HA! It’s funny that I am writing this because I definitely did not have a successful first year as a yoga teacher. But I’ve been teaching since 2011 and I have gathered a few tricks up my sleeve! The more advice you receive, especially during your first year as a yoga teacher, the better. But know that I am speaking to you from experience and find that success is a lifelong journey. Here are my secrets:
1. Keep another job that brings you income
This is a big one because you will doubt your yoga journey if you can’t buy groceries or feel guilty for spending money on a pedicure. Part-time jobs are awesome for yoga instructors. I come from the land of promotions, doing events for a few hours and making bank! Without those gigs, I would be on the street. You could make decent money if you are teaching 20+ classes per week, but you’ll find that teaching that many classes will burn you out faster than you can say YOGA.
2. Read everything you can about yoga
After four years of teaching yoga, I am just now starting to figure out my place in this world. At the beginning, I wanted to learn a bunch of Sanskrit and wow everyone with this ancient, beautiful language. I found it messed me up during teaching and you will find that some things just do not work for you. Experiment. Try and fail. Try and succeed. Check out books about yoga that appeal to YOU, not your teacher, not your best friend, but articles, books and magazines that get you all excited! Remember that it is YOUR journey!
3. Don’t stop going to classes
My teacher trainers stressed this a lot and I thought, “I will never stop going to classes, I love yoga, that is why I am here!” Well, it happened. I taught 10+ yoga classes per week and stopped taking classes for a long time. I burnt myself out and didn’t want to take anymore. This is your education. Classes online or in a studio will bring you inspiration and get you out of your head for at least an hour! If you stay present and remember the flow, go home and write it down. Do it a couple times, change it up and make it your own! You’ll come back to the mat eventually. We always do.
I cannot stress this one enough. I recently grasped this concept after I recorded a 60-minute routine that had to be spot on to the script. I practiced every day for one to two hours and by the seventh day I had all the moves down by heart. If you are not practicing, you will feel unprepared and feeling unprepared makes you doubt your ability. You are awesome. Remember that by practicing.
5. Teach classes to friends and family for free
Ask for feedback. Listen. Teaching to friends and family can be even more intimidating than teaching to a group of strangers. But know that they are all cheering you on inside their heads! People want you to be successful, so prove them right!
Your path will be different than mine, different than your teacher trainers and different than the person sitting next to you. Explore your skills and style and make it your own! I had a teacher tell me to teach the same class for one month. I built on that foundation and added a few new poses each week. Soon enough, I had my own yoga style.
The last thing I’ll say is not to worry about other people’s success in the yoga world. There is only ONE you and YOU are incredible. If someone finds teaching success, cheer them on! Take notes and move on from their accomplishments. Get out there, do your thing and don’t look back!
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- 5 secrets to a successful first year as a yoga teacher - Apr 3, 2015