It is fun to be students and be responsible for only yourself while following the instructions of the teacher. But does the class look the same while you are on the other side of it? Certainly not. As a teacher in any field you have the responsibility of a whole class whether the students are children or adults.
Perhaps, no teacher has ever said that teaching is easy but many find it fulfilling with non-stop learning about the subject and students. For that matter teaching yoga is a profession where you have to keep evolving which can be done by a simple thought process i.e. be a student first, and then a teacher.
Before you start your career as a yoga teacher, you need to ask yourself “What is my purpose to teach yoga?” Defining the purpose of your yoga career is important as it will give meaning to your life and add happiness to it.
Elaborate your answers while asking yourself these questions. The starting point can be “I want to teach because I want to help as many people I can”, but it will not be enough to keep you motivated. Add more questions to your list and find in depth answers. “What and in how much time do you envision results for your students?” “Do you stay motivated all the time?” “How do you after teaching yoga?” “What will set you apart?”
The list can have many more questions to which you need to find answers. Your vision will help you guide through every time you lose focus or have a feeling to quit.
As a yoga teacher, you should actually ‘walk the talk’. You need to carve time out from your busy schedule to focus on your practice in order to hold a successful yoga session.
While practicing the asanas yourself before the class you will learn what it feels like in your own body, in order to guide others in the correct way. Be curious to learn and explore the boundaries of your body and mind which will in turn be a motivating factor for your students.
Remember “You cannot pour from an empty cup” so you need to keep refilling your cup in order to give others.
Yoga is ubiquitous. There is no one answer to how to teach yoga as all yoga teachers do it their own way. You can find a yoga studio or gym offering yoga or free yoga in a park. So, grab this opportunity to explore and do not get stuck to what you teach and how you teach.
Thinking what you know is enough and that there is no room to learn will make your yoga career stagnant. You will learn from everywhere you go. Even if it is a bad experience, you will know what not to include in your yoga teaching.
You can also explore Karma Yoga programs where you can where you can give some time to help out at a yoga studio for free. You can diversify your practice and become a better yoga teacher by attending different styles of yoga.
You came across an online post of a yoga teacher friend or a famous yogi who is able to teach 6 days a week, along with going to workshops and holding yoga teacher training programs with much ease which made you compare yourself with them and develop inferior feelings about yourself.
Remember, we are different individuals, and so our ways of teaching yoga and carrying forward our yoga businesses will be different too.
It can be easy to compare ourselves with others and feel as if what we are doing is not enough. Take your own sweet time to get to a position where you see yourself but at the same time do not have high and unrealistic expectations from yourself.
Grounding is an important yet ancient exercise that helps you to reconnect and realign your energies to the earth. When your body connects with the Earth, it enhances the mental, physical, and emotional well being and receives positive energy.
But how to ground yourself? Well, there are many ways to do that.
First is earthing, which is done by planting your bare feet on the Earth in order to absorb the energy of the Earth.
Another technique of grounding is done while sitting in a chair. Your feet should be firmly planted and keep your eyes closed. Take a deep breath and imagine roots are growing from your feet into the Earth and your crown opens to a white light. While you do this, you ground yourself in the Earth and open yourself up to the spirit. Do grounding before and after teaching a yoga class.
While teaching yoga, there is a tendency to absorb energies of other people which can make you exhausted. The techniques of grounding mentioned above will be helpful, but in order to protect your energy you can use one of the following techniques:
Maintain a schedule while maintaining balance in your life. In your schedule, you should have enough break time before and after the class that is not occupied with work. You should take time to eat a balanced diet, not hurry in your life, enough rest, and recollect your lost energy.
There should also be a dedicated spot for your readings related to yoga, quality time with friends and family, taking a holiday or any hobby of your choice. A good balance in life is when your physical, emotional and mental health are in place. You will develop more confidence and trust in yourself which will make your students rely on you with the same confidence and trust. It is important to balance your poses on the yoga mat, and at the same time it is important to balance your life off the mat.
Having more than one source of income is important because it is not necessary that you will earn a bomb with teaching in only one yoga studio. It will give you more freedom, a sense of peace and earn your deserving money easily without burning yourself like crazy every day.
You will be able to make passive income, while slowing down which will give you more time for self practice, and self care. When you have the required income, you will be able to hold free classes for the people and do your bit of Seva.
Your teachers have a great impact on your life and the same way your teaching style is often influenced by your teachers. But keeping the inspiration intact, you might start imitating them while teaching. It is important to inspire and motivate others by retaining your genuinty while borrowing someone else’s words.
For example, if you have a playful personality, do not hesitate to bring it forward in the class as it may lighten the mood and help in building a connection with your students.
Don’t forget to do your homework before you show up in a class. Before holding a yoga session you should have a clear step by step plan in your mind or in the form of notes as to what and how you will teach.
You should not seem lost in front of your students as to what will be the next asana. Have a plan in mind but at the same time, don’t be too rigid with it. Also, always have a plan B and change your plans according to the students and energy level of the class.
When you come to the class, along with your footwear, leave your ego outside.
You can either have an attitude of ‘I know better’ or you can learn and grow. You should be willing and open to feedback from your students. You should ask for feedback which can be verbal as well as on your social media or Google page.
Ask questions like “Did you like today’s session?” “Do you have any difficulty after yesterday’s session?” and build a connection with your students. Take feedback in your stride and be motivated to learn more and improve yourself further.
Being a yoga teacher isn’t a walk in the park. It requires time, effort, dedication, authenticity and love for yoga. To become a successful yoga teacher, you need to work on yourself in different ways and the above points mentioned can definitely guide you on the right path.