For some, teaching yoga might sounds like ‘the dream job’; being your own boss, choosing the hours you work, doing something you love, and not sitting at a desk all day, but here are a couple of things to think about before throwing in the 9-5 and embarking on your teacher training …
- Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?
Are you ready to be your own boss, organise your own schedule, manage your own finances, and sell your expertise? The answer is YES, but guys, it’s tough out there at the start. Studios don’t have regular openings for new teachers, so you will have to be savvy to help yourself hit the ground running. Here are some of our tips:
- Network, network, network! Get to know other yoga teachers. Investigate doing free classes to gain experience and offer to assist for free in other classes.
- Find your niche. Maybe you enjoy something that few people do, you could you investigate different kinds of yoga? Pregnancy yoga or sports rehabilitation?
- Some studios offer Community classes for new teachers, this is a good way to get your foot in the door!
- Go private! See if any friends or family want some one-on-one sessions to boost your confidence!
- Go corporate! The Yoga Agency connects yoga teachers with businesses looking to bring in yoga teachers.
- Organise or run events – Think outside the box about other ways you can make money. For example, you could start a yoga supper club like Downward Dog and Dine. – LINK TO INSTAGRAM
- Consider how many classes a week you need to teach for your base salary and be prepared for your pay to fluctuate. Chat to other teachers – see what they say.
- How flexible are you?
Not that kind of flexible guys… everyone knows yoga is not about touching your toes (or do they?). Yoga teachers may often be required to travel around to clients on a day-to-day basis, often at antisocial hours. Most people are going to classes before work, lunchtime, after work or at the weekend. Consider whether this fits in with your lifestyle and if you are happy traveling to different studios and clients wherever you are based. Balance your priorities and don’t burn yourself out racing around from class-to-class!
OK, you’re sold! What now?
Which training do I do?
Choosing a training is tough. There are so many out there it is hard to know what is best for your practise, and more importantly, whether they are legit. (Tip: make sure it is Yoga Alliance accredited!).
The best way to decide on a training is to ask your favourite teachers who they did theirs with, you may even find out one of them runs their own training! Spend a bit of time researching the different trainings you have been recommended and pick one that fits around your schedule.
Trainings are expensive, so you may find that you need to find one you can do alongside your current job. Here are some examples of different structures:
- Part-time: E.g. Eight weekends (including Friday evenings) over the course of two months. This allows you to continue your 9-5, throughout your training. This is a good option if you aren’t sure you want to be a yoga teacher just yet and you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. It is also good for those of you who like to learn things over a longer period and practise what you learn in between training.
- Intensive: Some people would rather be immersed in the experience and therefore 4 weeks abroad sounds far more appealing! Be mindful that after your training it may take some time to start earning so if you are throwing in the 9-5 make sure you have some savings to fall back on!
- Half and Half: Some schools, like The Yoga People, allow you to do half and half. This way you get the best of both worlds. You can keep the job and do your first 100 hours in London, and then take 2 weeks off work for the second part of the course abroad.
Remember – training is physically and mentally demanding so make sure you’re properly prepared before you go!
Will I be ‘good enough’?
Don’t be put off by thinking there is a certain standard of practise… there is no such thing. What might be good for someone else may not be good for you, so start listening to your own body as the teacher is just a guide. Make sure you are practicing regularly and be honest with yourself in your practice, it’s not enough to just turn up to your mat, make every second count and don’t skip the parts you hate! In the words of the Rocketeer Marcus Veda; “it’s about the hard slog without needing the pay-off” (Greed, Sex and Intention 2018). If you have made it this far and you are passionate about helping others to use yoga to shift their life in a positive direction, share your experience, be receptive, and never stop being a student!
And finally, enjoy it and good luck!