So, you’ve just committed to a month-long yoga teacher training immersion. Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery. Yoga teacher training will crack you open and uncover for you a world that you may not even know exists! And yes, it will challenge you too, so a little preparation will go a long way to making your experience as uplifting as possible.
From a practical point of view there are a few things you should do in preparing for your yoga teacher training program:
Do some research on where you are staying:
Shades of Yoga runs yoga teacher training programs at Iguana Lodge on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. This destination has been chosen for its vibrancy, its connection to nature and its exciting and lively culture. This yoga course in Costa Rica will be a residential course (staying at the beautiful Iguana Lodge). This means you’ll be living ‘on site’. The advantage of this is that once you arrive everything will be taken care of. You’ll be right on the beach (and not just any beach – it’s six miles long and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to see dolphins and whales swimming past), with the rainforest behind you (and rainforest trails you can explore with the local monkeys as your guide). All of this and you’re just a 10 minute taxi ride from town. You’ll live, learn and eat on site (Iguana Lodge will cater to any and all of your dietary requirements), giving you the opportunity to bond with your fellow yogis and focus solely on learning the practice of yoga in Costa Rica…and maybe getting the odd massage or two at Iguana’s spa!
Bring sun screen:
The Osa Peninsula is warm and tropical all year round (woohoo!). This means you’ll need to pack sun screen and your swimmers
Do you need a visa?
Double check whether you need a visa. For many nationalities Costa Rica offers a ‘visas on arrival’. Check with your local embassy to see whether this applies to you.
Yoga teacher training programs are physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. This is why they’re so transformative; they show you a way to move past your comfort zone. After all, this is where growth happens! To ensure you are as prepared as can be it is a good idea to:
Attend regular classes in the lead up to your yoga teacher training program
Make sure you attend regular yoga asana classes in the lead up to training. Put on your ‘teacher’s hat’ when you practice – pay attention to the cues your teacher gives and notice what effect they have in your body, pay attention to alignment, technique and sequencing – do you notice any patterns? What things stand out to you as key ingredients of a good yoga asana class?
Read up on all things yoga – blogs, books, whatever! Anything that introduces you to yoga asana and yoga philosophy. You will find that being familiar with yoga concepts will be very helpful once you start your training program.
Speak to your teachers:
Ask around – speak to your teachers about their experience of yoga teacher training. Learning to teach yoga can seem a little bit daunting. They’ll remember what it felt like and be excited to give you some encouragement and advise!
Remember, have fun and go easy on yourself! You’ll meet some great people, make some lasting friendships and walk away a little lighter, a little more curious and with a lifetime to share the practice of yoga!