Whoop whoop, congratulations you made it through yoga teacher training and you’ve got the certificate to prove it!
The thing about teaching is we have to do it to refine and perfect our skills which means standing up in front of new students who await your every cue with bated breath.
It would be strange not to feel nervous about starting your journey as a new yoga teacher, and it’s also wonderfully exciting to be on a path you have chosen because you felt so passionate about yoga.
With over a decade of teaching experience, I can still recall my first job which was covering a busy class and how nervous I was.
In fact, even the final teaching assessment had caused me so much anxiety that I had a hypnotherapy session to calm my nerves! True story.
I don’t recommend trying to grow a sustainable, longterm & happy career solely from teaching group classes because to make a living wage you need to teach so many hours, it often leads to exhaustion.
But, as a new teacher you need to grow your chops to discover what you really love to offer.
If you are a newbie yoga teacher then these nuggets will help to get you started
Here are my top tips to help you find opportunities and build confidence as a new yoga teacher
1. Teach! It’s easy to find excuses for not getting out there and then the sneaky inner critic tries to put you off. Ask some friends to be your students to get started.
2. Cover classes. Take your yoga resume around the local gyms and studios and introduce yourself. Gyms often need cover, be sure to add if you can be available at short notice. Gym/studio managers will be listening for feedback and often offer a permanent class.
3. Network. Being a yoga teacher can be lonely and feel competitive so, befriend other teachers to support each other and even create collaborations.
4. Do your Yoga Practice. Frequently, this is the first thing to falter. Your personal yoga practice feeds your self-care and your creativity. Even 5 to 10 minutes will help prepare you.
5. Be punctual. Not turning up on time or letting your class overrun delaying the next class is rude and won’t make you very popular.
6.When in doubt get them into Child’s pose or downward dog. If you feel like the class is running away from you or you hit a blank then cue students into either of these poses for an excellent pause to gather your thoughts.
7. Keep it smart & simple. Avoid feeling you have to impress students by throwing in very complicated sequences and then realising you forgot a whole chunk. True story again…
8. If you make a mistake apologise and move on
9. Teach to the people in front of you. Wanting to make a good impression or trying to teach like your favourite teacher can lead to not seeing what is suitable or appropriate for the bodies in front of you.
10. What are you certified to do? People will ask your advice on all sorts of things and although you want to help, Unless you are a doctor, nutritionist, therapist etc avoid giving advice that you are NOT certified to give.
Finally, as one yoga teacher to another remember to breathe!