When starting out as a yoga teacher, there are a lot of logistical and practical steps you need to take, like getting qualified, finding a studio, planning a marketing strategy and much more. In fact, we’ve covered a lot of those steps in our other Yoga For Business articles, in case you’re interested. But there are other lessons to be learned when it comes to starting out and fulfilling your potential as a yoga teacher and in some ways these lessons are even more important. These have to do with your mindset and feeling empowered as a leader.
Many people look to their yoga teacher as a leader or a source of knowledge and wisdom, which is a really rewarding role to play in your students lives. However, it’s important to remember that you simply can’t have all the answers- none of us can. When starting out as a yoga teacher, we often feel as though we’re supposed to know everything, whether it’s physiology related, philosophy related or a technical question.
The prospect of having to say “I’m not sure” can make us feel like a failure in the beginning but in actual fact, this is a great opportunity to work together with a student to find a solution or to go away and educate yourself and let your student know that you’ll get back to them. This authenticity and willingness to admit that you don’t have all the answers will actually make you more relatable to your students.
Similarly, it’s important to remember that there’s always more to learn and there are always things you can do to better yourself as a yoga teacher, no matter how long you’ve been doing it for. Be willing and ready to accept feedback from your students. They’re actually your best source of information when it comes to professional development because they’re the ones who are experiencing your teachings first-hand. So many of the best yoga teachers out there are as great as they are because they see every class they teach as a learning opportunity.
There’s only one you. You’re a unique human being with a one-of-a-kind story and when you recognise that fact, you can use it to your advantage as a yoga teacher. Being a yoga teacher isn’t just about having the right technical knowledge or qualifications, it’s about sharing your experiences, your insights and your wisdom through your teachings. It’s great to learn from mentors and your own yoga teachers but you’ll never be able to teach exactly like they do- because you’re not them. When you find your own teaching style that reflects your journey, you’ll be offering your students a much more authentic and fulfilling experience every time they walk through the door to your class.
When you start out as a yoga teacher, you’ll likely feel a bit nervous before your classes. This is completely normal and in fact, some very experienced yoga teachers still get pre-class jitters. These can actually be a great thing because it shows how passionate you are about showing up and doing a good job for your students. Nerves can be a great motivator and chances are they’ll help you to bring you’re A game to your classes.
If you find that your nerves are a bit overwhelming before your classes, then practice what you preach and make sure you leave time for a few breathing exercises before each of your class so that you can channel your nervous energy and use it productively.
Yoga is such a personal experience. Everyone does it for different reasons or to achieve different outcomes and, just like in our day to day lives, different people are attracted to different qualities in the people around them. Some people might enjoy a fitness focused yoga class while others might enjoy a more meditative experience. Some people might like a yoga class where the teacher gives consistent vocal instructions while others might prefer more silence. Your classes will never appeal to everyone and as soon as you accept that, you’ll begin finding your ‘tribe’ of yogis who feel as though your classes and your teaching style are exactly what they’re looking for.
If you’re a Yoga Teacher who would like to bring your teachings to a new audience, you can register to teach a Yoga For Good Foundation community class. It’s a paid opportunity and a great way to share your wisdom with our community. We’re also opening our grants portal on 30 January 2023 so if you have a yoga project or course that’s doing good in your community, we’d love to read your application. You can read the guidelines here.
We are passionate about sharing the joy of practising yoga and offering you an opportunity to connect with your true self on a regular basis.
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Ahimsadhara is an expert teacher and author in yoga for trauma survivors. After teaching War Veterans for many years, she is now focusing on international programs and further writing. In this class, she uses asanas to help with healthy breathing and as a preparation for pranayama and yoga nidra.
Angela is an experienced Yogi and Dru Teacher Trainer, environmental campaigner, peace educator, and avid traveller, always seeking the best methods to promote health through Dru Yoga’s practices. Join Angela on the mat for a simple journey through energy block release, alignment with sequence, asana and mudra to leave you feeling refreshed, inspired and welcoming change.
Our sole mission is to create opportunities to do good for others through yoga.
And we’re making an impact.
…for their incredible contribution to our Life Now Yoga and meditation programs!
This generous donation will mean we can buy new yoga equipment, run a new yoga class in Broome, and enhance our meditation program for cancer patients and their primary carers.Cancer Council Western Australia
Their grant is enabling me to offer FREE trauma informed therapeutic movement and relaxation to frontline mental health and social services staff in Bega.
Participants are really valuing the time out for themselves and experiencing integrated poly vagal theory. And I get to be in a teaching space, yay!PremKranti Counselling
…allows us to reach more underserved and vulnerable community groups who can benefit from a trauma-informed yoga and embodied mindfulness practice at zero cost to the participants.
Some of the community groups we’ll be serving in the current months include 000 Foundation, Men’s Walk and Talk and WAGEC.Yoga on the Inside
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