When someone thinks about joining a two hundred hour yoga teacher training program, I wonder how long that stretch of time must seem to them? Two hundred hours! How can we possibly do that much yoga? What will we do that whole time? And a five hundred hour teacher training seems inconceivable.
But at some point during those two hundred hours, the students will realize that we are only touching the tip of a vast iceberg of subject matter that is as deep as it is wide. As we proceed, the curriculum starts to take shape, like puzzle pieces on a table, and the picture starts to look bigger and bigger. So big, in fact, that one realizes there are many pieces that are not even ON the table.
It is clear to me, after facilitating more teacher trainings than I can count, that we are really only introducing things in 200 hours and then taking it all five steps further in 500 hours. How can we possibly cover everything in a way that is thoughtful, meaningful and experiential? There are hundreds of yoga poses, all with Sanskrit names to learn and pronounce. Hundreds of bones in our bodies, with muscles and tendons and ligaments that all must be trained what to do in the poses. There exists thousands of years of yoga philosophy in hundreds of distinct traditions and thousands of lineages. How can we learn Sanskrit pose vocabulary and technical philosophical terms? How can we learn latin anatomical terms and the macro anatomy of the complexity of a human body? How can we plumb the depths of the inner worlds of our subconscious and unconscious in meditation and the esoteric arts of yoga? And how do we begin to teach any of this stuff that is so quickly spiraling into bigger and bigger galaxies and universes?
Honestly, we need a 10,000 hour teacher training — at the very least! But who could possibly sign up for that? (Imagine that price point!) So start with 200 hours and you may be awakened and inspired to continue on for lifetime of learning and growth and refinement.
I was so awakened in my first teacher training. I did not know if I wanted to teach yoga — I did it because I wanted deepen my practice and learning on the path of yoga that I had already fallen in love with. It changed my life. Ever since, I have followed my path of learning and teaching, through twists and turns, with the voices that resonate the deepest.
In the last 3 weeks, I have taught four teacher training modules — almost 200 hours of training! — on two continents with a 14 hour time difference. I must have developed the siddhis to fold time and space cause I don’t really understand how it is possible… But love makes even stranger things possible.
I wish you good fortune and good learning on your path. Life is the new yoga mat. Maybe my bestseller will be called Learn, Teach, Love.