Teaching yoga is a dream job for many. Unfortunately however, for many, it remains just that. A dream. It may have started with falling in love with the practice, then deciding that you wanted to learn more and share that knowledge with the world. Then you put in the hours, money and effort to acquire a Yoga Teacher Training certificate and you are ready to take on the world. Then a year goes by and you are right back where you started.
Without the proper tools and mindset in place, trying to become a full-time yoga teacher offering retreats in the tropics or leading sold out classes can lead to exhaustion. Out of necessity, many hopeful teachers end up back at jobs they’d rather not be doing.
But, don’t lose hope! Becoming a successful yoga teacher can happen and does happen all the time. And often it happens for those who know what to expect in the first year after yoga teacher training. Therefore, we’d like to share some advice to help make this transition easier.
Set realistic goals
It’s not exactly realistic to graduate from a yoga teacher training program and step straight into full-time work. New yoga teachers still have much to learn, especially when compared to long established and experienced teachers.
Setting realistic goals will give you something to work toward. It can be something like:
- Going down to part-time from your “day job” within six months. OR
- Teaching five steady classes at one studio by the end of the year. OR
- Saving up a certain amount of money to invest in a studio one year from now.
It depends on your goals. But setting the bar too high without any way to get there can lead to missteps and setbacks along the way. With a solid plan and setting achievable goals along the way will help you make sustainable progress.
Find private clients
Getting into studios and establishing a steady class schedule is the most obvious route that yoga teachers take. But private clients can actually help things exponentially. That’s because you can charge more money for private lessons. Don’t forget, yoga is a business, too.
Therefore, try thinking outside the box. Hand out fliers in upscale neighbourhoods, get in with corporate offices or get to know hotel concierges. Get creative! Private clients are great because they can help you sustain and because you can build a real rapport with them.
Conserve your energy
Teaching yoga is both invigorating and exhausting. And while many teachers start out with seemingly boundless energy, they will burn out if they don’t work toward balance in life. Some good advice is to try to prepare financially in case progress is slower than expected, set aside some time for your own practice, and maintain self care so that you are able to give the best of yourself to your students.
Like anything, it can be hard to recover once resources are depleted, especially with no back up plan to restore them.
This is not meant to discourage anyone from pursuing a life of teaching yoga. It is an incredible path and you are drawn to it for a reason. And while money and yoga don’t always seem to go hand in hand, it is part of having a career, and of sustaining a life. Money doesn’t have to be the end goal, but struggling doesn’t need to be a part of the equation.
Therefore, it is important to put some scaffolding into place so that you can work your way up to living the life you dream of through teaching yoga. Envision where you want to be, whether it’s owning your own studio, having private clients or teaching on the beach in Barbados. Then come up with a realistic plan so that you have the energy and wherewithal to get there. You might be surprised to see how far you’ve come in a year.
Congratulations on taking these steps and wishing you all the best in your Yoga teaching journey!