Almost five years ago, I completed a 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher training in the style of Baron Baptiste.
It was an incredible experience, challenging myself to dive deep into the layers of yoga: asana, pranayama, meditation, svadyaya (self-study) to name a few. This experience changed me profoundly. Not only did I explore my own practice and gain the tools to teach yoga classes, but I began to understand what yoga means to me.
How it is my path. Why I am here and what I want to share with the world.
Very powerful stuff ;)
Not to say that this experience didn’t bring challenges.
Yoga teacher training, in some ways, will have you on your knees.
Hopefully at some point you’ll cry. You’ll question if you can do this, if it’s meant for you. You’ll make mistakes, get confused, fail. Your body will be sore and tired, and your mind cloudy.
But these are all good things. These moments are part of the process. When we embrace and accept them, we grow.
If you’re on the yoga teacher path, whether you’re just starting to think about registering for a training, or you’re in the middle of it — I commend you. I bow gratefully in your direction with a smile. This is not easy, this work you’ve chosen.
And so, a few gentle reminders… to boost you up. Because you deserve it ;)
3 Reminders to New Yoga Teachers
Your voice matters. It will be easy to compare yourself to other teachers and to think that you are ‘lesser than’ because you’re new, but don’t let that diminish knowing your worth. Everything you’re doing, all this work you’re putting in, all you’re learning… it’s for a reason. You found yoga for a reason. Trust that. Trust that when you hear the sound of your own voice, and you watch students receive the words that you say and the energy that you bring to class, that you are making a difference in the lives of others. And if at any point you find yourself questioning, asking am I good enough? Should I do this? Am I a good teacher? give yourself time to meditate. Do not shy away from these questions and these doubts. You must face them and explore them in order to move forward in your teaching. Yes, you can go there and yes, it is scary. You’re examining and shifting your very identity, putting on the role of a teacher. And your voice here matters.
Continue to seek clarity. Ask, why do I teach? What do I want to give my students? What is my yoga practice about? What is yoga? Continually be willing to go inward and meditate on these things. They matter and they are shaping who you are as a teacher. Rise to the occasion of being willing to look at your own darkness, and the healing power that you bring to your students will increase exponentially.
Give it all away. Who are you doing this for? Who are you teaching for? This changes over time. Sometimes it’s a loved one who you know who was suffering before he or she found yoga. Sometimes it’s for your community. Sometimes, honestly, it’s for you. But you can, moment by moment as you’re teaching, find ways to give your practice away. Give away all of the effort that you’re making. Dedicate your hard work to others, to the betterment of society. Give away love. Surrender. Allow it all to be for the highest good.
Those are my two cents ;)
I also created a little guidebook (below) about questions to ask before you accept a teaching gig. I wrote this mostly because I hope you don’t make the same mistakes I did. I hope you slow down and take time to discover if this teaching opportunity is good for you and if it’s the right fit.
And thank you for doing what you do. Namaste.
Have you found a studio you love and you’re ready to audition? Before you teach a kick-ass class and ace your interview, take a breath. In this e-book, you’ll find:
The questions you’ll want to ask any studio owner before committing to teach a class
Interactive worksheets to help you determine your list of must-haves at a studio, and the deal breakers that will make you say “no thanks”
Ways to stay calm for your audition
Ideas for how to stay balanced and keep good boundaries as a yoga teacher