Create your Own Path

Lately, I have been considering going through yoga teacher training. The dilemma here is the fact that I already own a studio, so I don't want to give my money to another studio to train me. I've gotten many suggestions from going on a out of town retreat to bringing in some master instructors, not associated with a specific studio, to train me.

The other obvious option here is to start up my own training program at Tula. I am in the unique position where I don't have to interview/audition for a job when I'm done with training, therefore I can more easily seek my own path in learning how to teach yoga. This is liberating and at the same time, a bit scary. Why am I so scared to do something different? Because in America, it is ingrained in us from an early age that we should attend 'prestigious' schools, learn from master teachers, hold certifications, obtain the right credentials, build beautiful resumes and look good on paper. In addition to this, in the yoga industry, there is a big emphasis placed on lineage. If there are no formal standards or checklist of things that I need to learn, how can I effectively learn to teach? If I learn to teach yoga from my favorite teachers/friends, am I then destined to not be a very good teacher? If I don't seek certifications, credentials or a stamp of approval from the Yoga Alliance or other governing yoga association, will I ever be taken seriously?

I would argue that I am just as able to become a great teacher. Some of the world's greatest teachers, and other professionals (chefs, artists, musicians, athletes, etc) were self-taught, dropped out of formal schools and created their own path to their life's purpose, paved purely with passion, hard-work, drive and talent. I would even go so far as to say that they may be better at what they do than their more formally trained counterparts because they created their own path - they had to seek out their own inspiration, draw upon their own experiences, answer their own questions. They may be better at keeping an open mind to differing viewpoints and theories. They may be better at blending different techniques to come up with their own unique ideas. In the book, Yoga Beyond Belief, Ganga White writes "We cannot learn to fly by following the tracks left by birds in the sand. We must find our own wings and soar."

Even strongly believing all of these things, I am still scared. I am scared of people asking "who are you?" or "what do you know?". But I know this is just my lizard brain talking and it's slowly getting quieter......

Please share with me how you have created your own path to something you wanted. What were the pros/cons of doing this?