I try to give a few ideas what you might want to consider, before deciding what the correct yoga teacher training might be for you. The list is by no means exhaustive but perhaps it can point you in the right direction.
Live-in at the Yoga Centre or not?
4 weeks went so fast. It would’ve been nicer to get to know some of the girls a bit more but time was limited and I had other obligations as well. If I had stayed at the yoga centre I’m sure I would’ve gotten to know them even better. Anyway, the price for the accommodation and food onsite was quite high. And when you know the average prices in Thailand you do not want to pay much more than that. And I don’t know when I will be getting my first salary – nor do I know when I will start working again – so have to think about the budget as well. But it might be worth thinking if you want to spend some extra money and live onsite. This way you get to know the others more and save time. Those who stayed at Orion got to know the other customers and yogis better as well. I didn’t because I was always coming and going. But I am not super chatty with strangers anyway so it might also have something to do with one’s personality.
It took me 15 minutes to get to Orion which is not that long but when our breaks were about 2-2,5 hours it didn’t leave much time to stay at home. And then of course you need to clean, cook, feed the dogs, do your laundry etc. Didn’t leave much extra time at all. I was constantly rushing from one place to another which I actually hate. I need my own time. During the course there really isn’t. Saturdays we did have off but that was usually the day when you needed to do all the things you had been procrastinating during the week. After the “maintenance” work you had only half a day left.
On a positive note, if you have your own house, you have your privacy. If you live in a dorm you need to consider the others as well. I, for example tend to postpone my bedtime quite often and I also love listening to music. And while cooking does take some time, kitchen is a privilege. You can store your food in the fridge or make yourself a cuppa whenever you wish. I made myself a chia pudding or raw porridge almost every night before going to bed and took it with me in the morning. This is a healthy brekkie but also cost-effective.
Include the Meal plan?
If you have the meal plan, you don’t have to think about cooking. You save time and energy. Food is healthy and nutritious and supports the whole practice and cleansing process. You could also easily explore if you would like to go vegan altogether, or would like to have a raw food diet or perhaps eliminate sugar completely. Downside is the price. Organic, healthy and nutritious food is expensive, especially if you eat it in a restaurant.
Are you comfortable enough using English or prefer using your mother tongue. I mean, I speak fairly good English but I was still struggling with the words when I needed to say something complicated, such as “take this limb under that limb and turn it like this and the other end over there”. Pheeeew! So while I can name all the body parts in English without hesitation, I got occasionally a bit lost when I needed to say what goes where while trying to sound like a proper teacher. However, over half of us were non-native English speakers and we all made it through, so language shouldn’t be the off-putting thing. The bonus is that because I have made it through in English, now I know the correct terminology both in Finnish and in English. Therefore, I would be able to teach in both languages. Not so bad at all!
If you are on a budget
It might be worth knowing that some places offer discount if you volunteer either during the course or later on at the yoga centre or perhaps do some voluntary work at a local charity organisation. This in my opinion shows that the yoga school is willing to give the opportunity to do a TTC for someone who is not so loaded but still wishes to learn. And this is the spirit I like yoga schools to have as well. Yoga is a massive business nowadays and it is very contradictory to talk about spirituality when at the same time yoga is not super cheap, at least not anymore. Then again, I also do understand that if some people have chosen to become yoga teachers and live in the modern world they need to get their bills and rent paid. They use money to part take on different courses and perhaps go study in India annually to learn more and become better teachers. This is all at their own expense. So yes, the whole logic is a bit funny nowadays.
Yoga retreats and courses tend to be cheaper in countries where the overall cost of living is less than that of Western countries. The downside is that you might need to travel quite far and flying can take a considerable lump of your budget. And anyway, not everyone has the opportunity to travel overseas for a month. If you don’t have children like me, it might be easier, though.
Surprise! It was only a 4-week-course
And for the last, but definitely not the least, be prepared to realise that you will not be a super knowledgeable or “ready” yoga teacher after completing a short course. The more you learn, the more you realise that you know soooo little. Of course compared to a total novice I know quite a lot. But if I compare myself to my teachers I know very little. Hence, I feel I wouldn’t be a super qualified teacher at the moment, nor would I want to start teaching now, at least for money. Then again, if you do not start teaching you will not learn either. And the more you postpone teaching, the more daunting it becomes. Perhaps it also makes a difference depending on what kind of yoga you want to teach and who your students are. If your students are moderately healthy and they want to do “just” stretching or yoga as exercise the burden might not be as heavy.
I will not dig deep into the obvious ones, ie. which style you want to practice, where, who is the teacher, does the teacher represent the right lineage or who has the teacher been practicing with. Might be a good idea to check if the yoga school has offered teacher trainings earlier and what kind of testimonials the previous students have given. That’s what I did, and it made me more convinced that I wanted to do my TTC (teacher training course) at Orion.