If you’re anything like me after completing your 200-hour YTT program, you’re probably imagining yoga studios and enthusiasts begging you to be their yoga teacher. From my experience, though, the reality is a bit different.
After speaking to a few successful yoga teachers, while drawing on my own six years of experience, I’ve found five key steps that will help you become a sought-after yoga teacher in a highly competitive industry.
Be Confident in Your Skin
1. Accept That Not Everyone Will Like or Want to Hire You
One thing that every successful yoga teacher has in common, is that they are comfortable with who they are and how they teach. You will come across many people who do not like your teaching style or who do not want to hire you. And you need to be confident enough not to take it personally.
2. Stop Trying to Be Perfect
When I first started teaching, I was so self-conscious that I would practice the vinyasa routine I had prepared for the class over-and-over again just so that I wouldn’t forget any part of the sequence. I soon realized that this took away the joy of teaching. Most importantly, it didn’t allow much room for feeling into what my students needed, because I was so fixated on getting it right.
You will mess up. You will forget parts of your sequence. You will even forget the names of the asanas (yes, even the English version). And that’s okay. People enjoy authenticity. And if you take the pressure off yourself to be perfect, you’ll find that everyone, including yourself, enjoys the class much more.
3. Practice in Front of a Mirror
For me, this was a real game-changer. I found myself often wondering whether I looked like a yoga teacher. These thoughts took me away from being present with my students. So, I decided to tackle my insecurity by practicing in front of a mirror. This allowed me to become more comfortable with what I looked like while I was teaching.
I knew what my face looked like while I was talking in a down-ward-facing dog. I knew how my tummy rolls I had while I was in a forward-fold. And over time, I stopped caring. I knew that my students weren’t there because I looked like a yoga teacher. They were there because I gave them a beautiful class that made them feel better when they walked out than when they first arrived.
Gather Your Necessary Documents
1. Register at Yoga Alliance
Now that you’ve completed your certification, it’s time to make it official by registering with Yoga Alliance. Depending on where in the world you are, most yoga studios will be registered with Yoga Alliance. By becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher, you gain more credibility, which allows you to teach at a wider variety of studios. Think ALO-Yoga vibes.
2. Get Liability Insurance
It’s important to have liability insurance to protect you when teaching. This ensures that studios pay you, as well as giving you protection if a student gets hurt during one of your classes. Every country has their own liability insurance process. Make sure to do thorough research by chatting to other yoga teachers.
3. Create Your Yoga Resume
You can find incredible Yoga Teacher positions all over the world on platforms like Yoga Trade and Yoga Travel Jobs, or the Facebook group Yoga Jobs All Over the World. The only catch is that you need an updated resume.
Make sure to add any relevant experience. If you don’t have any Yoga Teacher experience, simply offer a few free classes to friends and family or a local community. Draw on other skills as well, since these positions often call for many talents, such as project management, marketing, writing, cooking, or socializing with guests.
Refine Your Skills
1. Have a Daily Personal Practice
Have you heard of the 10,000-hour rule? Well, the same applies to being a yoga teacher. The best yoga teachers have a daily practice. Create your own sequences or follow along with a video. Either way, make a commitment to showing up on your mat on a daily basis.
2. Join Yoga Classes
Attend yoga classes 2-3 times per week. This allows you to perfect new asanas, while also seeing what other teachers in the industry are doing. It’s important to stay on top of things (without copying, of course).
3. Go to Yoga Festivals and Workshops
Yoga festivals and workshops are a great way to improve your skills, as well as to meet like-minded people. You’ll gain some tips and tricks on how the pros are doing it, which will be good when you’re just starting out (although it’s good to do this when you’ve been in the industry for a while, as well). Allow yourself to learn and be open to receiving feedback.
1.Tap into Your Market
Don’t sit around waiting for an opportunity to fall into your lap. Look around you and see where and whom you can start teaching. Your friend has a big backyard? Great! Ask her if you could offer a yoga class there. Your local gym is looking for a new group exercise class? Ask whether you can offer your skills. There’s a local yoga festival coming up? Reach out to the organizer and check whether they need any help.
2. Network. Network. Network.
If you want an opportunity to get into the yoga industry, you need to TELL people that you’re a yoga teacher. This was a big challenge for me. For some reason I thought that if I told people that I was a yoga teacher, they would ask me to do all sorts of complicated poses right there on the spot. If you’re like me, I can assure you, that’s not the case.
By being open and honest about your skills and the fact that you’re looking for a job or possible collaboration and partnership – you open yourself up to a whole world of opportunity.
3. Give Back to Your Community
Also known as Karma Yoga, this is an excellent opportunity to share your gifts with your local community, free-of-charge. Even though you’re not getting paid and will likely not be teaching in a top-notch studio – you’ll make a few friends and gain some new students. And you know what they say about Karma… it always comes back around.
1. Set Up a One-Page Website
Although not necessary, this helps a lot. People Google everything. If you have a simple website, you have more credibility in the eyes of potential clients and employers. Some key components include:
- Your credentials
- A story about yourself
- A few high-quality pictures
- Details about your services and contact details
Don’t overthink this. There are plenty of platforms where you can setup your one-page website for a few dollars or even for free. You can try Wix, MailChimp, or ConvertFlow to create a simple, free, landing page that showcases everything that makes you unique and special.
2. Have Business Cards Ready
People should be able to contact you. Make sure that you have a few business cards in your wallet or purse, or create a free digital business card with MyQRCode. Your business card should have:
- Your name and surname
- Your business name (if applicable)
- Your email address
- Your cell numbers
- Your relevant social media pages
Completing your Yoga Teacher Training is a great milestone and wonderful achievement. If you’re willing to put in a bit of effort and allow yourself to be seen, you are sure to create a successful career out of your love and passion for yoga! Keep showing up and trust in your unique abilities and skills.