Once you’ve experienced the timeless wisdom and magic of yoga, many people develop a strong desire to share this ancient practice with the world. But how do you become a fully fledged Yoga teacher? Where do you start? How do you get a regular slot teaching?
First of all, embarking on the journey of a Yoga Teacher Training will give you the credentials and the right skills to step onto the path to becoming a Yoga Teacher. After you’ve found which style of yoga gives you joy, it is time to find a training that suits you and check whether you meet their prerequisites to apply for their course. There are an abundance of trainings right across the globe from two-year non-residential trainings to intensive 200- hour trainings in countries; from India to Indonesia. Picking the right training is important, so if you’d like to find out more on what aspects you’ll need to consider, read our blog on How To Choose The Right Yoga Teacher Training For You.
After you’ve graduated and you are out in the big, wide world of yoga ready to teach, there are a few things you’ll need to put in place and to consider doing to help you live your dream.
What to Organise Before Teaching
One of the most important things to have in place as a Yoga Teacher is your insurance. Nowadays, there are many companies that specialise in insurance cover specifically tailored to Yoga Teachers. Check that the style of yoga that you teach is covered and where you are insured to teach, as if you were teaching at your home, you may need more cover. Ask your insurance company if you need any additional cover if you teach pre or postnatal yoga, aerial yoga, kids yoga, and any other yogic practices other than asana. Most companies will give you comprehensive Public Liability Insurance, which will cover you to teach at studios or community centres, but check if where you are teaching requires anything else as well.
Storing your certificates and filing them together is a sensible thing to do for when you need to show them to either a studio or an organisation before you teach. Keep them clean and neat in a folder, but as well consider making copies of your certificates if anything were to happen. Some establishments will request to see your certificates, others may not, but it is an important document to keep safe for the future.
CPR training or First Aid Training is also often a requirement to be able to hold classes at most yoga studios or fitness centres. These courses can last a day or some can be done over several days if you are unable to commit to a full day in one go. Before signing up to one of these courses, check how long your certificate will last for, so you know when you’ll need to attend a refresher session to keep you up to date and certified.
Who are you teaching?
Deciding on who your target audience is, is important. Try to be as inclusive as possible as you find your niche. There may be the chance of spreading yourself too thin if you are trying to appeal to anyone and everyone all at once. Ask yourself, who are you trying to help and why? Think about the needs of those around you, and how yoga may be able to bridge that gap.
Selecting your niche can seem difficult at first but think about what inspired you to teach originally. If your passion lies in helping teach younger generations yoga, so that they can deal with the pressures of school and college, maybe kids yoga or teens yoga is your niche? Or, if you have an interest in sport maybe consider creating classes for athletes or dynamic Vinyasa Flow sessions. The list can be endless so brainstorm what you are passionate about and how you can use that passion with yoga to serve those within your community.
Getting started teaching
“Don’t wait to teach!’ – Corey Wu, All Yoga Lead Teacher Trainer
This little snippet of advice was something my teacher said to us at the end of our training intensive, and it is one of the most important pieces of wisdom I’ve had as a teacher. Building up the confidence to teach is tough, but try and dig deep and teach as much as you can, wherever you can. The longer you leave it to teach, the harder it will be. This doesn’t mean going straight out to the most popular yoga studio in town and asking for a job, its about teaching those close to you. Providing classes to friends and family is an invaluable resource as a graduate teacher. Once you feel a little bit more used to the structure of a class and how you want to teach, then consider going out and teaching sessions in public places.
Teaching people you know may help you feel more comfortable and can encourage confidence. They can also provide feedback and constructive criticism, if needs be, which will help you learn and grow the more you teach.
Once you’ve branched out to teaching others, consider holding free yoga sessions at your local community centre or a local park, to get you more used to guiding a more varied group of students. When you’ve got a little bit of a class setting experience under your belt then look to contact other places where you can hold regular sessions.
Where To Teach
Before applying to teach classes its a good idea to get started with putting together a Yoga Teacher Resume. This can help you stand out from the crowd as you step out into the vast yoga teaching world. No person is the same, and no teacher will be the same, so expand on what makes you, you!
Include other skills you might have such as previous fitness training experience, massage, reiki, customer service, cooking or event planning, as these are excellent additions to add to your resume. Be sure to add details of your training and any additional trainings, First Aid/CPR courses, or workshops you attend as a teacher. Add a picture of yourself at the top of the page and include a small paragraph or two about who you are and what is at the centre of what you teach. Let your personality shine through!
Once you have your resume up to date, its time to start thinking about where you’d like to hold your classes and where people that fit within your niche would go for classes. There may be opportunities to teach at your local community centres, village halls, schools, hotels, or health food stores. Enquire where you can and consider the time slots available and go from there. Drumming up support by inviting family and friends to your first few classes may help instil some further confidence as well.
Or, you could apply to yoga studios or fitness centres in your area, just because you are a new teacher it doesn’t mean you won’t be considered. Some studios will ask for a certain amount of experience before leading a class, but they may also offer apprenticeships or the chance to assist in classes with other teachers. Often you’ll be asked to do a trial class or an audition so the studio can see that you can teach. Preparing a sequence beforehand and going over it thoroughly will help.
How to Advertise
Marketing yourself in our modern world is something of a must, but it doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable or ‘un-yogic’. Start by deciding what you will call your business as a self-employed teacher, using your name is a straightforward way for people to find you easily.
Decide on your rates for your classes, private 1 to 1s or corporate sessions. Take into account the prices of other fitness classes and how much rent you’ll be paying. Or if you are taken on by a studio or sports centre agree a rate of pay for your classes.
As you find spaces to teach at look into how you’ll advertise the classes and who you’ll advertise to. Handing out flyers, advertising on social media, posting in local groups or newspapers are all ways to get the word out about your classes to potential students.
Setting up a website or a social media page for your yoga business is another great way to reach more people. Websites give the opportunity of blogging so that students can see what you are like and what interests you, or you can instead share your experience with yoga. Sites such as Wix and WordPress can be an excellent starting point so you can build a website yourself with the templates on offer. On your website, you can create a class timetable, an events page, as well as providing your contact information, so people can contact you easily. There, you can also advertise promotions and deals for classes.
Learning Never Ends
The great aspect of choosing a yoga teacher as your career is the opportunity to keep learning continuously as well as being a student of yoga for life. Doing a training course is the first stepping stone into teaching, yet there are many more trainings, workshops, and courses that you can do to help you expand your knowledge. Through the rise of online learning, there are many opportunities to study courses offered by many well-known teachers from across the globe, to help you learn at a pace suitable for you, in your own home.
Another way to learn, as well as a way to find a dose of renewed inspiration, is to attend classes by more experienced teachers in your area. This is also a great way to get to know other teachers and to network, which could lead to further opportunities in the future. You may be able to cover their classes if they need a hand or assist them in workshops. It’s also great to have someone who may be able to give you some support as you navigate teaching and running your own business.
As you balance teaching with your own practice, you’ll soon learn how to bring your discoveries, light-bulb moments, and realisations on the mat and into your classes. It won’t always be easy to find time to arrive at your mat when juggling teaching or working, but never underestimate the wisdom and lessons gained from your own regular practice. It’s a vital part of being an authentic teacher as you can’t teach what you do not know or what you have not experienced.
Becoming a Yoga Teacher is a rewarding journey to take. Remember that all good things take time and try to be gentle with yourself if you feel you aren’t doing good enough, as even the greatest teachers were new to it once. Learning never stops and as time goes on you’ll find new ways to market yourself, teach different students, and to grow as a teacher. It isn’t always easy but it if you allow yourself to learn from your mistakes and be open to opportunities, you never know where teaching yoga could take you.