This is part 1 of our traveling yoga teacher interview series. Each Wednesday we will release a new interview of a different traveling yoga teacher. Expect to learn their secrets for success and to gain an understanding of what it’s really like to be a nomadic yoga teacher. If you know someone who would be a good interview candidate – email us at TheYogaNomads@gmail.com.
Today you will hear from Adi Zarsadias. Adi is both a 200hr RYT & certified Antigravity yoga teacher who has been traveling and teaching for almost 2 years. At age 30, she left her corporate job and society’s expectations behind. Adi is originally from the Philippines and now she’s traveling and teaching her way around Latin America. You’ve probably read her viral post Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels that received over 4 million hits the day it was published on Medium.com and is now translated to more than 33 languages.
If you have additional questions for Adi, please leave them in the comments and she will answer them!
What was your life like before traveling and teaching yoga?
I was born and raised in the Philippines, educated in the UK and USA during college. My father worked up the corporate ladder his whole life and I was expected to do exactly the same. I worked for a number of years until I had a change of heart and decided to follow my passions instead.
At the age of 30 after my completing my yoga teacher training, I left everything behind in Manila and moved to a tiny little island in Indonesia to live a simpler life. I gave away most of my clothes, all my make-up, sold my car and put my apartment up for rent and never looked back. I taught yoga in the mornings, surfed and chilled with locals and travelers from all over the world. For the first time in my life, I felt at peace with myself.
Relishing my new found independence and freedom, I set off on a six month voyage to see the rest Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and parts of Malaysia. I thought it was important to visit our neighboring countries and know their culture so I stayed in each one for about a month, only to come back home with insatiable wanderlust.
I realized I could travel many parts of the world sharing my yoga practice. I am now eight months into traveling Latin America solo for a year, backpacking and volunteering in different yoga retreat centers.
What type of yoga do you specialize in?
Every yoga teacher must have a simple sequence for beginners, especially if you are teaching in holiday destinations where many people are trying it out for the first time.
When I am in surf destinations, I usually teach a challenging Vinyasa class that are tailored for surfers. I teach a very slow Restorative yoga class for days when the students are obviously tired and just need to take it easy.
I’m also a certified Antigravity Yoga teacher and discovered it really helps with flexibility and arm strength. I’m currently coming up with a sequence for rock climbers. I really wanna get better at it!
How do you find international yoga teaching jobs?
Word of mouth is definitely a huge help in finding different yoga gigs. So expand your network, give off a positive vibe and let everyone know that you are open to opportunities to work around the world. Write a classic resume ready to send out to possible employers, don’t forget to add a little bit of personal touch to it.
Yogatrade.com has been crucial in finding jobs in Central America, especially Costa Rica. I lived there for 6 months, volunteering or working most of the time. Some places only require an hour or two of daily work in exchange for accommodation and three healthy meals per day. Also worth checking out other websites like workaway.info for yoga gigs and other types of volunteer work exchange.
Do you recommend teaching at home before hitting the road?
Of course; any experience is a plus! I taught in a yoga retreat and held weekly yoga classes in an office before I started traveling. Being with people you know is a great way to ease into teaching. There is no pressure to be too formal, just have a laugh!
Your #1 book recommendation for aspiring yoga teachers?
The Rebel by Osho. It’s about defying the norms of society and being comfortable with your authentic self. I also highly recommend watching “Kumare” – a documentary about how a fake guru gains hundreds of followers. It offers great insights on how yoga has been capitalized on in the western world, and how some people are so easily fooled with the promise of spirituality.
Tips for aspiring traveling yoga teachers?
Put yourself out there! Create an online resume, with photos of yourself and your yoga journey. Write a blog if you have some free time so people can find you. Attend some classes in places where you travel and would like to work to expand your circle. I know it’s a little old school, but giving out calling cards with updated information really helps as well.
Besides yoga, how do you support your lifestyle?
I rent out my apartment back home on Airbnb and that helps even out my travel expenses. Getting sponsorships for my travel blog and contributing to We Are Sole Sisters has provided me with some free tours and accommodation. I’m not great at monetizing my blog, but some people are able to live off of it. Friends who run retreats and workshops also invite me to teach yoga classes or give talks about my alternative lifestyle.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
The end goal as I always say, is to build a non-profit, energy exchange based yoga shala. Yoga teachers, healers, chefs, artists, musicians and nomads from all over the world can stay for months at a time to share their skills and volunteer. I am always on the look out for affordable yet beautiful tropical destinations near the ocean. Any ideas?!
Connect with Adi
Follow Adi’s adventures as she explores Latin America on Instagram @lovethesearch.