Preparing for yoga training is just as important as attending the training itself. As with any course, preparation helps a class dive deeper into learning, and promotes participation. And the more you learn, absorb and practice, the better teacher you’ll be!
If you are reading this yoga teacher training preparation guide, you’re likely signed up for a yoga training program and excited to maximize the opportunity. If you are attending our own annual kids yoga training certification, we look forward to meeting you! Though our particular training is 30 hours, these tips can be applied to any yoga teacher training course, with any length of time.
In order to best prepare for yoga teacher training, you should:
1. Familiarize yourself with beginner yoga poses.
Though you do not need to be an experienced yogi to take a yoga teacher training, it would be beneficial to familiarize yourself with poses like Mountain Pose, Downward Dog, Warrior, and Plank — or at least feel comfortable doing them — before your training. Most classes will warm up with a sun salutation, and many poses add on to the sequence.
How to prepare: Since Yo Re Mi yoga teacher certification is for children’s yoga teacher training, our kid-friendly Sun Dance is a musical staple that covers the aforementioned poses.
2. Create and maintain a consistent daily practice (Sadhana).
Yoga teacher training will be most effective to trainees who begin doing the work before training has even begun. While it can vary in terms of length and activities, your daily practice should include some mindful movement (asana or somatics) as well as breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation.
If you are an educator, you may be interested to also learn more about how a consistent mindfulness practice can help cultivate classroom success.
3. Complete course prep work and familiarize yourself with course materials.
In the Yo Re Mi kids yoga teacher training, there is about 4 hours of pre-work required to complete 30 hours of training — the other 26 hours covers in-person training. While your yoga teacher training hours may vary, a good training will include pre-training prep work or homework. This coursework is often a requirement and essential to your training success.
How to prepare: Before your training, be sure to check your email (and spam folder) to look out for any next steps or instructions from your training administrators. If you do not receive any prep work, be sure to inquire directly to ensure you haven’t missed an important notification.
4. Form a support team outside of yoga teacher training.
Though many yoga teacher training graduates rave about the connections and support they gain from within their training, it is important to seek support before the training too.
Let people know what you are about to do. Ask family, friends and coworkers to hold space for your process. Yoga training involves personal transformation. You might need a lifeline at some point: someone who can remind you of your why, your big vision and encourage you to keep going!
Read more about what one kids yoga teacher training graduate thought of the program.
5. Make time for self-reflection and journaling.
Consider why you are embarking on the training and what you hope to receive. Set an intention for the overall training and for yourself.
How would you like to feel at the end of this process?
What skills do you hope to gain?
How can you bring your best self into this course?
Practicing self-reflection (and journaling those thoughts) will not only prepare you for teacher training, but also help employ tools for deeper practice in the future (like gratitude journaling, which helps with teacher burnout).
6. Eliminate distractions.
Take as many work and personal obligations off your plate as possible. Ask your support team for help in handling anything that comes up while you are in your training. Have a system in place for who (not you) is in charge of different roles while you immerse in your learning.
If your personality often seeks control, asking for and accepting help does not always come naturally — allow this to be part of the process.
7. Eat, drink, sleep!
As much as possible, try to eat healthy whole foods and drink lots of water in the weeks before and during your training. Bow out of late-night social obligations (remember, your support team knows why and should be okay with you taking a few weekends off) and go to bed early!
Sleep is when we give our body and mind the opportunity to integrate, heal and repair. If you set up a healthy sleep schedule in the days or weeks before your training, you will be well rested and ready for optimal learning.
8. Pack the right supplies.
Don’t wait until the morning of your training to grab your supplies. Take the week to locate and gather the following items, and designate a “training” bag that’ll fit your coursework and necessities:
A healthy lunch
Water and a refillable bottle
Yoga Mat (if you have one)
Instruments (optional) - Yo Re Mi teachers use ukuleles and we highly recommend it for anyone using music in their classes! If you plan to use a ukulele, guitar, drum or other instrument in your classes, bring it too!
9. Identify your learning style to set yourself up for success.
Some students find they focus better when they highlight, draw, or use a fidget during lectures and discussions. Others may find they get lost trying to notate every last word and miss the greater message.
Knowing your learning style can help you make the most of intensive trainings like a yoga teacher certification, and set you up for success.
How to prepare: If it is helpful, ask your teacher ahead of time if you can record the sessions. Sometimes it is easier to stay present in the experience when you are not trying to capture everything in notes.
Last, but not least: Be excited. Be proud.
You are embarking on a new adventure — whether a continuation of your yoga journey or a brand new experience, you will emerge from this training with new knowledge, community, and tools to weave yoga and mindfulness into your life and the lives of others! Thank yourself for your commitment to learning.
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