10 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Yoga Teacher
Yoga is an incredible practice that brings joy and peace to countless practitioners. Odds are if you’re reading this, you’re either already a yoga instructor or you’re thinking about becoming one.
It’s easy to see why many people are drawn to the idea of becoming an instructor. It can be wonderful to help others reach the serenity that yoga brings, but teaching is a little more complicated than just showing up for class with an epic playlist and a solid flow.
Check out the list below for some of the things you should consider before becoming a full time yoga instructor.
1. THE HOURS
Not only could you end up working way more than expected, but you can also find yourself working hours that totally contradict with the other people in your life. Finding time for friends and family becomes a struggle when you’re always working during their free time (and vice-versa).
Give yourself at least one day off a week to recharge. No one is the Energizer Bunny — we all run out of steam eventually. Running yourself ragged won’t benefit anyone. Your family and your students need you at your best, and you owe it to yourself to give yourself the time you need.
2. TIME FOR YOUR OWN PRACTICE
You’d be surprised how many instructors end up putting their own practice on the back burner once they take on classes. Once you start teaching, you may struggle to find time to practice on your own.
Finding or making time to practice is one struggle you’ll almost certainly face after becoming a teacher. Losing your passion for yoga practice is the last thing you want to do, so even after a long day of teaching, you have to find the motivation within yourself to get on the mat. Prioritize your practice by making a special time and space that’s just for you to do yoga. Put it on the calendar if you have to — find time for yourself wherever you can.
3. HEALTH RISKS
Yoga has its risks — anyone who has been practicing long enough knows what could go wrong. Pushing yourself and ignoring the signs your body is throwing at you could seriously damage your body, possibly even permanently. You’ll also need to find out what health benefits your job provides so you know what position you’ll be in if you get hurt at work. Some studios might want to employ you as an independent contractor instead of a full-time employee. Always know what benefits you have for the worst-case scenario.
You have to be totally honest with yourself and your potential employers about what you need from a position. This isn’t about being greedy — it’s about valuing yourself and the service you provide and being compensated fairly. You don’t want to be working yourself into the ground and not even making enough money to pay your bills. You need to find out if you’re going to be paid per session, hourly or on some other scale. Find out how much you need to make from a position for it to be beneficial to you.
5. TRAINING REQUIRED
Teaching yoga takes a minimum of 200 hours of training (and it should) because you’re responsible for the health and safety of other individuals. You have to know how to safely adjust poses for others, what restrictions apply to practice and how to modify yoga to best suit the needs of your students. Becoming a teacher takes time and training, and training is never really finished. There’s always something new to learn when it comes to teaching. Make sure you have a hunger to learn, or you may find yourself getting burned out.
6. TIME IT TAKES TO GET HIRED
Even after you finish training, tons of studios will still want you to have several years of teaching experience before they hire you. The only problem with this is that you need experience to get experience in the first place. There may be a stack of applications from other yogis who are trying to get the same position you’re applying for. You need to make your teachings unique and reinforce the idea that you’re the best applicant for the position.
7. WORKING TWO JOBS
When you’re just starting out, it’s highly likely that you won’t make enough from your practice to sustain you. To keep yourself afloat, you’ll more than likely have to keep your day job, which means being able to handle the demands of two jobs and your personal life. Do you have the time to dedicate to both positions? Can you maintain your level of performance after stretching yourself thinner? Be honest with yourself about what you can really manage.
8. RESPONSIBILITY AND SELF-CONTROL
If you’re contracting, you may be able to make your own schedule. While the freedom this provides can be wonderful, it can also give you the opportunity to slack off. Making your own hours only works as long as you stay motivated. You have to make sure you’re holding yourself responsible. Make yourself an expert in your line of work. If you know you should be working, make yourself get to work — don’t allow yourself to slack off because you think you could put it off until later.
9. WORKING WITH OTHERS
Being a yoga instructor isn’t just about being knowledgeable about your practice. You also have to be able to work with others and learn how to guide them in a way that’s beneficial to them. Not only does this mean touching sweaty people to adjust their poses, but it also means learning how to mentally guide your students. You have to know how to give them verbal encouragement and give them the drive they need to get the most from their sessions.
Is yoga something you’re truly passionate about? Do you want to get into teaching because it brings you joy? Chances are you’re not going to get rich from teaching, so you need to really evaluate what draws you to this occupation. Examine your motivations to see if teaching is a good match for you and your needs.
This list is by no means an attempt to talk you out of becoming an instructor — it’s just meant to give you an idea of what you may face on your path. If yoga teaching really is your calling, you’ll find a way to manage the challenges it brings, and you will do it with grace.
- Posted in: Yoga Business