My Yoga Teacher Training Plan | A little every day

Last week I talked about doing something small every day and how that has been our guiding thought as we work through major home renovations, year two. This week, I want to talk about how that is specifically translating into my preparation for yoga teacher training next month (only 5 weeks to go – woo!).

So I made this commitment to yoga teacher training – and it’s a BIG one. The training is (10) 12-hr days in July and another (9) 12-hr days in August. At the end, if I make it, I’ll be a certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher.

But I’m nervous.

To be fair, I’m not nervous because I don’t think I can do it, I’m nervous because I want to make sure I do it well. So I’m preparing, as best I can, my body, mind, and soul for this journey.

Gathering Resources

I’m already familiar with the approach, philosophy, and the method of practice that I typically see in Baptiste classes. The routines are intentionally focused on a small number of poses. They have a consistent method. A consistent order. And, as a bonus, they’re very predictable. And that’s great, because it means I already have a good idea of what to expect in the practice portion of training.

The thing is, that training for teacher training is kind of a cart-before-the-horse thing, am I right? I’m going to the teacher training to learn to be a teacher, yet I need to take steps towards building my own practice and training myself in order to prepare for it.

Did you get that?

The point is, I need a teacher to train for my teaching.

My first instinct was to reach out to the sources that I know and the ones that are most immediate to me: my local studio. I love it there. It’s got a great vibe, a beautiful space, and some great teachers. But in my searches for teachers to learn from, I just couldn’t seem to find one that fit. I wanted to. Badly. But I just couldn’t find one that seemed to fit.

Plan B was to use the internet. I knew I would have to build my own practice, at home, in order to dedicate the time and energy needed to prepare. But I really didn’t know where to start.

Preparing for yoga teacher training when you don't know what to expect | My yoga teacher training - pre-training training plan! How I Sustain blog

And that’s when I realized I already had four sources of guidance immediately available to me: my iPhone, my computer, Instagram, and a Baron Baptiste DVD.

A note from Captain Obvious: Start with the Teacher you’re learning from

Duh. Honestly. I bought a Baron Baptiste yoga DVD several years ago, after I was notified by my employer that I would spend the better parts of an entire summer traveling through other states for work. Sure, it was awkward, at times, to carry my yoga mat from airport to hotel, to hotel, to airport while my older male colleagues grumbled about having to wait for baggage claim. But whatever. The effort it was absolutely worth it, to me, to have the chance to keep up with a challenging practice while on the road.

Fast forward to this year, as a bonus, this DVD brings the Baptiste yoga to me. And it gives me the chance to take the classes, and learn the routines, right at home. Duh.

Using My iPhone for Teacher Training Prep

Pandora Radio | Most of my training is self-led sun salutations, followed by a varying series of poses. I have a toddler, two dogs, a husband, and lots of other distractions that can quickly take me out of the peaceful bliss which is my practice. Pandora helps keep me on my mat and my yoga radio station is the soundtrack of that experience.

Yoga Studio App LogoYoga Studio App | I’ve talked about this before, but the Yoga Studio app is fantastic. It’s very flexible and offers self-run programs, on a calendar schedule, if you want it. For me, it offers “classes” I can take – at home – that don’t require me to come up with all of the ideas. It’s a nice break from my daily routine and it reminds me of positions, short series, and techniques that I can then incorporate into my daily work.

Headspace App | Headspace is a free app that offers guided meditation. It’s a great way to start or end my daily practice. It’s also just good for the soul.

Nike Training Club App Logo

Nike Training Club App | Every single chance I get to share my love for NTC, I do it. The routines are focused, guided, and really give you the flexibility to choose your interest for that day. I’ve been using it to add strengthening exercises into my routine (which is important in yoga, especially in the more physical Baptiste vinyasa flow).

Using My Computer for Training Prep

I recently discovered the world of online yoga through YouTube. And I’m simultaneously blown away and overwhelmed. Right now I’m switching between Ali Kamenova, Beautiful Yogis, and Lesley Fightmaster. I really can’t speak much to what is out there, but between the three, I’m able to get inspiration and ideas for my own mat work.

Inspiration from Instagram

I would be lying if I said that the discovery of some amazing yogis on instagram didn’t influence my decision to pursue teaching. Not because I want to be them, but rather because they remind me of the joy that I get from my own yoga practice. Here are my two favorites:

Jessica Aolie | Jessica Aolie is, hands down, my favorite. She wrote an eBook called #LetsStartYoga and I refer to it almost daily as I build my own flexibility and balance program at home. For a little more than the cost of one yoga class, her eBook is absolutely worth it.


The ones you say you can't and you won't, are probably the ones scared that you will. 💪🏼

A post shared by Morgan | @Ab_Asanas (@the_southern_yogi) on

The Southern Yogi | Morgan is also SUPER inspiring and it’s a lot of fun to scroll through her feed. She also shows a lot of short videos which are really helpful (and just fun to watch!).


So there you have it: a plan. And if I do this right, just a little every day will get me to where I need to be, just in time for the real work to begin!




Julie Love Gagen

After unexplained illness, with no diagnosis, forced me to take medical leave of absence in college, I chose yoga as a path towards healing. For me, it was a gentle way for me to get back into my body. And the experience, and practice, gave me the confidence I needed to believe I could heal. It worked. And it’s been magic ever since. In 2012, I chose to do a personal wellness challenge – 30 days of Hot Power Yoga – in celebration of my 30th birthday. The studio I picked was Baptiste Yoga in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The studio which, just a few years later, would be the inspiration and the setting for my RYT 200-hr Yoga Teacher training. The style of yoga I teach is a little different from what you’ve seen before. In my class, we focus on strengthening your core, elongating your spine, and finding the ideal position for each body, regardless of what it looks like.