“Now the exposition of Yoga is being made.” – Yoga Sutras 1:1
The day I graduated from Eternal Health Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training program was warm and sunny. I stood next to my teacher, Shelli Carpenter, diploma acknowledging my accomplishment in hand. Surrounded by my classmates, everyone smiled as our family and friends took pictures and applauded. Even as teacher training came to a close, I could feel that I was actually only at the very beginning of my life as a yogi.
Living as a yogi meant I would always be a student. Beyond chakras, koshas, and Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga, every day offered new lessons in how to live deeply. There is so much to learn and only one lifetime to learn it! Life is a classroom, the lesson is whatever situation we are in at the moment, and the teachers are the people we encounter every day. Yogic living is intentional. We live our lives like we mean it!
Why pursue advanced yoga teacher training?
The study of Yoga is the work of a lifetime. Therefore, the 200, 300, 800, and even more hours designating and differentiating teacher training programs have often been criticized as being completely arbitrary. Fair point. However, we do live in a world where societal norms are governed by this amazing thing humans came up with called “time”. It is significant for an individual to commit to and complete a set number of hours studying yoga! That does not mean that everything there is to know about yoga can be crammed into those hours.
My 200-hour teacher training experience gave me a taste of what it was like to live life as a yogi as I pursued the appropriate credentials for my career. When I embarked on EHY’s 300-hour teacher training program, it was for very different reasons. I had already chosen to live a yogic lifestyle. (For our purposes, a yogic lifestyle is living one’s life according to the principles put forth in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.) This time my motivation went beyond purely professional goals, although furthering my education certainly helped my career. My head told me that I had many questions about yoga that I wanted to explore more thoroughly. My heart told me that I needed to carve out time to deeply study yoga with a community who shared this intention.
Now is the time.
Yoga teacher training programs can be a lot of things: fun, informative, even inspiring. Over the course of my career I have continued my education by attending several. However, Eternal Health Yoga’s teacher training programs offer something more. They are transformational. I didn’t go into 200-hour teacher training looking for my life to change, but it did. And I did not expect to be so thoroughly changed by the 300-hour teacher training program, but I was. The woman who entered into advanced teacher training that March was not the same woman who graduated the following February. I was stronger, more confident, and more present to all aspects of living, not just as a yoga teacher, but as a human being.
To be a lifelong learner is to ask thoughtful questions. The answers may lead to more questions- questions one didn’t even know to ask! It is true that to be a good teacher one must also be a good student. It is also true that at some point the student-teacher must develop a certain level of mastery over her craft. In his first sutra, Patanjali tells us that now we begin the study of yoga. Now is not a particular point in time, but time itself. Time is a learning device. It only exists so that we might study yoga.
If you are a yoga teacher who has completed a 200-hour teacher training program, I imagine there are aspects of yoga in which you would like to delve more deeply. I hope you will consider Eternal Health Yoga’s advanced 300-hour teacher training program. Hone your yoga teaching skills. Explore yoga in a caring, supportive community. Yogi, the time is now!