You can remember the first day of yoga teacher training like it was yesterday. Your excited butterflies and apprehension that comes from the unknown. You had your doubts along the journey, wondered if you’d actually finish. But through blood, sweat, and tears, you did it. Now it’s over and you can hardly believe it again. But. . .what do you do when yoga teacher training ends?
You’ve accomplished something big, important, and major in your life. Whether you took yoga teacher training to become a teacher or to deepen your own practice, you did something that forever changed your life. (And yes, everyone changes during YTT.)
What will you do now?
Here are five things you can do now that yoga teacher training is over.
You did something others wish they had the courage to do. That’s a big-freaking-deal.
Human nature tends to make us downplay our successes and lament all the ways in which we didn’t do something perfectly. This is one of those times to tell your inner critic to shut up. Today is about being proud of stepping outside of your comfort zone and evolving in the process.
Make your celebration personal. If you want to do something splashy, go forth and party it up. If you’re more of a low-key celebrator, then that works too. But mark the occasion. Do not let it pass with zero fanfare.
When a Purple Lotus Yoga session wraps, the participants generally like to go to lunch as a way of continuing the good times and recognizing their accomplishments. (If you’re looking for additional ways to celebrate, check out 50 Ways to Yay!)
Perhaps you know exactly what you want to do after yoga teacher training, and if so, way to go! More likely, you’re not sure of your next steps. And if that’s you, that’s okay, too.
The time after yoga teacher training can be filled with many emotions: elation, feeling adrift or a bit lost, eager, pensive, happy, or sad. (Or all of the above at the same time.) Whichever ones float to the surface for you, sit with them like your training taught you to do.
Reflect on your journey, what you had to overcome to reach this goal. Appreciate your growth and forgive yourself when you stumbled along the way. This is an excellent time for journaling or taking time to practice gratitude.
Give yourself space to marinate, to adjust to your new normal, before you decide what to do next. And ignore the busy-bodies who ask, “whatcha gonna do now?”
3. stay connected
When you undertake such a life-altering journey, the people who took it with you are forever etched on your heart. Stay connected with them because they saw you at your worst and your best. No matter where they are in life, they’ll support and encourage you.
These are the people who you won’t care if they go faster or slower than you, make a career out of yoga, or never teach a day in their life. This is your first yoga family and it sets the bar for your future yoga relationships.
Exchange emails, phone numbers, addresses, social media handles. Be familiar with them all because inevitably people move, change numbers, and don’t always hang out on social media.
Go the extra mile.
Plan meet ups. Practice together. Take more workshops with each other. Nurture the relationships because you’ll never experience the same kind of connection like you did in yoga teacher training.
4. Find a mentor
During yoga teacher training, you had a mentor at your beck and call. Someone you could reach out to to ask any question–big or small. But what about after yoga teacher training ends? You might feel less inclined to reach out to your mentors and instructors.
The journey only truly begins after you finish teacher training and you’ll have more questions as you traverse new and different situations while teaching yoga.
Is there a teacher you admire and enjoy their classes? Maybe one who is rocking her career? Use your new found confidence to ask if you could shadow them.
Yoga teachers are generous and will be happy to answer your questions, let you shadow them, or take them to lunch to pick their brains. Approach your potential mentor with an attitude of grace and appreciation (without monopolizing their time) and you’ll soon be learning from a pro.
5. Keep Up your own practice
In the excitement of all your teaching, remember to honor yourself first. As you fill your teaching schedule you’ll be tempted to sacrifice a slot or two where you would normally get your own practice in.
Resist the urge.
The fastest way to burnout is to forego your personal practice in order to teach another class. In order for you to be the best teacher for your classes, you need to keep your own cup filled. As they tell you on the airplane, “put your own mask on first before assisting others.”
You must take care of yourself because teaching yoga–while purpose-filled and exciting–will drain you. The majority of yoga teachers I’ve met (and trained) tend to be overly generous, giving so much of themselves to teaching and being a support to their clients.
If you’re not diligent about recharging your batteries, you’ll wake up one day with them completely dead.
Can’t get to your favorite studio for class? Try some classes online. Join the free resource library and get access to some virtual yoga asana classes.