After a bit of a challenging first year, I have the following advice for new yoga teachers that I wish had been given to me before I finished my certification class:
- Keep up your practice. You have been hearing this from your instructors and fellow teachers but I cannot stress how important it is. You can only grow if you water yourself with practice. This one was taught to me in my teaching certification course but I didn’t really understand how important it was until a few months after I started teaching.
- Keep educating yourself. Read new books on yoga, watch videos from other teachers, visit other yoga studios and see the different teaching methods. I would even go so far as to say that you should keep finding new certifications to add to your teaching toolbox. It is also good to get some first aid training in case something happens. If you were to work at any gym, they need you to have your CPR training.
- Make sure you register with Yoga Alliance. They offer a wealth of articles, webinars, and teaching resources when you register. It’s about $70 Canadian a year to have access to a great organization.
- Purchase your personal teaching insurance. This will help protect you if something should go wrong. For Canadian’s, it’s only about $170 a year. It’s worth every penny for the piece of mind it will give you.
- Create your own student waiver and intake form. This way you are protecting yourself from any information they might have been withholding from you if they claim legal action. I have a good template for one if you need it. Just message me on Facebook or send me an email.
- Create a website that has your name in the URL. You need your name so that people can find you when they look you up. I recommend WordPress because they have different levels of site building depending on your needs. I have the premium plan on mine which lets me customize my look to how I want it. It also gives me advertising revenue as a source of passive income. It costs about $130 Canadian for the premium plan.
- Get some professional looking photos take. You can use them for your site or if you need to create any advertisements. Looking at yourself in the best light you can also gives you a little confidence boost. I am super thankful to my friend Bram at Level up Enterprises for helping me out with some awesome photos that he took of me last fall.
- Look to your personal support network to help you gain experience as a teacher. Bank every one of those hours in your Yoga Alliance teaching hours. After a while, you will see how much you have progressed. Every hour that you bank adds up to getting your 1000 hours needed to become a certified experienced yoga teacher (E-RYT).
- Create some social media accounts for you as a yoga teacher. This is basically free advertising for you. It also let’s people see a little bit of who you are. Keep your entire social media professional at all times. This means even your personal Facebook accounts. How your show up in life is how you show up on the mat and in your class. It comes almost without saying that both students and studio owners are going to be looking up online and making their first impressions from how you interact online. There’s no need to be fake, just stay honest and respectful. The golden rule of social media is “Think before you post”. Then ask yourself, “How will this post effect the way my students and peers think and feel about me?”
- The final piece of advice I have is to be open to new experiences and new opportunities. Go out there and live your life. Make new friends and try new things. All of these experiences will be food for your practice and for your teaching experience. Remember that we teach best from the heart.
Think of this list as a kind of personal checklist of what you need to get started as a teacher.
My first year as a yoga teacher has been a challenging one. I have learned a lot and I know that I have more to learn. I created this blog so that I can share my experiences with you. As I learn more, I will continue to share it in hopes that you will learn from my mistakes and experiences.