Advice for New Yoga Teachers
I've received a lot of emails from aspiring yoga teachers asking for advice on how to get into teaching, and whilst I'm by no means an expert, I thought I'd share some of the things that worked for me when I first started.
1. Don't delay - The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to take those initial steps, and the rustier you'll feel when it comes to actually teaching your first class. It's unlikely that there'll ever be a time where you feel truly 'ready', so that's why you've just got to dive in and go for it. Feel the fear, and do it anyway - even if it's just a case of organising a casual get-together with a group of friends in the local park to begin with. Once it's over, you may feel relieved, ecstatic, or completely mortified about how bad you thought it went (trust me, it's NEVER anywhere near as bad as you think), but at least you'll get the ball rolling and move past the initial feeling of fear.
2. Knock on doors - Whilst it might be considered to be a heavily saturated industry, especially somewhere like London, don't forget that there's still millions of people at your disposal, waiting for you to introduce them to the wonders of yoga. There is plenty of space for new teachers! Don't be afraid to email, call up, and pop in to studios in person - and if you don't get a response straight away, persevere. It is competitive, which is why the more pro-active you are, the better.
3. Be visible - Whether it's a Facebook or Instagram page or an actual website, make sure people can find you. Direct people to your page and let them know they can find out a little bit more about you and your offering. This suggests to prospective studios and clients that you are serious about it.
4. Practice with other teachers - Whilst you're in the process of finding your voice and your teaching style, try out as many different classes with as many different teachers as you can. Not only will this help to develop your personal practice, but it will help you to refine your own style of teaching. Introduce yourself to the teachers and the studio managers and say that you're a new teacher - it's a very supportive community here in London, and people are generally very open and happy to give advice.
5. Find your own voice - The above being said, whilst it's great to draw inspiration from other teachers, don't worry about what anybody else is doing and don't try to impersonate. Ask yourself questions like - what drew me to yoga in the first place? What do I enjoy most about the practice? What do I want to share?
Whatever the answers may be, just do YOU. Some people will love you, some people won't. And that's okay. Nobody can ask anything more of you as long as you stay true to yourself. The right students will gravitate towards you and you'll soon have a community of supportive students who come to your classes because they enjoy your teaching.
6. Keep Learning - Take some time to think of a theme or structure to your lesson. Swot up on your asanas. anatomy and philosophy whenever you get the chance to, so that you can bring a little something extra to your classes each week.
I hope you find these tips useful. Please leave a comment below if you have any feedback or questions.