Is Yoga Teacher Training a bit intense?
The simple answer is no. It is not a bit intense - it is absolutely intense, especially if you are doing a resident 3 or 4-week program.
See a program that claims a "relaxing” yoga teacher training? Do not bother applying. When was the last time you did something worthwhile that wasn’t intense? Maybe passing school exams without stress? Or completing your thesis at the university in a breeze? Getting married without a drama? Giving birth without it being overwhelmingly emotive and enduring? Falling in love? What actually makes these events impactful is the degree of their intensity. Everything we do that means something to us has a certain amount of intensity attached to it. The nature of our passion for that thing makes it intense. Goddam even worthwhile sex is intense!
Not only does becoming a yoga teacher requires commitment, but also the understanding that the journey is unmistakably going to be intense. You train and prepare for it. This intensity, however, is balanced with the fact that you are learning how to love more. You are learning how to love yourself, connect to others, to your heart space and we all know the world could do with some more love, some more yoga. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone had taken some form of yoga training.
To understand the reason behind the intensity, it is important to understand that teacher training is not just about asanas and the physicality of the practice but about a way of life, conscious movement, conscious living and conscious choices. You learn to live with freedom, free from fear, with abundant time and money to do and achieve all you wish to do and more. You build solid foundations and get to know your core values, what actually drives you. You learn how to let your heart rule your decisions. Do you dream of retirement and aspire to financial freedom? As a yoga teacher, you retire immediately from unconscious living and when you are living the dharma you have chosen, love, and on your own path, you always have a place in the world, free from redundancy, job insecurity, money worries and all this rat race bull sh!t. Discover what will happen when you follow your true calling. It all starts to make sense and life gets ALOT easier.
As you join a teacher training, you are automatically welcomed into a community and accepted for who you are; you are supported, knowing there is someone who understands you and you can call on when you need to. It is not just about learning to teach sun salutations and headstands, these are added benefits but just a small fraction of what teacher training is about.
So no, it isn’t a bit intense - it is 100% intense. Can you imagine a beautiful crystal or diamond being created without pressure? Can an amazing warm meal be creative without some heat? Like a mother giving birth, it is hard work and requires grit and determination - only with this effort can you hold your newborn baby and forget the intensity of labour. You can get through the training bypassing an intense experience, but like exams, thesis, love, sex, marriage, without some intensity, it will be unmemorable and have no lasting impact on your life. Everything that changes you is intense.
So prepare yourself for the intensity, open your arms and embrace it, be the diamond that you are destined to be.