So. . . You Graduated From Yoga Teacher Training. Now What?!

Michelle Thielen
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As the popularity of yoga increases around the world, the demand for yoga instructors is at an all-time high. Thousands of students are investing much time and finances into yoga teacher training programs but are left wondering,
 
“What on earth do I do now that I’m finished?”
 
It is a fitness industry standard to hire yoga instructors who have completed a 200-hour teacher training program (commonly referred to as 200 YTT or 200-hour YTT), and typically one that’s registered with Yoga Alliance.
 
This does not necessarily mean that you have to teach yoga after completing a 200-hour program. Many trainees attend a 200-hour yoga teacher training to learn a foundational knowledge of all things yoga, and to deepen their personal practice. A 200-hour YTT covers many aspects of yoga and is a great foundation to explore your yoga practice or begin your yoga career.
 
Diving into teacher training will broaden your horizons to the many paths, focuses, and disciplines of yoga, yet the numerous paths can be quite overwhelming and confusing. At some point, you will need to act like a laser beam and “focus in.”
 
Here are several tips based on personal and professional experience to help you focus in on where to go now that you’ve finished yoga teacher training:
 

Enthusiasm vs. Passion

In the beginning of anything, you will start with a fury and an excitement, ready to conquer anything. But what happens after the first few speed bumps of your journey? You should be prepared, because speed bumps and storms will come.
 
What will keep you on the path when things get hard? What will you do when discouragement, naysayers, fear, and failure come knocking? What will happen when your enthusiasm fades?
 
You see, enthusiasm can only take you so far, but your true passion will keep you in the journey for the long haul. You need to choose a path that you are truly passionate about. Otherwise your destination, should you get there, will not be sustainable.
 

 

Mute the chatterbox voices in your head

Fear is the single thing that keeps most people from living out their dreams. That first step into the unknown, into the “abyss,” can be terrifying!
 
Fear is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real, and isn’t this the truth? Your “monkey mind,” or what I like to call your “chatterbox,” plays and replays false evidence over and over. Unfortunately, you believe it a lot of the time. Here are some common chatterbox whispers that you might hear in your head, and that you must work to overcome:
 

You can’t do this
You’re not worthy
You need more education
You will never make it
You are not good enough
You are too old, too young, too short, too late, not pretty enough, etc.
Nobody will show up
Too many will show up
Just don’t try, don’t do it
Stay where it’s comfortable

 
Do any of these sound familiar? Every single one of us deals with this mental chatter. The great news is that we can mute the chatterbox! Learning to mute the chatterbox is a daily discipline, because the chatterbox doesn’t actually go away. Instead, you have to learn how to combat it.
 

So . . . you graduated YTT. Now what?

Identifying your passion will determine your next step. If you asked me, “What do you bleed?” my answer is immediate: Dance. That is because in my deepest innermost parts, dance is what allows me to become truly alive and free. If I ask you the same question, the answer would probably come very quickly. That is because your passion literally runs through your veins.
 
Take time to ask yourself what most about your yoga teacher training resonated with you. Perhaps you’re attracted to the healing aspects of yin and restorative yoga. Or maybe you absolutely loved studying Sanskrit. Find your yoga specialty and your yoga passion, and pursue it wholeheartedly.
 
 
Use this information to guide you on your journey post-teacher training graduation. Glean from the wisdom of your YTT. Practice meditation and pranayama, inhaling and exhaling.
 
Exhale those things that are taking up space in your life, so that you can create space to inhale your dreams, gifts, and passions.
 
Remember the words of Lewis Carroll: “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”
 
So . . . what exactly are you waiting for?
 

This article has been read 10K+ times. Bada bing!

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Michelle Thielen

Michelle is the Founder of YogaFaith, an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance, and a Manduka Ambassador. She is an international speaker, Yoga Alliance and yoga festival presenter. Michelle has taught over 20 Teacher Trainings and remains passionate about the gift of yoga bringing healing to the world. Her first book Stretching Your Faith was published in 2016.

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