top of page

What’s yoga teacher training really like?

Taking a leap of faith and signing up for 200hrs of yoga teacher training can be a daunting experience. How do you know when you’re ready? What can you expect?

Last year founder of The Fit Foodie blog Sally O’Neil decided to go for it. Here, she shares what was covered in the programme and how she found the experience… I have a love-hate relationship with yoga. Sometimes the mat is my solace. It can feel like a luxury to turn off my phone and give myself that headspace for an hour. To get some deep stretching done and not think about my to-do list. Other times, it's a complete chore. I probably shouldn't say that, but it is. It's like trying to drag yourself of bed at 5am on a Monday morning after an amazing weekend. That feeling, that can only be described by a groaning noise. But we're all being told to be more mindful, stretch, meditate and go to yoga - so last year I decided to embark on that journey whole-hog. I wanted to understand yoga. Not just 'get' Sun Salutations, but actually understand the origins, the philosophies and the deeper stuff like chakras, that always wash over my head when a teacher asks me to 'feel my Anahata opening up' (FYI, that's yogi code for heart). So I did it. I booked myself into a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training course at Body Mind Life in Surry Hills. A reputable yoga studio with highly acclaimed teachers, and a beautiful space. If I'm going to spend four solid weeks understanding philosophy, it has to be a pretty classroom with solid content. I'll be honest, it's not a cheap investment. At $3790 you might think that's a lot for an impulse-purchase, but it's turned out to be one of my better financial decisions. What to know why? Read on... I'm not a big fan of happy-clappy, community / group work - particularly with people I don't know. I'm socially awkward like that, and that's fine by me. Teacher training pushed my boundaries for sure, but I was never made to do anything I really didn't want to do. Know that if something makes you uncomfortable, you can observe and take notes rather than participate. In that same vein, expect to learn things about yourself that you never knew. You'll surprise yourself with your strength and courage - and for this course, you need more of that than you think. WHAT HAPPENED:

  1. 1 x awkward share circle introduction at the start. Know that everyone else feels just as awkward.

  2. Group of 25-30 like-minded people

  3. Runs 7am - 5pm, Monday to Friday days a week for four weeks. There's a part-time option too.

  4. A mixture of assessments - essays, reflections and teaching a 20 minute yoga class of 6 people.

  5. 1 class with traditional dance where we were encourage to join in (not my fave).

  6. Attendance is required to all sessions. This is competency based.

  7. 5 different teachers rotating throughout the course each with their own unique set of skills. Every day:

  8. 2 hours yoga practise starting at 7am

  9. 3 hours of theory

  10. 4 hours of understanding asanas (poses) and practicing with a partner It's emotionally taxing, physically tiring and there is a LOT of info for your brain to digest. You're exhausted by the end of the day, and often have homework. Don't think (like me) you can run two businesses on the side at the same time. Set your Out Of Office and really soak up your learnings. Take lots of magnesium baths and enjoy the ride. WHAT I GOT OUT OF IT:

  11. Advanced my personal asana practice

  12. Became significantly more flexible

  13. An understanding of how to sequence a yoga class / my practise

  14. A better understanding of yoga philosophy + anatomy

  15. An arsenal of different breath techniques to use in flow and meditation

  16. Accreditation from Yoga Alliance and Yoga Australia to teach yoga (YAY!)

  17. Understand the origins of yoga history

  18. Became a more patient and compassionate human being (MY FAVOURITE ONE). I highly recommend it guys. Yes, I can now do a headstand (which is fab for those Instagram shots), but that's not what I found most valuable. Of all the key things I expected to learn, what I actually walked away with was a new respect for human kind. A new level of empathy that I didn't have before. I still carry that with me 18 months later. I'm so much more understanding of people's misgivings, and let them wash over me rather than getting anxious or angry - which says a lot, given I'm so highly-strung. Put simply, I'm a nicer person. “And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart On top of that, I made a friend for life. Sophie, a girl I met whilst Teacher Training, is one of the kindest people I have ever come across. She's now one of my besties, and even though she lives in the UK (teaching yoga in London - go girl!), it feels like we've never been apart when we chat. One of those invaluable relationships that remains solid for life. The connections you make whilst learning about your own emotions are quite incredible. You'll have lots of deep-and-meaningful convo's with people you barely know, and you'll be a more open person for it. Read more from Sally at

1 view

Recent Posts

See All

What Are You Reading?

Yoga philosophy, the poetry of the mystics, an examination of oppression, a juicy novel... what's on your bedside table right now? Here are our top 5 current reads. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart – Ho

Yin Tonic, the yoga of healing with Mel McLaughlin

Mel McLaughlin is a generous, inclusive and curious teacher of Yin Yoga who has been guiding people in the art of nurturing and self-nourishment for almost 20 years. With a calm presence, extensive kn


bottom of page