Why should I take an advanced teacher training?
High Energy Fusion Yoga started its 300 hour training program this month in Costa Rica. I have spent the last four years running and authoring teacher trainings for brand new teachers and I was curious and a bit anxious about what I would see from my trainees in an intensive module with more complex concepts. As with every training I have ever facilitated, I learned just as much as my students. While I was thrilled to see so much growth in my instructors from their 200 hour to now, I also become more keenly aware of the reasons we should all continue to invest in ourselves as yogis and yoga teachers. My mind likes to break thinks down into manageable chunks so here are the three reasons I think every yogi should invest in advanced training.
- You need the review. Your two hundred hour training was a fantastic peek into the world of teaching yoga. In that training you realized that you have a voice. With that voice you could help your students learn the very things that you love about yoga. It was a terrifying, exhausting, gratifying, and transformative experience. No matter what you think about the quality of your first training, you are never the same after. That being said, it is human nature to forget. Once you are out in the teaching world, you no longer have access to people who are evaluating you and correcting you when you need it. You are apt to develop habits, and not all of them good ones. You settle into a rhythm and become comfortable. Comfort breeds inertia, and it begins to show up in your teaching style. The first few sessions of advanced training are like a bucket of cold water poured over your head. They shock you back into action. They make you aware of things you might have let slide, including your personal practice. Within a few sessions of advanced training your ideas begin to flow. You begin to think and move once again towards becoming the best version of your self. I cannot stress this enough, review is essential.
- You need a reminder of just how much you don’t know. Whenever I sit down to write a new manual, I need to do months of research to pull relevant concepts from credible resources. It is always a humbling realization that there is so much about yoga that I constantly need to review (see bullet one) and learn. Now that you have a baseline knowledge of whatever yoga style you chose to study in your 200 hour program, it is time to recognize that you don't know all that much. What would you like to learn more about? Where do you see deficits in your knowledge base? Philosophy, gentle yoga, Yin yoga, aromatherapy, business courses (so important), and sequencing modules are all topics that get extra attention and analysis in the HEFY 300 hour training. Many trainings now offer an advanced certification in this type of modular design. It allows students to apply their new knowledge and bring it to their own students. The best part about knowledge is applying it! There is no major rush to complete an advanced training. The point of spending time to learn a new topic is to make yourself a well rounded teacher with your own UNIQUE voice. Learning a bit and then teaching a bit is a solid way to integrate your advanced training into your life. If you have already completed a 300 hour training, you should still invest in advanced training modules to fill in gaps in your technique and keep up with current topics and trends in the yoga world.
- You need to spend time with like minded individuals and expand your professional network. It can be difficult to be a yogi living in a modern world where no one understands the work you are trying to do. Yoga people get it though, and there are a ton of them in trainings all over the world looking to connect and share ideas. It is refreshing to have other yogis around you so that you may bounce ideas around or debate the latest way to cue a chatturanga. As for expanding your professional network, remember that the people in advanced training with you are also (by and large) yoga teachers! Some of them are studio owners and entrepreneurs in the fitness industry. You cannot expand your business by yourself in a bubble. The saying “its not what you know, its who you know” is 100% true. Some teachers think that just because they are “good” that people will bang down their doors. You must be the one to bang on doors for yourself. Making connections will mean that one or two doors will open because the face behind it is a familiar one. I have made connections to teachers all over the world through my studies. Those connections have led to others, and on and on it goes. From offering you a place to stay, to putting you in contact with people who will give you work, networking opportunities alone are worth the effort to enroll yourself in a an advanced training.
Education is never wasted. It may not translate into a dollar for dollar exchange right away, but over the long term it expresses its value many times over.