Hardly speaking with words of wisdom, but speaking with what I know from 1 year of teaching yoga (6 months of which has been my full time job), here’s one for the teachers out there. I’d love to hear your tips too NAMASTE ?
1. Teach what you know which means staying true to YOU and doing the yoga that you know and love. I don’t mean delivering your own practice, I mean teaching from your heart – a place within which is genuine and healing. Speak that truth and let your light shine in class. Be unique, be different and people will enjoy your class because of YOU so… bring it!
2. Don’t teach for money, teach because you love to teach yoga! If you teach with love, people will feel that and keep returning… trust in that, always believe in yourself and the money and opportunities will come.
3. Observe your class, demonstrate less… and less… and LESS! Not only will it save your body but by really REALLY watching your class, you will learn everything you need to know as a teacher – how to work with different bodies, different ages, different abilities, the list goes on…
4. Protect your private, personal space. Open up when you want to and share. Other days that might not be there so feel free and confident to remain mysterious but always approachable.
5. Self-care is SO important. Don’t deny yourself that pizza and beer after delivering 4 classes in one day! Try other things for yourself that are different to yoga. Sleep well, eat well, take nice baths with essential oils and Epsom salts for your muscles. Don’t overwork your mind or body so you burn out too quickly.
6. Know your value. Teaching yoga is a job like every other. You deserve to be paid for the service you are providing – we need to eat too! Make sure to set your price fairly – begin a little lower and then after some time you can increase it when your knowledge and offering develops.
7. Know when to say no. When you first start teaching, offers can come flooding in… other weeks there’s nothing. It can be hard to get that balance and avoid desperation to take on anything. I say go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right – it’s too much work to take on or for too little pay, say NO. Stay true to yourself and trust in your instinct – that goes for the people, products and businesses you surround yourself and work with too.
8. Add in pranayama practice. This is all too often left out of classes but is wonderful to add in, especially after a dynamic active part of class. Go back to the Hatha Pradapika for inspiration. Be brave enough to try something different and experiment with your teaching.
9. Savasana is the most important part of the class. Never sacrifice it or let it be less than 5 minutes long for an hour class for fear of missing out that final inversion or twist!
10. Give people a little something extra – an assist, a new mudra, a themed class, using essential oils, a beautiful song in savasana, a free goodie at the end of class goes a LONG way and it’s what they’ll remember you for.
11. Find a mentor. I’ve been lucky enough to have the support of Emily Scott Yoga since my 200hr training. She has given me the best advice not only for teaching but for business too. Words she said to me have stayed with me and helped me so far on my journey. If there’s a teacher you like approach them for mentorship and see where that takes you.
12. If you don’t want to be of service, best get out of the game. Harsh but true. Please OH PLEASE don’t be that teacher who prances about as if on stage only to deliver a class that is unavailable, unattainable and IMPOSSIBLE for 100% of the students in the room. A good class is well balanced, well-structured and includes perhaps one peak posture. The idea is for people to leave feeling better than when they came in so don’t demonstrate something only you can do and leave your students feeling crap about themselves and not good enough. It’s your job to empower people and help them believe, accept and know that they are enough and already perfect just as they are. ?