Congratulations! You completed your teacher training and have decided you want to start teaching!
You may have felt your heart chakra light up at the thought of sharing oms part-time, or you have heard the inner calling during a blissful Savasana that you must quit your current job and embark into the yoga community at large to release your inner guru.
Here are a few tips for all yoga teachers wanting to create a sustainable living and overall happy trek through the Yoga Jungle.
1. Have a vision.
Seeing yourself as an inspiration to others will help you avoid getting involved with gossip, studio drama, and other community-destroying distractions.
As you practice what you teach on and off the mat while truly living the yoga spirit, your students will connect with your authenticity and your respect for the integrity of the yoga philosophy.
2. You ARE your company.
Surround yourself with successful people within the yoga community, as well as outside of it. Yoga is business, let's face it. And successful entrepreneurs have something to teach you.
3. Cultivate your yoga garden.
Live in the present and dream in the future. Doorways will inevitably appear for you the longer you teach, so prepare for the unexpected new beginnings and opportunities that you have yet to encounter by dreaming them into reality.
4. Share the abundance.
Sub out your own classes to occasionally teach others at the same time slot, while allowing other teachers to do the same for you. You will cross paths with new students who like to practice at a time you lead your class, as well as give yourself a break from a regular routine.
We can all benefit from change and from expanding our network.
5. A teacher is ALWAYS a student.
Study with teachers in order to understand the evolving trends and to keep you inspired. Avoid the jealousy trap also, if a teacher has a sold out workshop…why not attend? Meet students there and find out what is attracting them to him or her.
6. Be yourself.
Don't be afraid to question what another teacher is doing. Be bold! You walk this path because you have a purpose. As you respectfully inquire about another's intent or perspective, it will help you constantly stay aware of your own journey.
7. Do something that scares you.
Yoga teaches the hardest lessons. Perhaps the best information comes from not learning what to do, but what NOT to do. Injuries, disagreements, and fear may challenge you initially, but they always serve as a gateway into deeper wisdom.
Notice when you want to "check out" when confronted, and if possible, choose to ground yourself, remain focused despite your most stubborn resistance, and encourage the breakthrough that is likely occurring just under the surface.
Your students will be most appreciative of your ability to empathize with them as they confront similar situations.
My teacher, Larry Schultz, used to say, "We need 1,000,000 teachers to save the world." Create from the heart, teach with spirit, and live your legacy. We all have something to teach and something to learn. I look forward to meeting you on the mat someday soon!
Image Credit/Yogi: Judy Rukat