When we decide to take the right path in becoming a yoga teacher and willingly embark on a life-changing journey, we obviously wonder which kind of training to choose. Picking a teacher training is a very tough choice and it is important that you make the most of your experience. Whichever training you select, the best advice I can give you is to approach it with an open mind and heart. However I think that going on a residential teacher training will definitely benefit you more in your learning and practice.

A teacher training is a group experience and we all know that being part of a group is very motivating and helps us to reach our goals easier. One of the advantages of being on a residential training is that you have the support of the group on and off the mat. It’s encouraging to be part of a group, to be supported by other members who are following the same path. Fellow students will help you to go deeper into your practice, therefore encouragement, support and motivation will be the outcome. The group is much stronger when people live together and the energy is shared and multiplied. You will get to know fantastic people and strong links will be created between students and teachers. You will study hard, increase your self-awareness, submerge yourself in a yogic lifestyle and cultivate friendships and lasting ties with all those around you.

During such an intense experience it is very important to focus on the Self (your own serene, elevated, luminous force) and avoid all external issues that could affect your internal growth. You might have to spend a little bit more money on a residential training but it will clear your mind of all the issues of “what will I cook tonight?”, “Is my diet adapted to my practice?” “I need to wash my clothes”, “I’m exhausted but I have to walk home”. And believe me this will make your life uncomplicated and your training a much better experience. You don’t need to have anything else other than your teacher training in mind. You can focus 100% on it, without having to think about other things. This in turn enables you to fulfil the basic need of feeling secure, so it becomes easier to attain your objective of being a good student, which will then lead on to becoming an inspiring and informed Teacher.

You might not like the fact most residential trainings are offered on a double occupancy basis and that you will need to share your room with someone else. However it’s always good to get out of your comfort zone, experience new things (you’re there to experience after all!) and share some of your privacy with someone else. You might get to know a new best friend on your training. And if you still need your own space then ask for a single occupancy room, in most cases you have to pay a bit more but the option is there.

Remember that a yoga teacher training is an investment, you need to find a school that will enable you to get started in your career, remember too that like any other decent profession, you need the confidence and many more years of dedication to studying (svadhyaya), to truly blossom as a fine teacher.

The saying ‘you pay for what get’ is never truer here. If you go for the cheapest option, which might not enhance your possibility of a head start in this career, then that is your choice, be clear in your own objectives in life. If you have to borrow money for a better investment, then it is always money well spent. Whatever you choose, be confident that you will find the right training that resonates with you, a training that equips you to teach in your own unique way.
Copyright Sonja Appel, Sushumna Yoga TM

Author's Bio: 

Sonja Appel moved from London to India eight years ago, when she founded ‘Sushumna Yoga School and Studios’. She is a Director and Writer and also the lead teacher in yoga teacher training courses and yoga retreats.