Today we are blowing the lid off what is a very common trend in the yoga industry – the trend of people who already certified yoga teachers searching for another teacher training to do. I’ve seen this come up and I’ve been asking them, “But why? Why do you feel like you need to do another one? Why do you feel like you need to get another certificate? What is that going to do for you?”
Interestingly, I think there are a few different challenges that we have to flesh out. The first is that some teachers keep searching for certificates to fill a feeling of not being good enough, not being smart enough, not being knowledgeable enough, etc. Right now, I’m going to say, “When is it enough? When are you going to be enough?” If you’re searching for certificates now, you’ll probably going to still be searching for certificates in 20 years.
Do some homework around what is enough for you to feel like you are enough, because if you don’t have enough knowledge to share now, when are you going to be ready? The world needs your gift – don’t hesitate, don’t feel like you need to have more certificates to show off before you’re ready. Just go out there and start teaching, and share your gifts.
Another reason I think it’s a common trend among teachers looking for another certificate is that they don’t feel confident in their own practice or themselves. I’m going to give you the spoiler alert now…just practice more! One of the benefits for me, being an Ashtanga yoga practitioner, is that I’ve always had a teacher. I know what my prescription is, I know what my practice is, there’s no question as to what I need to do, or where my work is. It’s up to me to show up and do that work every day. There’s no wondering which way is the right way.
That doesn’t me you have to be in Ashtanga, or that you have to take that path, but you need to have a teacher to mentor you. You need to get on your mat every day knowing that you are practicing things, which are not just fun and easy for you, but stir up emotions, and stir up fear, and stir up challenges. One of the topics I often rant about in the way yoga is taught in the West is that many teachers use the phrase, “Come play” when talking about their classes, “Come play, come to my class and play”. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be parts of your practice that are enjoyable, but if you’re not scratching the surface of facing fear or emotions in your practice, then you’re missing the point. These are crucial lessons from the yoga path, which help us in our lives.
Practice on our mat is a beautiful tool for helping us to learn these lessons, so that we can go out in the world, and be stronger people, and be better for our communities as leaders. I think the reason people keep searching for more teacher trainings is because they feel a little bit inauthentic in themselves. Maybe they feel like they’re not practicing what they’re preaching, maybe they feel like they can’t lead others effectively, because they aren’t doing what they need. This is an important point. If you’re teaching yoga, and you’ve been doing yoga for many, many years, it’s going to be hard to walk into a class intended for the general public, maybe beginners, and get what you need as somebody who has more experience.
That’s why one-on-one teaching can be really valuable, because you’re getting what you need. This is where the investment is – and I mean the investment of your time, your energy, your resources, is in your own self as a practitioner. This will make you a better teacher. You’ll be able to lead your students knowing you walk the walk, and you talk the talk. There’s no question about that.
If you don’t know how to do that, find a teacher, and specifically, find a teacher who will challenge you. When my students see me in the yoga room, the one thing I always tell them is, “I’m not your friend in here.” I’m warm and friendly with all of my students, I teach people who I love being around, but when we’re in the room together, it’s different. My job is not to give them what is fun and easy, my job is to give them what they need, what’ll help them grow and become stronger, not just in their bodies, but in their mind, and what they’re able to handle in their lives.
They’re not going to get that from me if I just let them take easy street all the time. If you really want to go to the next level in your life as a practitioner, but especially in your life as a yoga teacher, make the investment in your practice now. Not in another certificate; in your practice. Find the right teacher for you who will challenge you. Put in the time on your mat six days a week. Put in the energy. Face those things which are challenging for you. Don’t walk away when it gets hard just because it’s not playful, or fun. These are the qualities that a leader has. That’s essentially what you’re doing when you sign on to be a yoga teacher. You’re signing on to be a leader, to lead someone from darkness into light, to help them find a better way. You can’t lead them if you haven’t done it yourself.
This is the process of real yoga. It can be challenging. It can be one that is sometimes a solitary path, so if you feel lonely, find a community, even if it’s an online community. Find people who are experiencing the same challenges as you. This way you will know you’re not alone. But, if you do feel like you’re looking for that next certificate, take a few minutes and ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t feel like enough? Is it because you don’t feel authentic sharing as a teacher when you haven’t been putting in the work into your practice? Really try to dig a little bit deeper there, and I’m sure you’ll find some great answers for yourself in how to go to the next step.
If you have any questions, please hit me up in the comments below. Also, please, don’t take this video as a decree that all yoga teacher trainings are bad, or not appropriate, that’s not what I’m saying here at all. I’m incredibly thankful for the trainings I did when I was a very young teacher, in my early 20s, I learned immense amounts. But, the point is, don’t let them become an obstacle, don’t let them be something you think is going to get you to the next place, instead of just putting in your daily work. Or, putting in your mindset work, and believing that you already know enough to go out and share your gifts. Now is the time to go for it. Thank you so much for tuning in, have a beautiful day. Namaste.