Whether you are a full time yoga instructor or thinking of becoming one, most of us come to this decision based on reaping the benefits of our own yoga practice and wanting to share this passion with others.
It’s important to enroll in a 200-hour teacher training program, which is available through most yoga studios. This training is a very intense experience that consists of learning anatomy, Sanskrit, yogic philosophy, various yoga poses, how to create a yoga class, how to guide a yoga class, how to modify poses–both verbally and physically, and how to market yourself.
This training process is an extremely rewarding experience; however, it can be very overwhelming upon completion to get out and start teaching.
When you first start pursuing teaching yoga full-time, there is a good possibility that you could teach 20 hours each week, which means 20 classes a week!
It hadn’t occurred to me that I only knew one yoga instructor who taught more than five classes a week and I also hadn’t factored in the travel time to and from class, as well as the time to create good, meaningful classes. Essentially, I hadn’t factored in that I would easily burn out, both physically and mentally.
After much trial and error, I’ve found that 10 classes a week is my best amount. This allows me plenty of time to prepare my classes, get to and from each class, and teach good, heartfelt classes that keep people coming back.
Find the time that is best for your internal time clock. For example, it’s best to not teach early morning if you are not a morning person. I find mid-morning and noon classes to be perfect for my energy level and time management. When you find the best time to teach, you will feel more inspired and happy to do so and your students will notice.
Notice how you feel after a few months of teaching and determine what your needs are to stay inspired and enthusiastic. Do you need a wider variety of classes to bring in more work and inspire you or do you like staying in one style of yoga and growing in that area?
I was trained in Vinyasa Power yoga and after a year of teaching it, I realized that I wanted to expand into other forms of yoga. So, over the next five years I received trainings in Yin, Prenatal, and Kid's yoga to help me stay inspired as well as offer a variety of different classes to maintain my schedule.
Not all yoga is taught in a studio. After spending my first few years moving from one studio to another, I realized that the studio atmosphere wasn’t for me. So, I branched out into recreation centers, offices, daycares, and schools.
This opened up a whole new world for me and can do so for you as well. Expand your ideas of where you can teach yoga and your opportunities will blossom.
This can be the most overwhelming aspect of teaching yoga, as it involves selling yourself, which can be extremely hard if you just want to provide calmness and maintain that in your life as well.
The good news is that after building your student base, a lot of your classes will be created through word of mouth. However, there are also easy ways to market yourself and create your yoga network.
There are many ways to supplement your income as a full time yoga instructor, such as writing about yoga, creating video or audio classes online, and teaching workshops and retreats at local community centers, in the park, or at a local studio. Just like teaching yoga, the opportunities for additional streams of income are varied to suit your needs and level of expertise.
As with any career, being a full time yoga instructor takes time, training, continuing education, networking, and a strong foundation of self care to remind you of the initial passion that brought you to teaching, as well as a continued passion to keep the fires burning within.