When is someone ready to be a teacher? Are teacher trainings necessary? How many hours of training are “enough”? How many trainings?
There is so much being said and discussed about trainings and I have mixed feelings about them, they can be good or bad like anything else.
But I think what needs to be reminded, in an era and Western culture where everyone seems to aspire teaching yoga is something that is much more simple yet difficult to build and sustain for most: a personal practice.
By personal practice I mean your capacity to practice on your own, without a teacher, for a long period of time. To be clear, having a teacher, especially in the Ashtanga tradition is extremely important and valuable. I cannot stress this enough. But being dependent on a teacher or a Shala to practice, not being able to do it on your own is in a way denying yourself the opportunity to become your own teacher. And this is indispensable if you want to teach. How are you going to give others what you don’t know how to give to yourself?
As much as I am beyond grateful to all my teachers for the guidance and inspiration, nothing has taught me more than practicing on my own every single day. This is when and how you build resilience, get to know your body and yourself, recognize your patterns, weaknesses and strengths so you can see them in others and inspire them to do the digging on their own. No training can give you that. A teacher you trust will make you ask the right questions, provide some input, some elements of answer but then you are and should be on your own. This process over a long period of time will give you the confidence and insight necessary to guide other people.
And of course a good teacher is one who keeps practicing, evolving, growing but also stays humble because they realize there is always so much more to learn.
So choose your teacher wisely and spend a lot of time by and with yourself if you want to become one.