Making the decision to become a yoga teacher can be very exciting but intimidating. Luckily, there are all kinds of training available to teach you the skills you’ll need to know to be an effective and personable yoga instructor. Even still, learning to teach yoga is a unique experience. Here are some things to be aware of before you begin teaching yoga that they won’t teach you during yoga training!
You don’t need to be perfect at every pose to be an effective teacher.
Your confidence in your practice may be keeping you from pursuing training as a teacher of yoga, or even prevent you from using your training to pursue a job or teaching position. It can be really intimidating to be in front of a group of people trying to teach them poses that you may not feel comfortable doing. That’s okay! What makes yoga such a unique activity is that it is designed to accommodate different comfort levels and is a practice.
Be honest with your students about your comfort in different poses, especially when instructing beginner classes. In training, they may not teach you the importance of being vulnerable, but it is such an important value to bring into your classes. Being comfortable with your deficits and limitations makes you realistic. Think about your first yoga class and how impossible you thought some poses were at the time. We’re all works in progress, and the practice of yoga embraces this, so don’t feel like you need to be perfect.
Work through your discomfort with your class, and they’ll be more willing to work through their own discomforts. It builds greater trust, and really will make the teaching experience more meaningful. Everybody started with zero knowledge who teaches yoga in Nepal, Yoga journal and yoga Expert. Hard work is what makes you confident and start doing it from today as you don't need to be expert to start.
Some of your sessions will be terrible---and that’s okay!
When you leave a class you instructed feeling deflated, don’t personalize it. Everyone has bad days at work, and yoga instructors are people too. And you’re allowed to go into a class not feeling all Zen and balanced. You are a human being, and human beings are grumpy, or have bad mornings and sometimes just don’t feel right. It’s okay, try to keep your class upbeat, or switch out with another instructor if you’re able to. Sometimes, you just need a day to reset. If you ignore your own need to be human, you’ll burn out of teaching yoga so quickly! If you had a bad session, reflect on it, own it, and move forward. It’s okay!
Some of your sessions will be nearly empty
Don't fret. It can be discouraging when no one shows up to your regularly scheduled classes. Even when registered, sometimes people forget or something pops up that prevents students from attending your class. It's okay. Life happens!
Also, you have to work to get your name and reputation out there. Think of your instruction as a brand. It takes time for people to get comfortable with you and for word to get around that you're the real deal and that your class is enjoyable. Embrace the process and know that great things take time. Think of the first few classes you ever went to, and how a great instructor stayed in your mind and you tried to get to all their classes even when there was another instructor at a more convenient time. People like comfort and familiarity, so it's not personal when you are first beginning in your instruction.
It is difficult to find a teaching position
This is really dependent on what area you live in for sure. If you live in a very rural region, and especially one that is not familiar with yoga practice then it will be extremely challenging to find work. If this is your experience, consider moving to a larger or more urban area. If moving not an option for you, then be creative! Consider a longer commute time or contact local organizations and offer your services. You can even look into hosting live web classes for your own website, blog, or even on Facebook or YouTube. Instructors have a lot of flexibility (no pun intended) for the work that they do. Don’t give up if you’re finding it difficult to find work.