What I Wish I'd Known Going Into The Yoga Industry
So you just finished your 200-hour and you're so eager to teach yoga that even if that creepy guy sitting next to you on the subway wanted to learn yoga, you'd teach him. Heck, you'd do it for free because you're sure he'd love it, and then he'd tell all his other subway friends, and soon you'd be doing retreats in Bali and making $100 dollars an hour and... Sound familiar?
Well sorry to be the one to burst your happy yoga bubble but the truth is:
IT'S NOT EASY TO LAND A JOB TEACHING YOGA.
Oh did they not mention that in your teacher training? How weird...maybe it's because you just paid them $3,000, and the majority of people in your training will NEVER make that back through teaching yoga. Please don't mistake my banter for negativity, I'm not negative at all. In fact I'm extremely positive, but when I see that some people are getting convinced that they can make all this money teaching yoga right out of training, well it just plain upsets me.
After closing out my first year of teaching a few months ago, I've had time to reflect on what I wish I would have known going into the yoga industry and here is what I found:
1. You have to be willing to make no money at first.
For at least the first year after yoga teacher training, you better have a second job, some money saved, or someone who can support you financially for at least a year. Why? Because most studios and gyms aren't going to pay you a lot if you're just starting out. However, you must be willing to take a low-paying job in the beginning, because that's how you get to practice, and that's what you need to be doing constantly. NEVER stop practicing teaching.
2. If you fail, try, try, try again.
Unless you're some kind of prodigy, you won't get most of the jobs you apply for. There will be more experienced teachers who, in all honesty, deserve the job more. They've paid their dues and now you it's your turn. Don't let this discourage you! These auditions and interviews will help you develop as a person and teacher. Embrace your stumbles and get right back up and keep trying.
3. Experiment with what teacher you want to be.
Don't try to replicate a certain teachers style. I know you love certain teachers' classes and you can allow that to influence your style, but don't try to be them. It won't work, and people will feel that you're not being yourself. This of course takes time, be patient and remain calm, your true self will come out.
4. Practice everyday.
Yes, you do have time to practice every day. And this shouldn't feel like a chore! If it does, then you might want to ask yourself why you really want to be a yoga teacher.
5. If you're not confident, act like you are.
Don't be overly confident, no one likes a show-off, but show people that you believe in yourself and that you love teaching. If you enjoy helping people, then this will happen naturally. If you don't like helping people, then you might want to ask yourself why you really want to be a yoga teacher.
In the end, stay positive and use every resource you have.
Most of the teachers in your circle can relate to whatever you're going through and hopefully they'll be there to provide you with the advice you need to hear. If they don't, ask me! I might not have the answer but I'll always listen and try to direct you.
Namaste and good luck!