1. Free yourself from expectation
We’ve all been there. One day you’re flying the perfect bakasana, and the next day you’re beating yourself up because you just can’t seem to get off the ground. It’s best to check your ego at the door, as the only person who has any expectations for you is, you. Yoga Training is a time for learning and growth; a time to open your heart, body, and mind to something new.
2. Take care of yourself
Your body is a magnificent living organism that trucks along with you every day of your life. Carrying your blood, oxygen, bones, and muscles. It helps wake you up for the day and fall fast asleep at night. YTT will test your strength and endurance, so take care of yourself: get a full nights sleep, eat a hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner, stay hydrated, and practice any self-care you can in your downtime (seriously, take advantage of your downtime).
3. Know that you will experience your body in a new way – emotionally and physically
As tough as you may feel, tears are bound to happen eventually. Yoga, asana, meditation… they can all pull it out of you. The emotions you may have buried away or neglected for years all of a sudden seem to come up. Physical ailments you never knew existed, or ones you’ve always pushed through, tend to shine a new light. Though this all sounds difficult, try to welcome these feelings with open arms. Greet them, say hello, and maybe start to work with them.
4. It’s a roller coaster
From the moment you buy your ticket, wait in line, buckle the seat belt, and go for the wild ride, you never know what will be waiting around the corner or down the hill. Although sometimes scary, it’s always fun at the end. There will be laughs, tears, butterflies, nervousness, and excitement. And most times, you’ll want to hop on the roller coaster again for round 2.
5. You’ll never be prepared
Apologies go out to those who spend 30 minutes preparing to leave the house, and to those who always need to cross their t’s and dot their i’s… But no matter how much you prepare, you will never be prepared for everything. Just breathe and do what you can. Chances are if you forgot something, someone else will have it and be kind enough to share. Keep it simple with the essentials: a notebook, pen/pencil, snacks (many snacks!), layers, and your mat!
6. Do it for yourself and commit
The average human lives for 621,960 hours. YTT is only 200 hours. See where I’m going with this? You have invested your time, money, body, and spirit in this practice and training. Be present. Give it your all. Commit to yourself. Commit to your practice. Time will fly by in the blink of an eye, and trust me, you won’t want to miss this!
7. Life will change forever
Let’s be real. You may never move to an ashram or give up all your personal belongings and venture off to live in the mountains after YTT (or maybe you will). But nevertheless, your life will change forever. Interactions with family, friends, peers, and colleagues will change, because you’ve changed. You’ll have made new friends, and maybe even lost some. YTT may change you, but also open up the door to the next chapter in your life.
8. Just the beginning
Just as trees create a network of roots, sharing nutrients, carbon, water, and intel, you have also joined and entered a similar connection. Yoga, like roots of trees, has so many facets, nooks, and crannies all waiting to be explored by you. Anything you can dream up is here waiting: Ayurveda, aromatherapy, mantras, chakras, just to name a few! YTT-200 is a great starting point, but don’t say we didn’t warn you… You’ll be back for more! Yoga and Yoga Garden SF will welcome you with open arms.
Hannah Morris is a Bay Area native who found yoga while finishing her last years of high school. Always knowing she wanted to deepen her practice with a yoga teacher training, she took the leap after graduating college and is now an RYT-200. Navigating her way through all her passions, callings, and 500-hour YTT has proven to be an adventure, but she welcomes the challenge with a smile and open arms. You can find Hannah hanging with her two cats, always learning, and welcoming new hobbies.