The life of a yoga teacher can be hugely rewarding ; from new connections, expanding your knowledge to watching student’s personal journeys. However, what can you do when your motivation and excitement for your own practice starts to fade? This can leave you feeling disheartened and can start to affect the authenticity of your teaching. Luckily, there are numerous ways to reignite your passion for yoga. Julie Montagu shares her practical tips on how to continue to evolve as a yoga teacher and ensure your relationship with yoga is one for life.
GET TO KNOW YOUR STUDENTS
When you teach yoga in a studio you will get used to seeing the same people. Taking time to get to know your students in a meaningful way is hugely valuable. Talking to them beyond a ‘hey, how are you?’, will show them that you are interested in building a relationship, and will also enable you to better serve them as a yoga teacher. People are much more likely to open up in your classes and to commit to progress, when they feel like they can trust you.
CREATE FRESH CHALLENGES
Keeping your classes creative and coming up with new sequences regularly is a great way to continue evolving as a yoga teacher. When you first start out teaching yoga you might find that you have a written plan for each of your lessons. As you progress in your career, it can start to feel more natural to let your instincts guide each session. Whether you are working from a lesson plan or not, always try to incorporate new ideas into your lessons, and always make sure that you are challenging your students.
HAVE A MENTOR
Finding yourself a mentor that you can look to as a source of inspiration, is an amazing way to continue your development. As well as attending the lessons of this person, you can also reach out to them to seek individual guidance. Discussing your ideas with a more well-established yoga teacher will be great for your personal development. You will know which areas of your yoga practice could use improvement, and where the gaps in your knowledge exist. Sharing these thoughts with your mentor is a great way to use your time together. Make a physical list and check in with it regularly to see how you are progressing.
BE A MENTOR
Just as continuing to learn from someone is a fantastic way to continue your evolution as a yoga teacher, sharing your knowledge, wisdom, and experience with others can help you also. Whether you offer this guidance in a professional and structured way, or you have a more casual mentor relationship with a small selection of people, being a mentor will encourage you to stay committed.
COLLABORATE WITH OTHER TEACHERS
Working with other yoga teachers is arguably just as important as having ongoing guidance from your mentor. When you collaborate with other teachers you are giving yourself opportunities to come up with new ideas and hear the thoughts of other teachers. You can get creative with your collaborations, and you will likely find new students are drawn to you as you reach new audiences.
KEEP YOUR OWN PRACTICE UP
Keeping up your own yoga practice can often be difficult when you are working as a yoga teacher – especially if this is your full-time job.Your personal yoga practice is not only important for your evolution as a teacher, but also for your physical health and emotional well-being. A good way to combine this with getting to know your students, is to take lessons in the studio where you teach.
HOST YOUR OWN WORKSHOPS
Getting into the flow of teaching regular yoga classes is something that will eventually come quite naturally to you. However, hosting workshops is an entirely different challenge. Each workshop will be different and will require a lot of time, attention, energy and planning. A workshop will usually be longer than a regular yoga class, and will require teaching in depth about your chosen topic. This means that you will have to enhance your expertise on this topic, to a level where you are confident to teach it.