What Happens After Yoga Teacher Training?

Your Next Steps After Graduating from a YTT by Michelle Thielen

In general when employers are hiring yoga instructors, they tend to seek those who have completed the industry standard of a 200-hour teacher training program (commonly referred to as YTT or 200-hour YTT). This does not necessarily mean that you have to teach yoga after completing a 200-hour program. Many trainees attend a 200-hour yoga teacher training to learn a foundational knowledge of all things yoga, and to deepen their personal practice. A 200-hour YTT covers many aspects of yoga and is a great foundation to explore your yoga practice or begin your yoga career. When selecting a teacher training through a Christian organization, you can expect to deepen your faith and the things of God if the Bible is one of the required textbooks. Diving into teacher training will broaden your horizons to various pathways, philosophies, and disciplines of yoga. Because their are numerous pathways it can be quite overwhelming and confusing. At some point, you will need to act like a laser beam and “focus in.” After completing a program, you’ll want to incorporate a time of reflection, prayer and journaling. Sit with the Lord and ask His Holy Spirit to guide you into the next steps.

There is a season for everything under the sun. You may sit, dwell or shelf your experience, picking it up in a later season or not. If you have received clarity in the direction you want to go, below are some tips that may help you in your future endeavors.


Reflection, Prayer, and Journal (Ask, Seek, Knock)

As mentioned above, it’s critical to spend time in reflection and prayer after graduation. The excitement is most likely palpable and you may be receiving invitations to teach before your feet get the chance to hit the ground and settle back into life. The Bible says that if we ask, if we seek, if we knock – God will answer us – He isn’t hiding answers from us. However, He does invite us to spend time with Him in order to do these 3 things.

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8, NIV

Enthusiasm vs. Passion

In the beginning of anything, you will start with a fury and an excitement, ready to conquer anything. But what happens after the first few speed bumps of your journey? You should be prepared, because speed bumps and storms will come. What will keep you on the path when things get hard? What will you do when discouragement, naysayers, fear, and failure come knocking? What will happen when your enthusiasm fades? Are you prepared for financial challenges? Pitfalls? You see, enthusiasm can only take you so far, but your true passion will keep you in the journey for the long haul. You need to choose a path that you are truly passionate about, ensuring this path integrates the gifts and talents that God placed inside of you. Otherwise your destination, should you get there, will not be sustainable.

Need help prompting your passion? Click here for a journal that helps drill down on what God has graced you to do.

 Crash the Chatterbox

Fear is the single thing that keeps most people from living out their dreams. That first step into the unknown, into the “abyss,” can be terrifying! Fear is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real, and isn’t this the truth? Your “monkey mind,” or what I like to call your “chatterbox,” plays and replays false evidence over and over. Unfortunately, you believe it a lot of the time. Here are some common chatterbox whispers that you might hear in your head, and that you must work to overcome:

You can’t do this
You’re not worthy
You need more education
You will never make it
You are not good enough
You are too old, too young, too short, too late, not pretty enough, etc.
Nobody will show up
Too many will show up
Just don’t try, don’t do it
Stay where it’s comfortable

Do any of these sound familiar? Every single one of us deals with this mental chatter. The great news is that we can mute the chatterbox! Learning to mute the chatterbox is a daily discipline, because the chatterbox doesn’t actually go away. Instead, you have to learn how to combat it. When these lies come up, speak God’s Truth out loud. Declare who He says you are.

Select your favorite scriptures to quote when your lie comes to mind. Try to memorize verses as much as you can. When the fear or lies pops up, your speak out loud God’s Word!

For example; If a common lie such as, “I’m not worthy,” plays repeatedly in your mind, a simple phrase from 2 Corinthians 5:21 is, “I am the righteousness of God.” In addition, if you ever need any confirmation of your worthiness or ability, refer to, or memorize, John 14:12; “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”


So . . . you graduated YTT. Now what?

Identifying your passion will determine your next step. If you asked me, “What do you bleed?” my answer is immediate: Dance. That is because in my deepest innermost parts, dance is what allows me to become truly alive and free. If I ask you the same question, the answer would probably come very quickly. That is because your passion literally runs through your veins. Take time to ask yourself what most about your yoga teacher training resonated with you. Perhaps you’re attracted to the healing aspects of yin and restorative yoga. Or maybe you enjoyed studying scripture, faith or the discipline/spiritual discipline aspects of training. Recognize the gifts that God placed in you, hone in on your passion and niche, then, pursue those wholeheartedly.

Use this information to guide you on your journey post-teacher training graduation. Glean from the wisdom of your YTT. Practice meditation and pranayama, inhaling and exhaling. Experience your breath prayers in an embodied way. Exhale those things that are taking up space in your life, so that you can create space to inhale your dreams, gifts, and passions. Allow the Lord to fan the flames within you.

That is why I remind you to fan into flame the gracious gift of God, [that inner fire—the special endowment] which is in you through the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]. 2 Timothy 1:6, AMP

Remember the words of Lewis Carroll: “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”

So . . . what exactly are you waiting for?

Get your Fan the Flame Prayer Journal today.


Michelle Thielen

Michelle Thielen, C-IAYT, is an international speaker, humanitarian, and author of Stretching Your Faith. As a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapist, Michelle aids in raising awareness and rescue efforts of human trafficked victims. Michelle founded YogaFaith and the Christian Yoga Association. She has been teaching and choreographing dance, yoga and somatic movement for almost 30 years.