires a certain financial and time investment, the consensus from the instructors is that the rewards have been well worth it. Here’s why.
Steven Thorsen explains that he gained a deeper understanding of who he is.
“While all the expectations of learning about postures, sequencing, and philosophy as they pertain to teaching are accurate, the greatest learning is truly about yourself,” he says. “The practice of yoga is one of self-discovery, and while we are continually developing over our lifetime, YTT is an opportunity to dive deep with a close knit group in order to unpack your life experiences and rediscover your passion and purpose.”
The most obvious reason people have for signing up for a yoga teacher training is to eventually teach. But that wasn’t Hannah Heimer’s intention. She hadn’t even intended on participating in this type of formal yoga training until the owner of a studio where she took classes offered it to her at a discount. So, she thought, “Why not?” and went into it hoping to gain a deeper understanding of her own practice. She got more than she bargained for—in a good way.
She explains, “It’s led me to travel and teach in incredible settings, like beaches in Indonesia, on Joshua Tree camping trips with UCSD, and of course, with Mesa Rim! The 200-hour training is both an outward and an inward journey that can help you understand your body and mind just a little bit better, while also giving you the tools to share those understandings.”
Personal and Physical Transformation
When Mindy Tran first considered yoga teacher training, she’d only practiced yoga for about 2 years. She didn’t have many expectations for the course; she simply hoped “to devote more time and energy to being on my mat.”
Like Hannah, she got plenty more out of the program than a better understanding of breath and postures. What she learned continues to permeate and benefit just about every aspect of her life.
“My practice now is not just limited to my mat and the physical postures; I find myself using mindfulness and actively tuning in when I engage with others,” she says. “I practice being in the present moment when I sit in class at school. I use my ‘yoga breath’ when I climb rocks or lift heavy things.”
Mindy has also found that her practice has evolved since completing the training.
“My journey started out with some pretty physical vinyasa and power yoga practice, and now I’ve narrowed my scope to restorative yoga, mindfulness and trauma-informed yoga,” she says. “I am so grateful to have trusted that process and to be where I am today. I also look forward to where my practice will take me next—hopefully somewhere with lots of nature, and near some good climbing crags.”
Why You Need YTT
Hannah believes that yoga teacher training is a valuable endeavor for anyone who loves yoga and wants to know more about it. And as all of the instructors here have suggested, there are plenty of benefits to be derived from the in-depth training.
“The 200-hour training is both an outward and an inward journey, helping to understand our bodies and minds just a little bit better, while also providing the tools to share those understandings,” she shares. “The 200-hour provides you with the time for self-reflection, self-care, and introspection that we often have to push way for the daily grind. Even if you don’t want to teach, it’s a worthwhile thing to do for yourself.”
Steven echoes Hanna’s statements and adds, “By exploring your body, breath, thoughts, and emotions, you find opportunities for healing, happiness, and connection that have been hiding in plain sight.”
Interested in learning more? This Sunday, August 11, we’re hosting a free yoga class and Yoga Teacher Training info session so you can find out if the course is right for you. Register here.
Are you ready to take the next step in your yoga practice? Register for the Mesa Rim Yoga Teacher Training here.