Can you tell us a bit about the scheduling of teacher training, and how people manage to fit it into their lives?
200 hours is a lot to fit into anyones schedule, especially in one solid block, so I opted to do the September entry teacher training with Pure Yoga that takes place over a fixed number of weekends through to February. The times were scheduled for generally every other weekend, so it was manageable, and also at a time of year that not too much was happening. As a stay-at-home mom it was a matter of sweet talking my husband into some single dad time! Pure Yoga also offer retreat-style teacher training in Costa Rica each year where you can do most the hours in one solid chunk while you’re there. It’s a great way of condensing the hours and getting a holiday in there too, but if you can’t get the time off work (or you’re a mom!) the weekend training is probably your best bet!
How many people normally attend teacher training, and is it a mix of people from all walks of life or are they mostly pretty hardcore yogis?
In our group there were about 30, and such a huge mix of people. We had a mix of ages from an 18-year old high school graduate to some in their 50’s and every age in between. There were people that worked in related fields like fitness and counselling, moms, a surgical resident, a software engineer, an actor and day-care provider – you get the gist! No-one really cared about other people’s ‘abilities’ or experience with yoga and this was also varied. You definitely don’t have to be hardcore yogi to do teacher training.
Does everyone teach at the end of their teacher training, and what sort of jobs do graduates go on to have if they do teach?
The funny thing about teacher training is that not only are you learning to teach yoga to other people (if that’s what you want to do), but you’re also learning an enormous amount for yourself. Far more than you’d ever learn by just attending class each week. I think some people realised that this was a life learning experience and were quite happy to just delve further into the fascinating field of yoga that they loved, and some people set out to have career or lifestyle change by taking the course. We were really supported by Pure Yoga both during and after the course in terms of a realistic idea of how teaching works logistically and help finding jobs or volunteer opportunities to further our experience and confidence. Many people from the group have secured part-time teaching roles alongside their regular jobs and careers. Approaching 6 months out from graduation and I don’t know if anyone is teaching full-time at this stage, mostly building on what they’ve learnt and maybe they’ll take the full leap at some point. (Amber recently wrote a really great blog about the reality of becoming a yoga teacher and how it’s not an overnight thing – read here: https://www.pureyogaottawa.com/journals/so-you-wanna-teach-yoga)
Aside from a career in teaching, what would you say are the main benefits to doing yoga teacher training?
It may sound a bit hippyish but I can’t imagine a better way to re-connect with yourself. One of the key things you learn through yoga teacher training, is to be true to yourself. The teacher training forces you to ask yourself some big life questions and connect with emotions that you’ve perhaps been able to bury deep inside, it’s a form of self counselling! Maybe some come to teacher training looking for a new direction in their lives, and it certainly helps them find it if this is the case. Many people in our group made some pretty big life decisions while doing their training, whether it’s the group support (the camaraderie is real!), the space and permission for self-reflection, or just the empowerment that you can step out of your comfort zone and find new possibilities, the teacher training may well give you the answers you’ve been looking for. For me, the opportunity to do so much asana practice was also really amazing for my body and allowed me to get my strength back after childbirth and breastfeeding!
Who would you recommend to take teacher training and why with Pure Yoga?
Honestly anyone who has an interest in yoga and wants to expand their knowledge. Anyone who is looking for a change or a positive influence in their lives, or maybe a way to connect with like-minded people in their community. The teaching opportunities are enormous, not just as a full time career, but as a compliment to your current career, and if you find a way to integrate yoga into your current life (teaching in your workspace for example) it offers you a way to stay on track physically and mentally, it’s a tool for life! Doing the teacher training with Pure was so great, the teachers were really helpful and we learnt so much about a wide range of subjects, and got so much support. Most of all it was just a really fun experience! If you’re thinking of doing yoga teacher training – do it. It may just change your life!
This year Pure Yoga is running a scholarship scheme for yoga teacher training as a way of paying it forward, find details here: https://www.pureyogaottawa.com/evolve/330/pure-yoga-200hr-teacher-training-2019
If you’re interested in teacher training, here are details of our upcoming opportunities: https://www.pureyogaottawa.com/evolve/333/the-pure-project:-scholarship-program-for-ytt-2019-2020