How To Survive As A Yoga Teacher... And Be Awesome

Gopala Amir-Yaffe
How To Survive As A Yoga Teacher... And Be Awesome

You love yoga. You immensely dislike your office job. So you took a yoga teacher training … maybe a few of them, and thought you’ll be able to make a living out of it. Well, it’s not that easy when there are a few other thousand yoga teachers in your city.

I come from a small country with lots of people living in a small place. If you offer the same product like everyone else, you get swallowed in the crowed. To be noticed you have to be different. It is the same with teaching yoga. To be a successful teacher, to be a yoga super star, you have to stand out.

1) Stand Out From The Masses

What can you do that no one else can? What will make people choose you over all of the other yoga options in town? What will make them go "Wow!"? How can you reinvent yoga in a unique way that is totally you?

I suggest that you start from where you already are. What are your passions? What are you really good at? What have you been working on already for your whole life that has made you who you are today? You don’t need to forget about all of those hours and days and years and sweat and blood you put into your “old” passions when you shift into teaching yoga. Life is an evolution rather than a revolution, and everything you will build from here on has, in one way or another, its foundation on what you have achieved in your past.

2) Combine Your Passions With Yoga

Combining your passions is a great way to come up with something new...

  • You have been a DJ – Create Yoga Parties with live audio/video effects. Super fun!
  • You have played the guitar or harp or didgeridoo – Let yourself shine and play your instrument during relaxation in your class. People will come back again and again for that!
  • You love chocolate – Feed your students chocolate between poses and teach them how to meditate and reach ecstasy by discovering and diving into those intense flavors.
  • You have been a dancer for your whole life - Bring it on! Free style dancing is the perfect balance for the rigid movements of yoga.
  • You have studied medicine for the past 5 years before you decided to convert to being a yoga teacher – Teach your yoga students about the amazing magic that is happening in their body while doing yoga. Make it interactive and fun!
  • You are an accountant or lawyer – You must know how stressful it is to have such a job; use your experience to share something special with the world!
  • You have always been good at inventing and building stuff, maybe you are even a carpenter or an engineer – Create and build new and amazing yoga props and fill your yoga studio with them... maybe even call it The Yoga Inquisition!

The possibilities are endless and this is how people came up with ideas like Baby Yoga, Pre/Post Natal Yoga, Partner Yoga, Senior Yoga, Aqua Yoga (yoga in the water), yoga and weight lifting, Doga (yoga with your dog), yoga and knitting, yoga on exercise balls, Yoga Fight Club (yoga and marshal arts), Yoga Canvas and Cabernet (yoga, painting and wine drinking), Yoga for Surfers, Yoga for Golfers, Equestrian Yoga (yoga on a horseback), Acro Yoga, Circus Yoga, Aerial Yoga (yoga suspended from the ceiling by straps)... and many many more!

3) Don't Be Like Everyone Else

Yoga is not set in stone. It has been evolving since its very early beginnings. Even if you took a very “traditional” yoga teacher training, it had very little in it that was called yoga a hundred years ago.

Don’t be like everyone else. Have some style. Dare. Live a little. Experiment.

Have a specialty... Even within kids yoga; so many people have done it before. We have all seen normal, childish children yoga... Boring. Be a bit crazy! Be yourself! Think outside the yoga box. I can’t wait to see what you will come up with.

4) Think About What People Want

Also think about what do people really need and want. They want to be healthy and fit… But they also want to feel alive! They want to have fun. They want to interact, socialize and play. They want to learn something new... maybe about themselves. What can you give them that they can take back into their lives?

More than anything, people want to be happy. So this is your new job description as a yoga teacher: Make people happy! Can you do that? I know you can.

And most importantly, while you do all of those awesome things, don’t forget to be nice. People come to your classes not just because they like what and how you teach, but also because they like YOU.

You are the future of yoga. We (the old folks of yoga) don’t want you to be an exact copy of us… we want you to be YOU. We believe in you. Amaze us!