So, you want to be a yoga teacher?
Not only am I very happy for you but I urge you to keep on this path if deep down inside you know it’s what you are meant to do. I will warn you though, like anything else in life, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows although most of the time it is. I couldn’t be more grateful to be a guide for others through their yoga journeys and to continue to progress through my own. I wouldn’t trade my job for the world…if you can even call it a job, its more of a lifestyle.
If you’re one of the 20,000 people who have spoken to me about your wish to teach yoga but have no idea what to expect, this blog is for you. The good, the bad, the ugly and everything else in between are covered here for you!
Let’s start on a positive note.
1. You’re being true to yourself.
This applies to other areas of life as well. When you know deep down inside that you supposed to something and you decide to pursue it, you are honoring your self and doing what I call, “living your truth.” Resisting what you are created to door putting it off only builds regret and sadness.
2. Helping the community & Developing friendships
Although you’re getting paid for your service, you are helping your local (and global) community heal and find peace within themselves. Whether you realize it or not, as a teacher you inspire others to be true to themselves and to make time for themselves even if for an hour a week.
The second aspect of this is the friendships you develop with your students as a result of being their teacher. I’ve been told many times how I’ve inspired someone to do something, how they feel resonate with me or how happy they are to have me as a teacher. I just want to say that I feel the same about each person who comes to my class. I love connecting with my students on a personal level and it’s probably my favorite part of being a yoga teacher. Building community in a world so connected yet disconnected is a blessing within itself.
Additionally, the health benefits of yoga are unbeatable. You will be helping people physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally as a teacher. You are a blessing to your students whether they realize it or not.
3. YOU GET PAID TO DO YOGA
This one’s pretty straight forward. If yoga is part of your lifestyle and you do it everyday anyway, becoming a teacher is as badass as it sounds. You get paid to lead others through their yoga practice, something that you’re already passionate about anyway. This aspect of the job is part of the reason I haven’t pursued an alternate path or lifestyle. IT IS POSSIBLE TO MAKE A LIVING AS A YOGA TEACHER, I DO IT EVERYDAY.
If you’re a full on wanderlusting fool like myself, there are opportunities around the globe to teach yoga. It’s not going to happen overnight, most places need some experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eventually do it. I’ve been a yoga teacher the past two years with severe wanderlust and I finally got my first international gig teaching at a yoga retreat in March 2018 in Nicaragua. (Psst…if interested please let me know, it’s going to be fun!) 🙂
Word of advice, if you want it badly enough it will happen. This applies to anything you want out of life. It won’t always be easy, it won’t always be fun but if you’re willing to get past the minor bumps in the road than you can do ANYTHING. Meditating on wanting to be a travel yogi, keeping up a blog and a consistent yoga practice got me the foot in the door for teaching yoga internationally. You can do the same thing, DON’T EVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS.
5. You’re your own boss
Sure you have studio owners and gym owners that offer you a place to teach, but for the most part you can customize your class the way you want and you choose class times that work for your schedule. There’s no one “overseeing” your classes once you’ve been hired.
It’s ultimately up to you on how much you want to work and how much money you want to make. There’s not a week that goes by that I’m not offered a class to substitute and I almost always jump on that chance. Additionally, if you’re strapped for cash you can always teach yoga in nature or at a local park. From time to time, I teach at Jay Blanchard Park in Orlando and ask for donations.
Takes a toll on your body
I’m an active person who decided to become a yoga teacher full-time. Working out, plus my personal yoga practice plus teaching takes a toll on my body at times. Sometimes I wake up so sore from leg day that I dread teaching a power yoga class ,even though I love it!
My advice here, especially if you teach and work out as much as I do is to create a yoga schedule with a good balance of gentle/restorative classes with power/flow classes. I also recommend that you always warm your students up with simple stretches even if teaching a flow/power class. Although it’s a yoga practice, your body still needs to gradually warm up like any other physical activity. Some of my students at the gym appreciate how I always start slow no matter what type of flow is instructed because most of the teachers there jump right into action. Your protecting yourself and your students here.
2. You can make a living, but not a lavish one
I’ll be honest, I am able to pay my bills and feed myself but it isn’t always easy and there usually isn’t much left over to put in my piggy bank for savings. (Yes, I still have a piggy bank! ) $15-20/Hour sounds great until you realize how many classes you have to teach to make a living. At the moment, I teach 7-12 classes a week and work at a Metaphysical shop (AKA a hippy store!) for 10-15 hours a week in order to make a living.
However, I always remind myself that even though I don’t have much money, I have a rich life. My life is filled with an amazing family, friends, a roof over my head, food in my belly, an education, transportation and the ability to love and be loved. You will have times when you doubt this path because of finances but always remind yourself what you do have when you don’t have much money, being grateful makes it all worthwhile.
Bouncing around town CONSTANTLY
I know I mentioned I was a wanderlusting fool, but sometimes I wish I could work at one place for several hours a day and then be about my business. The life of a yoga instructor is bouncing around town to several studios to support yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE MY JOB but at times I feel as if I’m being pulled in 19 different directions when I’m running around town to teach class.
You can get lucky and get offered a butt load of classes and private lessons at a single studio. I have a handful of friends who are in this category. However, they are much more experienced and trained than I am. I’m working towards this but most likely when you start you’ll be offered a couple classes at one place, a couple more at another and so on and so forth.
My advice is to do what I’m doing and continue to teach to develop experience so you can work at a single studio and teach private lessons to make a living. It will make your life so much easier and less stressful.
A studio I worked at recently let me go and I was surprisingly relieved. It was one less place to worry about driving to and diverting my energy to.
2. Expensive certifications and workshops
If you haven’t done yoga teacher training due to financial constraints I feel for you. Training can cost anywhere from $1500-$4000 depending on where you do it. I was fortunate enough to get my training free of charge at a studio I work at and I am forever grateful. However, many studios do work exchanges and internships to help you pay for certification. If you need any information please feel free to reach out to me.
My advice? Even if you can’t afford a specific training and you love yoga, check out local yoga workshops in your area. These tend to be less expensive, more hands-on and a great way to expand your yoga knowledge book.
At the end of the day, I love what I do and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. My ability to help others, develop friendships and spread healing energy to the world overpowers any negative aspect of being a yoga teacher.
If yoga is something you’re passionate about but you don’t necessarily want to do for a living, you can always teach a couple classes a week and call it a day. It’s your life and if you feel this is something you’ve always wanted to do, then what are you waiting for? Take that leap of faith and become the teacher you’ve always dreamed of being.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to let me know, I’m always here to help.