A yoga teacher training is essentially a wildly deep inner journey through the philosophy and practices of yoga. It’s an amazing opportunity to focus on intentions and dig into the vastness of the body and mind. Must one want to teach yoga in order to do a teacher training? Nope. You can light up the world with yoga whether or not you decide to teach it. So, here’s my top 10 reasons to do a yoga teacher training.

1. Get to know your yoga. It’s wonderful to take classes with teachers, who remind you to breathe and lend tips about poses and life in general—from their unique perspectives. A teacher training will give you the means to untap fresh relevancies in your own practice, the one you develop for you. If you decide to teach, you’ll find yourself folding those a-ha’s into your classes. If you forgo teaching, you’ll find yourself incorporating light-bulb moments into your everyday life. White Peacock Yoga trainings are all about cultivating your raw, authentic wisdom.

2. Empower your whole self. A yoga teacher training program provides a safe, supportive and therapeutic environment to grow. Not only will you expand your yoga practice; you may find that your sense of who you are vastly expands too.

3. Alignment 101, baby. You may have heard yoga teachers say things like, “OK, now on your next exhale, gently tug your navel toward the spine and release your shoulders down the back.” You know it feels good, but how does it help your body settle into the current pose while also preparing for the next? A yoga teacher training will provide you the fundamentals of pose structure. In my trainings, I make sure teachers in-training get plenty of practice with intelligent sequencing.

4. Go beyond asanas and deepen your philosophical roots. There’s the café-made soup and the homemade soup you spend all day making. Both are equally delicious and soothe the onset of winter sniffles. A standard 90-minute yoga class is the café soup—you snatch it up as take-out, happy you’re not cooking. The yoga teacher training is the all-day soup—it takes a lot of work, but you know exactly what went into the pot and why. You might be well-versed in a few Sanskrit terms, chants and pranayama techniques. In your training, you’ll go into these aspects of yoga with far more depth than any 90-minute class could offer. If you’re curious about what our Yoga Alliance-accredited curriculum looks like, you can check it out here.

5. Yoga is a form of holistic healthcare. Eastern yogis have understood the health effects of yoga for ages. Western medicine is catching on. Many doctors now prescribe meditation and yoga breathing and exercises to their patients. If you’re considering teaching, you’re likely drawn to helping others heal physically and/or psychologically, because yoga helps you do the same.

6. To serve others. You may have heard the rumor that yoga isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Well, that rumor pans out. Teaching yoga is a way to serve to others, in a way that rings true for you. My personal yoga practice, for example, opened up an intense desire to work on behalf of young women and girls enslaved by human trafficking. As a local leader for Off The Mat Into the World, I’m helping raise funds for such initiatives. Later this year, White Peacock Yoga will be sharing news about a service-oriented yoga retreat in India. Stay tuned!

7. You’ve asked yourself questions like: “Do I want to take my understandings further?” and “Do I want to share this wonderfully opening practice with others?” And that wise voice within you continuously responds “Yes!” You’ve got an insatiable appetite for learning more about yoga. Here’s a little secret for you: All teachers, be it in yoga or English Literature, are constantly learning. They love to learn and share knowledge. That’s usually why they do what they do.

8. Explore creative avenues. Yoga clears mental and physical blockages. Throughout your intensive teacher training, you’ll find your inner artiste expressing all kinds of new ideas and possibilities. Sometimes they’ll be related directly to your personal or teaching practice, but often enough your creative desires speak volumes about your current professional life. That’s what I’ve seen for myself and others time and again during my 20-plus years of practicing and teaching yoga. Hence, my yoga eventually guiding me to learn sacred music, be vulnerable to sing and create ways to support yogis through our mentoring and yogi bodywork programs. What will you discover?

9. To bring peace into the world. It’s a yoga cliché but so darn true: Change begins from within. We can’t control what happens in life, but we can control our outlook on it all. To choose peace for ourselves means we also choose peace for the people in our lives. The internal peace we establish ripples out and affects our external circumstances. I’m passionate about links between personal transformation and worldly peace, so we dive into a lot of radical self-inquiry in my 200-hour yoga teacher trainings.

10. You’re committed to seeing through limitations and doubts with clarity. You don’t need to be an expert at yoga to enroll in a yoga teacher training. Commitment trumps expertise. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you what a yoga expert is. We all have different bodies with varying levels of flexibility. Matthew Sanford is an inspirational Iyengar teacher who works from a wheelchair. He started practicing yoga years after he became paralyzed. Imagine if he had approached yoga with an “I can’t” attitude or had thought, “I’m no expert because I can’t move my legs!” How silly and what a loss to humanity that’d be. Every sane person is expert at one thing: life. That’s the only verifiable expertise we bring to the table in our yoga, students and teachers alike.

I realize there’s a lot to digest when considering whether to enroll in a yoga teacher training. I’ll happily answer any questions you may have about the White Peacock Yoga program or my approaches to my own practice and teaching. Just shoot me an email. In the meantime, I wish you a beautiful journey into your yoga.