3 Things You Won’t Learn in Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga teacher training is a transformative experience. You will learn about the body, the asana, practice dialogue, and skim the surface of an ancient knowledge system that it takes a lifetime of study to even partially comprehend.

This post isn’t about any of those things.

This is about the little things that you have to live through (or read here) to know about. The true secrets of yoga teaching.

1) Poop Before Class

Is that too graphic for you? Well, too bad. I could not be more serious about this. As a yoga student, it’s embarrassing to disrupt class by dashing off your mat to use the bathroom but it’s doable in an emergency.

As a teacher, you can’t just leave your class in pigeon and run to the bathroom. People would notice. So, if you need to answer a call of nature 15 minutes into class, prepare to work your Mula Bandha and hold that shit. Or, take my advice, and use the bathroom right before class. Start a minute or two late if you have to, it’s better than the alternative.

Trust me.

2) You Will Misspeak, But Not In The Way You Fear

As a male yoga instructor, I have always been afraid that I will say something like, “take a deep breast in,” rather than “a deep breath in.”

It hasn’t happened.

I will occasionally get lefts and rights wrong, or accidentally skip something in a sequence, but these are the types of things teacher training will prepare you for.

The most embarrassing thing I’ve said in a class was, “nice legs.” I meant, “nice job keeping your legs engaged,” but I was so tired that it didn’t all come out.

You will misspeak. It’s just going to happen, but likely not in the way you dread most.

3) Your experience is not your student’s experience

You might feel like a class went badly. Your students were scowling the entire time, you felt sluggish, and had a hard time delivering dialogue. Yet, those scowls could be concentration faces and as long as you aren’t misspeaking too badly, feeling sluggish can often come off as “zen” to your students.

Don’t assume a class went badly because you weren’t “feeling it.” Your student’s experience will likely be very different from yours.

Be positive and ready to connect with your students, even after a class that you feel less than certain about.


What do you think yoga teacher friends? Are there any other “real world” yoga teaching lessons that you could add?

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