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Phoebe Blog 5: Making the most of your yoga teacher training

Phoebe Ng. Follow my journey @Pianista_Phoebe @YogaWithPeachy

Are you getting deeper in your practice that you crave for more even after one full hour of
yoga class? Are you getting tired of your office job and want to take a break? Do you feel like
your life/body is falling apart and you want to piece them together again? If that sounds like
you, perhaps you may want to consider taking a YTT (yoga teacher training).

I have finally completed my own 200-hour YTT, so I’d like to share my experience from a
student’s perspective while my memory is still fresh. Here are the questions I had before my
training (or questions you may have) and my answer after completing the course.
How to choose a good YTT course?

Try the studio’s classes, as simple as that! If you do yoga regularly then surely you can tell if
a teacher if good or whether you click with him/ her. Ask as many questions as possible.
Most YTT courses are accredited by Yoga Alliance of the USA. Certifications by Yoga
Alliance is recognised worldwide, so it’s safest to register for a course under it – under you
are sure what kind of course you are signing up for.

I hadn’t had a chance to try out Mandala’s class before the YTT. So what I did instead was
to stalk their Instagram. Not just the posts, but also Instagram story – it is where you can
really see the character of a course. You can also look at the profiles of their graduates, their
technique and teaching style would be influenced by the YTT.

I don’t know how to headstand, am I good enough for YTT?

Don’t think. If you want to do it, just do. We all have to start somewhere. If you overthink, you
will never go anywhere. Basically all of my postures were wrong when I started the course,
so I still had to remould myself and get rid of all my previous bad habits. You do see newbies
and practitioners with years of experience or even gym nerds in YTTs. I think it is a beautiful
thing to have different types of people in the course because then there will be something we
can learn from each other. But the bottom line is you should have at least 3 months of
regular practice, because YTT can be physically quite demanding.
Weekday or weekend course?

We all learn differently. Some people need time to digest what they have learnt. Some
people, on the contrary, may forget everything unless they keep on practicing intensely on a
daily basis. So by all means choose according to your routine and learning style.

It was not a difficult one for me. I have only moved to Singapore recently and was waiting for
my visa. So it’s a no-brainer to sign up for a weekday class to make the most of my waiting
time. I also find it tough to just sacrifice my weekends for several months. I have seen
people with day job Monday to Friday and comes for YTT on weekends. But as you may
imagine, it takes a lot of determination and focus to do that.
What is the most difficult part of YTT?

It would be different for everyone. For me, it is staying focused. It has something to do with
my dosha. I tend to drift away quite easily. Yet, in yoga there is a concept of drishti, when
you are in a pose you are supposed to gaze only at one point. I am always caught looking

Physically, your muscles will be sore throughout the first one or even two weeks if you are
not used to hours of asana practice on a daily basis. But you will get through it and your
body will become stronger.

What can I prepare?

Depending on when you plan to start the YTT. It wouldn’t harm taking more yoga classes or
strength training. But if you are about to start in a week, don’t suddenly hit the gym for the
first time in your life. You are investing a lot for the programme, don’t waste your money just
because of some stupid avoidable injuries.

Can I really teach after just 200 hours?

Of course you can, the exams are here for a reason! There may be studios out there who let
everyone pass whatever (that’s why you need proper research!). But at least it is not the
case in my course. My instructor took the exams seriously and gave us honest feedback.
It is a good thing if you have this question in your mind. I hope that during your future
journey, you will keep learning and growing, perhaps reading, going to yoga workshops, or
another YTT, or even just learn from your student and own teaching. Put your Niyamas
(observance) into practice! Svadyaya (self study)!