As teachers, we’re able to hold space for our students, lead large groups of classes and laugh at ourselves when we mix up our left and right - something that happens roughly five times a day. We put ourselves out there everyday, especially when it comes to our students and giving them the best class we can. And we usually have pretty strong yoga communities surrounding us, making it easy to get stuck into this little bubble. So when someone mentions networking , we may just shrug it off, and say, the universe has my back. I’m not worried. Of course everything will work out the way it’s supposed to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t step out of your comfort zone every once in awhile. I mean, that’s what we teach our students, after all, isn’t it?
Networking can simply mean offering to sub a class at a new studio, or taking a class yourself. People may think that yogis are totally spontaneous, which can be true at times, but we also get stuck in our routines. Shake things up a little and introduce yourself to a new teacher or style of yoga. Chances are high that you’ll leave class feeling reinvigorated, your teacher brain creating fresh sequences, and maybe even an invitation to join a sub list. Really, there’s nothing that could go wrong.
As a teacher, you’re likely a contractor - an entrepreneur of sorts. You may teach the majority of your classes at one studio, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring new avenues. Put your entrepreneur cap on and think up some new ideas that could take your business to the next level: are there any local companies, organizations or even individuals you want to team up with? Set up a coffee date with another teacher and talk shop, or interview them for a blog post of podcast. Even set up an audition at a new studio to get on their roster. You are the one who gets to shape your career, so go forth!
Yoga teachers tend to be quite humble and don’t often put themselves out there to get attention. But attention doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you’re doing great things in your community, then you deserve to be noticed for making a difference. The more often you step out of your comfort zone, creating new connections, relationships and partnerships, the more people will hear about you and your amazing work. It’s only a matter of time before strangers start to recognize your impact and potential, which can lead to people reaching out to you for new and exciting opportunities.
Your nerves are sure to creep up on you at some point during your venture into networking, or whatever you would like to call it to make it seem less scary. Be your own teacher during these times and tell yourself you take a few deep breaths and come back into the moment.
Everything is just as it should be, and you only have positives to gain from these experiences.