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Can I Do Yoga Teacher Training Even If I Don’t Want to Teach?

A yoga instructor walks a yogi through the yoga teacher training class.

If you’re interested in making yoga a lifestyle, chances are you’re contemplating enrolling in a yoga teacher training (YTT). It’s been on your mind, but there’s one problem — you’re not into teaching it. Thankfully, you don’t need to. 

YTT offers a transformative journey that welcomes anyone, regardless of your reason for joining. Discover the benefits and what you can expect from this experience.

The Benefits of Joining a Yoga Teacher Training (Even if You Don't Want to Teach)

Participating in YTT improves your practice and lifestyle in many ways. Here are some things to expect by broadening your learning.

1. Deepen Your Practice

 When yoga is your passion, you want to be more than “good enough.” Yoga teacher training creates a deeper connection between you and the practice. You learn the mechanics of why specific poses are practiced in certain ways, the importance of proper alignment, yogic philosophy and pranayama. These are some of the many things you can strengthen during YTT.

2. Get Enlightenment

 Your existing yoga knowledge will be challenged throughout the training. As you stretch, flow and strengthen your body, you’ll realize that your posture is just a tiny part of the practice. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, asana is just one of the eight limbs of yoga. Training will immerse you in the yoga philosophy, transforming your practice into a lifestyle.

3. Make Healthy Connections

The word “yoga” came from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” which means to connect. During your YTT, you become one with your teachers, other students and yourself. People share many thoughts and feelings when they become one through their love for yoga. It’s not every day you meet people who feel so strongly about yoga. Training enables you to meet and connect with like-minded people on a deeper level. Find your tribe and cherish them dearly.

A group of yogis embark on their yoga teacher training (YTT) session in an outdoor setting.

4. Practice Effective Ways to Deal With Stress & Anxiety

One of the reasons people do YTT but never teach is that they want to learn effective stress management techniques. You better understand concepts such as meditation and mindfulness, which may benefit you inside and outside your yoga practice. A solid understanding of these methods means you can better handle stressful situations at home and work.

5. Improve Self-Confidence

Joining a YTT is an achievement in itself — you should be proud of it! However, feelings of doubt and worry may arise because you might find certain practices challenging. Yoga is not static — it’s ever-changing. Sometimes you may feel down and other days you may do better, but your ability to “flow” with these changes will make you stronger. Stay connected and watch yourself emerge victorious and more confident in your practice and mindset.

6. Develop Your Compassion

Learning more about yoga fosters a sense of compassion. Learning and performing the concepts of ahimsa, or love toward beings, and metta, or loving-kindness, will teach you how to extend care beyond your loved ones. This includes strangers, people you’re indifferent to and most importantly, yourself.

7. Accept Your Past

Remember the first time you learned yoga? What motivated you to practice it? Some people turn to yoga to help calm their minds from trauma, whether physical or emotional. Holding grudges, having regrets and dwelling on the past keep you from embracing the present moment. YTT teaches you to slowly let go of the past that has been haunting you.

8. Inspire Other People

The transformation after doing YTT is massive — you’re physically and mentally stronger, more inspired and released from the things weighing you down. People around you will begin noticing the changes, which may inspire them to start yoga or practice mindfulness.

What to Do Before Enrolling in Yoga Teacher Training 

You want to get the benefits of YTT and would like to join a class now. Here are several things to consider before enrolling.

Look for Free Online Resources

Research the YTT you want to join.

Find out about the processes, teaching style and if it has a free resource that guides you in choosing the right program for you and includes expert advice to make informed decisions.

Understand That YTT Requires Commitment

Most people assume that if you’re good at asana, YTT will be a breeze.

However, there is more to the training than perfecting postures — it demands hard work, sacrifice, discipline, consistency and a positive attitude to succeed. Before paying for your YTT class, ask yourself if you can fully commit to the training. 

A yoga teacher leads yogis through a yoga teacher training course.

Invest in an Insurance Plan

Much like life, YTT is unpredictable. You might stretch too far and hurt yourself while practicing yoga.

Accidents happen, so protecting yourself is essential. A reliable health insurance plan lets you feel more confident knowing you can access medical care in the event of an unexpected injury or illness. Be sure to research available offerings and settle on a deductible, copay and out-of-pocket maximum that works within your budget.

You may find that investing in a $65 student insurance policy can give you peace of mind and protection from the injuries you may incur while practicing yoga.

Remind Yourself It’s OK Not to Teach

Choose to take YTT for reasons that feel right for you. There’s no shame in wanting to start this journey without intending to teach the practice.

Sometimes, people would rather spend time improving themselves, which is fine. Only teach yoga when it feels right.

Choose a Yoga Teacher Training That Suits You

 Here are a few important things to consider when looking for the perfect YTT for you:

  • Common types of YTT: You can choose from 200-hour, 300-hour and 500-hour training. Select a class that best fits your needs and schedule.
  • In-person or online: Consider how you learn best when looking for the perfect YTT. You may want more control over your time, which makes online learning a better choice. However, in-person training may be the best option if you want to feel the presence of other yogis-to-be.
  • Intensive or non-intensive: You may worry that you won’t be able to commit to the hours if you have a day job. However, some YTTs offer weekend or evening classes.

Join a Yoga Teacher Training Today

Participating in a YTT is about more than perfecting poses.

It’s physically, mentally and emotionally enriching, and even if teaching is not your goal, you’ll find value in its transformative power.

Mia Barnes
Mia Barnes is a health and wellness freelance writer and practicing yogi with a passion for holistic wellness. Mia has been covering yoga-related topics for over 3 years and is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine, an online healthy living publication.