Do you have any advice for aspiring yoga teachers?

Ask a Yogi Series

You’ve followed them on Facebook. You might even take their classes in person once in awhile if they travel to or live in your city. But how well do you know our YogaGlo teachers? We’ve created a new series, Ask a Yogi, so you can learn more about them by asking questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

From favorite poses and tips for beginners to deeper questions about how their practice has changed their worldview, our teachers will collectively answer a new question each week. If you have a questions that you’d like to “Ask a Yogi”, let us know in the comments or email us at hello@yogaglo.com and we’ll add your question to the list. Today’s Ask a Yogi question is:

Do you have any advice for aspiring yoga teachers?

  • Elena Brower: Don’t quit your day job. I waited until I was well-established and teaching at least 6-7 classes per week before I did. And I still teach 4 per week at my studio, and a few privates, and I coach as well. Making a living exclusively as a yoga teacher right out of the gate may be an unrealistic expectation, but it certainly feels incredible to be of service in this way.
  • Kathryn Budig: Be patient. Try all types of yoga and teachers and take what you love from them all into your own teachings. There is no need to conquer, just learn and teach what you love. The key to success isn’t following the blueprint of someone else’s career, it’s being yourself. People will love you for that and an honest connection will be created.
  • Jason Crandell: Be mindful and relentlessly honest with yourself about what you’re aspiring toward.
  • Tiffany Cruikshank: Teach from you heart and forget about the rest!  Now days there’s a big push amongst yoga teachers to do something big or be something big so much so that we forget that the best thing in the world that you can do is to inspire someone right next to you and build a community within your classes as a support for the community. And if it’s still something else that you desire, if you teach from your heart all will come.
  • Steven Espinosa: Take your time. There is no hurry. Enjoy being a student. Once you have completed your training it’s easy to jump in and start teaching right away. It’s not like when you graduate from college and immediately start sending out resumes. This is a life long endeavor. So enjoy the process. I would also suggest not overly concerning yourself about the money too much. Or trying to making a living from teaching yoga at first. Learn your craft. Love what you do. Teaching yoga is an honor. The money will follow. The money will flow.
  • Marc Holzman: Stay humble. You are there to serve the student and the Yoga.
  • Amy Ippoliti: 1. Remember that as unconfident as you might feel about teaching yoga, if you have been practicing for a while now and you have been through a teacher training, you will likely know more than the students in the room, and therefore have something valuable to share! 2. Never stop learning and being a student! 3. Stay connected to the real world, ie. be careful not to get so into yoga that you get lost in “yoga land” and can no longer relate to “other people”. Those “other people” are often your students!
  • Tara Judelle: Authenticity, curiosity, and compassion are my top three qualities for an aspiring yoga teacher.  That and know why you teach yoga.  I ask myself every day if this is what I am supposed to be doing, and if what I am doing is working for the “why” of my teaching.
  • Kia Miller: Teach from your heart what is authentic to you. Never let your own practice take second place: your personal sadhana (spiritual practice) is the cornerstone of your teaching, it is where you fill yourself so you can give from the overflow, this way you never get depleted. Consider an apprenticeship with a teacher you really admire, not only will you learn a lot, but the student/teacher relationship is key for any aspiring teacher – someone who knows you and can help guide your choices.
  • Christina Sell: The advice I  have is to make sure that you have time to keep practicing, to keep going to class and to add teaching to your schedule. I watch too many new teachers replace their practice and class time with teaching engagements and lose a vital connection to their own education and in the long run this really costs them as teachers. Also, find a good teacher training program that has ongoing support  and continuing education options so that you can continue to learn over the long haul.
  • Stephanie Snyder: Go for it, vet your teacher training faculty to be sure each member has been teaching minimum 10 years, ideally more. If it is your dharma to do, nothing will get in your way!
  • Jo Tastula: Practice, practice, practice is my advice. You can only teach from experience. Nurture your practice and tend to it as you would something very rare and precious. Both you and your students benefit when you are inspired and growing.
  • Felicia Tomasko: Teaching is not the same as practicing. A love of practice does not necessarily translate to a love of teaching. And, while embarking on the path of teaching, make sure to keep up a relationship with your personal practice outside of the time that you are facilitating the practice space for others. Make sure to recharge your own batteries by going to class, meditating, engaging in personal practice, participating in an online practice or DVD, finding a practice partner, or any other personal sadhana. One of the things that has been invaluable for me is to have practice partners, people who keep me accountable for my own time on the mat, the cushion, or in any other part of my life as a yogini. Yoga is not just something you simply know, it is something you practice. And practice doesn’t have to mean party tricks—it is simply being attentive to the relationship you have with yourself in sadhana. (The word sadhana refers to one’s own personal spiritual practice.)
  • Harshada Wagner: Take time to really learn the craft of teaching well. Learn how to take care of people. Learn the breadth of the craft of yoga- go far beyond what is taught in your teacher trainings. Be a geek about it. Learn everything you can about yoga and about teaching yoga. Watch videos of master teachers teaching- even ones you don’t like. Aim to be a master, an expert, not just “good enough”. Also remember to include your whole life in your yoga. You can be so much more than a fitness instructor. You can be the wise man or wise woman in your community. You can be a healer.

Ask a Yogi: Do you have any advice for aspiring yoga teachers?

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