What it takes to be a yoga instructor? We found ourselves asking.
I came into this course with a pure intent to better my practice. To up my level of yoga practice, my knowledge towards all aspects of yoga, and with that, better appreciate yoga. It didn’t cross my mind to be a yoga instructor.
Over the course, I grew to enjoy Master Paalu and Weiling’s teachings. It’s amazing to see how the class progresses and transforms with the right guidance. During one of our theory lessons, Master Paalu shared about his teaching experience – something along the line of.. “it’s a very rewarding journey, and trust me, you will enjoy it. As you watch your students grow and benefit from your teachings”.
Definitely, not everyone is cut out for teaching and not everyone likes to teach. We were also cautioned that if we are not ready to take criticisms, this field might not be suitable for us.
Regardless, yoga instructor or not, you can still take a leaf out of book from the subsequent article if you are in a supervisory role at your workplace, a school teacher, or even a parent. We are all “instructors/teachers” in some ways in our daily life, aren’t we?
1. Learn vast and wide
Knowledge is power! You need to be aware and be the subject-matter-expert of what you are teaching. In the case of yoga, there are the 200 hrs and 500 hrs YTT, with four main yoga teacher associations to choose from: The British Wheel of Yoga, Yoga Alliance UK, Yoga Alliance International, and Independent Yoga Network. Also, try out different classes of yoga. Be aware of the different styles of yoga out there.
2. Weigh your resources
Reality hits! In pursuing anything, it’s always important to weigh your resources in order to be sustainable. Key resources include time, money, even moral and social support. If you opt to teach at someone else’s studio, make sure you understand its payment process. Some studios pay a flat rate per class, while some pay per student. If you are looking at setting up your own studio to teach, you would need to consider the insurance cost, rental cost, marketing cost etc. Also, think about if you are ready to transit from regular employment to self-employed. The irregular income might cause significant stress especially if you have financial commitments now or in the future.
3. Radiate your passion
Like attracts like! Now that you are well-equipped with the necessary knowledge and competency, and have considered and thought through your decisions, it’s time to radiate your passion and chase your dreams daringly. Radiate your passion in all that you do – in your teachings, in your sales pitch, in your sharing sessions – with your students, your potential employers, your teachers. Your passion will “infect” them and you will attract returning students, employers, sponsors, mentors, supporters. And all these are important, as we all need moral support in our journey in life.
4. Be yourself
Be compromising-ly, unforgiving-ly yourself! That doesn’t mean to be arrogant, or to be close-minded to feedback. But it means, to find your style and create your own path. There are thousands of asanas and multiple different types of yoga out there. Be creative and original. Explore the different types of sequences and yoga, and find one that you like. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Accept praises deserving-ly (i.e. you don’t have to be shy about it!), and likewise, accept criticisms graciously and learn from it constructively. Always take time to reflect. It’s very easy to get caught up in the game. Take timely check-backs and talk to your friends to check out on your blind spots.
Yogi to yoda is a journey of self discovery, personal growth and spiritual development. And I sincerely believe that if we put our heart and soul into it, all of us can be a Yoda in our own fields <3
(p.s. yoda is a term coined by a friend – affectionately known as yoga master in this context)