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6 Steps For Success Every New Yoga Teacher Should Know

September 02, 2015


So you just finished your first yoga teacher training. What in the name of Ganesh do you do now? Rather than riding the wave of inspiration and excitement from finishing a training, many new teachers talk themselves into putting off teaching because they’re “not knowledgeable enough,” “too inexperienced,” or “not confident enough.” Reality check: the only way to get hands-on knowledge, experience and confidence in teaching is to teach. Starting something new always feels overwhelming, but discomfort does not justify avoidance. As a yogi, you have the skills to step into fear with acceptance, flexibility, and steady breath. Here are six steps to getting started as a new teacher:

  1. Commit to a regular practice. W hether it’s at home alone, one-on-one with another teacher, or in a group setting —the important part is  that you do it. Authentic and passionate teaching is informed by a robust personal practice.

  2. Get clear on your vision . What are you being called to do? Teach yoga full time? Teach on the side? Teach yin yoga to athletes? Teach vinyasa yoga to seniors? Earn a living? Practice karma? In your personal practice, set an intention to get clear on who you are as a yoga teacher.

  3. Share your intention.  Describe your vision to others. Tell your yoga teachers what you’re excited to start teaching. Post it as your Facebook status. Chant it from the mountain tops. You’re more likely to get opportunities from people who know you than by sending out resumés to strangers. If a studio-of-interest’s manager teaches a class, attend it regularly and remind them that if they’re ever in a pinch you’re certified, insured, and available to sub classes. Take one small action every day that moves you closer to manifesting your intention.

  4. Have the courage to say yes.   Hang in there; if you’re diligent eventually opportunities will arise. Some of them will scare you. Unless you’re legitimately underqualified, say yes anyway. Maybe you’ll get a desperate last-minute call to sub a world-famous yoga teacher’s class of 100-plus students. This is the universe offering you the motivation to tap into your deepest potential to fill some big shoes.

  5. Affirm yourself.  Repeat after me: I am calm. I am confident. I am worthy. I am wise. I hold space. I have grace. I do enough, I have enough, I am enough. Add affirmations to squelch your own limiting thoughts, and repeat them daily. When you stand in front of your first classes secure and confident, you exude energy rather draining it from your students. Do not open by apologizing for being inexperienced; that’s just an excuse to play small. Dare to be amazing.

  6. Have the courage to say no.  Early on, nearly any teaching opportunity may move you closer to your vision. But, as you receive more offers, it’s important to become increasingly discerning. Have the courage to say no to opportunities that are inconsistent with your intention. For example, if you feel called to earn a living teaching yoga, it is simply not sustainable to teach fifteen unpaid class per week. Trust that turning down incompatible opportunities will free up the time, energy, and space needed for your vision to come alive.

Author: Barbie Levasseur

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