Being a newbie at anything is challenging. However, people often forget that’s the way everyone starts. And becoming a new yoga teacher is no different. You must learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable and press on as you develop your skills. If you’re just starting as a yoga instructor, keep reading. We’re sharing the best tips for new yoga instructors!
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You’ve studied, you’ve practiced, and you know your stuff. But, there are many pieces of advice, bits of insight, and knowledge that will come to you only with experience. To make things easier, we compiled a list of nine things that will give you a head start as you become a successful yoga teacher!
It can take some time to find who you are and your niche as a yoga teacher. Continue to pursue it and seek to develop the things that make you different. You have a set of unique perspectives and experiences combined with your skills and yoga training. As you stay true to yourself, you will find and build your style, and your community of yogis will find you.
Mistakes and failures are part of being human! It’s important to remember that even experienced yoga instructors make mistakes. Allow yourself the opportunity to stumble and grow as you find ways to improve your teaching and yoga practice. Grant yourself the grace to screw up, learn, shake it off, and keep going.
Preparing for your first yoga class can be nerve-racking, so it’s vital to find ways to build your confidence. The following list includes a few things you can try to make yourself more comfortable during your first few classes as a new yoga teacher:
Teach yoga classes in front of people you are comfortable with (friends and family) and ask them to give you feedback.
Record yourself during your yoga practice to evaluate how you look and sound.
Intentionally speak confidently and clearly. You can present confidence while still feeling nervous.
Shadow or co-instruct with another yoga teacher that can support you as you get your feet wet in the yoga studio.
Different styles of yoga (kid’s yoga, aerial yoga, hot yoga, etc.) may require different types of energy from you. However, even the same style of yoga with a different set of yoga students can impact the room's energy! Learn to read the energy of the students. Did they show up exhausted, high energy, or relaxed? Align with the energy so you can influence or support the energetic needs of the class. This could mean altering the sequence of your yoga postures, changing your volume, tone, and pitch, or modifying your verbiage and cues.
It’s essential, in any field, to continue learning and shaping your craft! Take other instructors’ yoga workshops or classes, ask questions, complete a yoga teacher training program, read and stay current with new information. There is so much to learn about the body, yoga, nutrition, etc., and all of it can be valuable as you progress in your yoga career. You’ll build confidence, grow, and continue to create more value for your students as you expand your mind.
Yoga teachers should continuously work on their breath, alignment, and mindset. But, like all professionals in the fitness industry, it’s also important to take care of yourself holistically as you guide and support your yoga students on their health and fitness journey. Sleep, nutrition, thoughts, and boundaries are all important in addition to consistently showing up for yoga practice.
You will likely work with many types of yoga students from different walks of life with varied goals and skill levels. Yoga instructors should have the ability to help their clients modify postures or sequences depending on their needs and limitations. Be open to the different learning styles your clients might have and the different levels of understanding as you lead them through each yoga session.
Although it’s important to be agile, you should come to your classes with a plan and be organized and on time. Be reliable and nurture authentic connections but also set and maintain professional boundaries. You can have fun and build incredible friendships teaching yoga, but it’s also important to remember that it’s your business.
Some yoga poses can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. So, if you don’t have the knowledge or training to coach someone through a particular yoga pose, stay within your skillset until you know how to cue and support your clients safely.
Hopefully, those tips help you feel more comfortable as you kickstart your yoga career. Just remember, every master was once a beginner. But, to get anywhere, you have to begin.
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