6 Things I Didn’t Know When I Started Teaching Yoga
1. It’s more difficult than it looks.
Teaching one yoga class is easy. Teaching several yoga classes a week challenges your creativity. If you want to teach a good class, you have to tailor it to your students and the content has to match how the class is advertised. Differentiating class plans and sequences is an art form: you never totally master it. The bad classes are lessons and the good classes should be enjoyed.
2. You have to be ok working anti-social hours.
Obviously, most people go to yoga after work which for most is in the evenings. You have to let go of the notion of 9-5 as your work tends to become 5-9 as well as morning classes and 1-2-1s which you have to slot in when you can. The plus side to this is that you’re never really working more than 4 hours (if you’re sensible) so it doesn’t feel like ‘work’ and you can always fit something other than ‘work’ into your day.
3. You have to change your eating patterns.
As your working routine changes so should your eating habits. This can be difficult at first especially if you live with someone in a 9-5, 3 meals a day routine. Plan your meals in advance – you can get this to work so that everyone is eating the same thing, they’re just eating it at different times. Don’t fall into the trap of having your last meal at lunch and then not eating until you come home after classes. Late night scoffing is bad for your digestion and your figure! Worst case scenario: everyone fends for themselves!
4. Teaching yoga is not the same as doing yoga.
It’s so easy to get consumed with building the reputation of your classes, social media, responding to emails and planning classes that the day is over before you’ve even touched your mat. YOU HAVE TO MAKE TIME FOR YOUR PRACTICE! This is your work now so it’s like daily CPD. Experiment with different styles and teachers as well as just doing your own thing. This is keeps things fresh and will show in your classes but most of all…will keep you sane!
5. Don’t take it personally.
Some people will like you, some people won’t. Fact. Of. Life. This applies to yoga and yet we all take it personally when someone new doesn’t show up after their first class or, have been coming for years and then you don’t see them for 6 months. Accept that this is normal. People are busy and their priorities change…or sometimes, they just don’t like your class. The sooner you make peace with this, the better.
6. Less is more.
The prospect of setting up different classes in different places is so exciting and being asked to teach classes is flattering. BUT, find the right number of classes for you. Don’t get to a point where you’re taking classes to pay the bills. It will suck the joy out of something you hold so dear. Plus, it will show in your classes – you’ll end up regurgitating the same movement and language which will lose meaning for you and your students. 6 great classes is better than 12 mediocre ones.