You’re a certified yoga instructor! Congrats!
Let me guess, you are a little nervous and excited to share all your new juicy knowledge with the world! With the increasing trend of yoga instructors in the marketplace, you may run into some challenges trying to find your first yoga teaching job. Don’t let that dim your flame! We are here to help.
Here are 6 tips to help you navigate the scene and secure your first job successfully!
1) Think outside the studio
Teaching yoga in an actual yoga studio is a dream for many of us teacher-training grads. Being able to teach in a beautiful space, with access to mats and props, lighting and a sound system is actually quite a luxury. Often times, popular studios that are well established, already have well-established teachers in place and a steady following. It can be difficult to get in as a brand new teacher, especially with little to no teaching experience under your belt.
But don’t stop there.
Time to discover your niche and think outside of the studio. Yoga is being offered everywhere these days! Local gyms, community centers, and schools are a good place to start. I’ve even taught at bachelorette parties and weddings. Since yoga is exploding all over the world, get creative when considering where you can apply. And, don’t give up entirely on the yoga studios; you just never know when an opening will arise.
2) Take what you can get. But know your value.
You’ve invested a significant amount of time and money on studying and practicing yoga. After all the dedicated hours and money you’ve put in, it is difficult to fathom not getting paid for your new-found craft.
But your worth is not reflected by the amount of money coming in (or lack there of).
What you have to offer is valuable and unique. When you hold yourself up to this standard, others will see this and reflect back to you the respect you deserve. The recognition your students will have for your hard work benefits both you and them. It allows them to show you appreciation (showing up) while you remain confident in knowing you’re valuable.
So for starters, take what you can get. Your opportunities at first may be by donation or in exchange for something other than cash. Take it. Take whatever opportunity comes your way, so long as it still aligns with your end goals. Eventually, the exchange will turn into dollars and your value (and cash flow) will continue to increase.
Pin me first? Then keep reading!
3) Make your ambitions known!
“You don’t get what you don’t ask for.” A phrase I’ve come back to a lot since hearing it during my days of corporate sales. Consider it while using social media as a medium to find yoga teaching jobs. If you don’t ask anyone, how will you ever know what is out there?
Our personal networks are a powerful tool you can use to get the word out about looking for a job. So go ahead and ask. You never know what will come back to you.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
Use all platforms you’re a part of to engage with your networks and ask about jobs.
Protip: Join groups on Facebook for yoga teachers in your city. I’ve personally found two teaching opportunities by asking the question in those groups.
4) Use online resources
Our world would not be the same without the internet. Use it to your advantage.
After you’ve asked the question via your social channels, peruse online resources such as YogaTrade, Craigslist and Thumbtack. Using these sites, you can easily search by location for open teaching jobs. On both Thumbtack and Yoga Trade, you are able to create a profile so that people can find you.
Maybe this teaching job will take you out of your city and somewhere abroad! Learn how to find a yoga teaching job abroad!
Find more here: Best Online Resources for New Yoga Teachers
5) Don’t neglect your personal practice
It can be easy to dismiss your own practice as you become eager to teach and share your gifts with the world. However that would be a huge mistake. Maintaining a personal practice is the single best way to improve as a yoga teacher.
As Rod Stryker eludes to, building a solid foundation as a yoga teacher means remaining a dedicated student. This becomes especially important as you consider more trainings and workshops, but can’t seem to come up with the money. Attending a wide variety of yoga classes is the easiest and cheapest way to grow as a yoga teacher.
There is no doubt that the foundation of a great yoga teacher is being a great yoga student –Rod Stryker
We always have something to learn from one another on the mat and off. When you remain an open vessel, you will encourage a feedback loop of giving and receiving information. This eternal loop of feedback will best fuel your development as an instructor.
6) Stay sharp by practice teaching
Teach, teach, teach!
Start practice teaching while everything is fresh. You may not get a job right away so practice teaching is crucial to stay confident and use your new skills. Ask your friends and family if you can teach them a class or two. When you’re in the shower or driving in your car, recite your class out loud to yourself. Now that you have gained some new friends from training, make an effort to get together to practice teach to each other.
You have plenty of ways you can practice teach, it’s just about making it a priority.
Okay, okay… so maybe your chances of bumping into Rachel Brathen are slim… but you never know!! If you do get the opportunity to meet someone in the yoga industry you look up to, don’t hesitate to make a connection!
But let’s take this local…
Networking in any industry is incredibly important. Social media is a great way to network with people far and wide, but don’t forget about the impact of person-to-person meetings. Take classes at all the studios you’re interested in teaching for, and connect with the instructors and owners. Send them a note through social media or email and make it a priority to schedule time with them outside of class. Grab tea, go for a walk…you get the idea. Follow up is HUGE so make sure you remember to do that to maintain the relationship.
Eventually, once a spot opens up, you will be top of mind!