Yoga teacher trainings give you tools to start teaching and improve your skills further with experience. As soon as you graduate you will probably a lot of ideas about what to read or research, or how to improve your practice further. But what about actually creating a yoga instructor career for yourself? Well, don’t worry we have some tips for you.
My first and most important tip for my graduates is to start teaching right away. It does not have to be a actual yoga studio class, you do not need a lot of students, you do not have to start making money out of it. Even if you are not planning to pursue a yoga teaching career right away, start teaching right after you graduate. Just grab someone, and start teaching at least once a week. Maybe a friend, maybe a family member, or maybe someone you know, who could really benefit practicing Yoga.
Teaching is not easy, and you only get better through practice. With practice you find your teaching voice, you build your self-confidence, you easily remember the cues and became able to lead your students fluently into the practice. All these require a lot of head space and as you stop teaching you start getting rusty. The idea of teaching starts feeling quite intimidating with time. The only way out of this slippery slope is to keep your teaching gears running.
Probably after a long teacher training marathon your asana practice and knowledge of yoga will improve considerably. Still, this does not mean that it’s time for you to stop being a student. Yoga is all about continuous self-transformation and growth. So, if you are going to teach yoga, the practice of growth and transformation, you also need to be practicing it. There is always more to learn about yoga, and the yoga world is also growing and evolving continuously. Even as a certified yoga teacher keep going to the classes, reading books about the practice, join workshops or short trainings. Most importantly, keep yourself inspired.
Before looking for professional teaching opportunities, research the local requirements for becoming a yoga teacher. In some countries you will need a yoga alliance registration, or a first aid training, or some other additional trainings before you are allowed to teach professionally. You might also need an insurance package.
Hopefully you will manage to lead a safe and sustainable practices throughout your career. Still, sometimes accidents happen, sometimes your students might ignore your warnings, sometimes an old injury will cause problems during your class. In such cases you want to be protected against law suits. In some areas of the world this will not be a serious issue, but for most of the western countries insurance is a must when teaching. Some yoga studios will supply you with a liability insurance if you start working with them, but some will require you to get yours. The insurance companies are aware of this demand so they will be able to present you insurance packages that are specifically targeted to cover the yoga teachers.
Now it’s time to start talking about creating professional teaching opportunities.
Before doing anything, stop and think about why Yoga is important for you. Why do you want to teach yoga? Teaching yoga is very different than many other jobs out there. It is a beautiful practice which brings meaning and health into people’s lives. Yes, in modern world, Yoga is dominant with physical practice but even in its physical form it is actually a deep spiritual practice. Your uniqueness as a yoga teacher will be defined through your vision of Yoga and how you communicate this vision in your classes. You will gradually form a tribe according to your style of teaching. If your message is clear, people who resonate with your message will become your loyal students. They will regularly come to your classes, bring other people to your classes and will happily promote you on social media.
Once you know why you are teaching yoga, why it is important for you, it is time for you to prepare a resume. In your resume include your non-yoga related trainings as well as your Yoga teacher training, Yoga Asana, Pranayama and meditation workshops and masterclasses. Any teaching experience, body work or music related experience will be valuable. Any course on nutrition, or healing practices or anatomy can also be highlighted.
Of course, one of the first things to will do is to reach out to yoga studios. The competition is high there though. As a newly graduate Yoga teacher the best strategy will be to ask to be added to sub teachers lists or ask for opportunities to assist classes. In this way you will get to gain experience and get familiar with the studio. As you improve yourself as a teacher and if your style fits the style of the studio then you will eventually get the opportunity to become a regular teacher in that studio. The classes you teach as a sub-teacher is also a good opportunity to get to know the students. Maybe some of them might ask for private classes after enjoying your classes.
You may also get in contact with some alternative places. Yoga is a life style and there is no reason to limit the practice to the studio environments. The wider you can spread the wisdom of yoga, the better. Also, for some people the yoga studio environment will feel intimidating. For those people it will be amazing to have an opportunity to be introduced to yoga in an environment that they feel comfortable. Consider getting in contact with spas and health clubs, art galleries, community centers, libraries, nursing homes, and senior centers.
Another good option is offering private classes. You may send a word out to reach friends and friends of friends. You may also put a listing on websites in which people offer classes. Another way to reach out is using flyers to advertise your private classes. You will mainly get two types of students for our private classes. The first type will be the first time Yogis who are just curious about the practice. They will not have a definite expectation form Yoga and will ask you what you can offer. For those, prepare a class plan. Decide on the length of the class, the type of yoga, whether or not you will be teaching meditation and pranayama, and of course the price. Be ready to clearly explain how they can benefit from yoga in general. The second group will have certain expectations from a private session. Make sure that you understand their needs and expectations clearly. And if it is something you can offer as a yoga teacher, let them know that you will be able to design classes for their individual needs.
It is also possible to create job opportunities for your-self in the business world. The business life is stressful and because of the unhealthy sitting postures the body craves for some movement during the work day. Some businesses are willing to offer yoga classes for their employees. Some of those businesses will be able to provide you with proper equipment and a proper room. But, in some cases you will need to find alternative solutions to some limitations in terms of yoga equipment and space. In such cases always remember that yoga is such an adjustable practice and one may practice yoga in any environment. If you are offering yoga classes during the working days you will need to design shorter classes, probably no longer than 45 minutes.
As you are building your career as a yoga teacher, social media presence and marketing in general is crucial. If you look at the social media accounts of yogis you will see that they are doing a lot of acrobatic, highly advanced asanas. But your advertising does not have to rely on your physical abilities. Remember yoga is not an external practice. Your advertising style should reflect your understanding of yoga so that you can reach to the right audience. Be active on the social media. Make sure that you add your students as friends or as followers in your social media accounts. Consistently create posts, share your ideas, share your knowledge, inspire people, engage in conversations, create discussions. Following popular accounts and observing how they are using the social media can be very beneficial. It is also possible to find a lot of good articles about using social media online.
Yes, the social media is a very powerful marketing tool but still one of the most effective marketing tool is word of mouth. Never underestimate the reviews and recommendations that you can get from your friends and students. Keep connecting with people, and your students. Learn their names, connect with them in the boundaries of professionalism. Always be there for them in the classes, do your best.
The competition is high in between the yoga teachers, but the demand is high too. The key is to staying true to yourself, your practice and your teaching will reflect your authenticity. Things will begin slowly, and even as it starts getting faster you will still have fluctuations. Like every beautiful thing in life, this will also take hard work, commitment and patience. Life will challenge you like it always does. Take all the bumps on this path as growth opportunities. And let everything inspire you rather demoralize you. As you keep it up, your spirit will attract people and you will have you growing groups of loyal students.