Are you considering becoming a yoga teacher? Do you look at your instructor and think what an amazing life they must lead? Has yoga changed your life and now you want to share this practice with the world?
Teaching yoga is a big commitment. Before you invest your time, money, and energy in yoga teacher training; make sure you ask yourself these 3 questions:
(Note: Watch the 7-minute video below for a more in depth discussion. I dive deeply into these 3 issues and share my own experience. OR, read my short summary in this post. :))
Do you like TEACHING?
Teaching yoga is an entirely different experience from practicing yoga. Just because you enjoy doing something doesn’t mean you will enjoy teaching it. Also, just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you will be good at teaching it. Not everyone has a natural talent for teaching but teaching skills can be learned and developed. Are you willing to do what it takes to become an effective teacher? Are you willing to learn how to communicate better? Will you have the patience and dedication to guide your students no matter how difficult it gets? What’s simple and self-explanatory to you may not be so for your students, especially if they’re beginners. Ask yourself if you truly want to TEACH others or if you just want to have more yoga in your life. Maybe a yoga retreat to deepen your practice is what you need, and not necessarily a yoga teacher training.
Can you get up in front of people to teach yoga?
Even if you have a sincere desire to teach, you still might have some sort of “stage fright.” I know a few people who were in yoga teacher training with me who ended up never teaching because they were deathly afraid of being in front of people and actually doing it! Ask yourself if you are willing to develop the necessary confidence and presentation skills to teach a public class. There are ways to learn this: workshops on acting/theater, presentation skills seminars, etc. As a yoga teacher, you must also confront your anxiety about making mistakes and getting criticized. Have courage and keep practicing!
Will teaching yoga be a side gig or a full-time career?
This is a complex issue that deserves its own blog and video! In a nutshell, ask yourself: Is teaching yoga merely a hobby that you do for fun and not for money? Is teaching yoga a side job that helps supplement income you already make from a steady job? Is teaching yoga going to be your full-time profession after you transition out of your current career? Whichever one you choose, you must know that working as a yoga teacher can be financially challenging, especially in the beginning. Are you sure you are being realistic with your expectations when it comes to money? Have you dealt with any money issues you might have? Do you feel guilty about making money because you view yoga as a spiritual practice? Do you dislike the business and marketing side of yoga? You must look into your conflicting thoughts and feelings about money if you are to be happy and fulfilled as a yoga teacher. Also, burning out is a very common issue with yoga teachers. Ask yourself how much yoga you actually want in your professional life. (note: I will make separate post about this. It’s too complicated!)
These are just few of the issues you must consider before making that commitment to become a yoga teacher. Go ahead and talk to the yoga teachers you know to get a better idea of what their lives are truly like. It is a truly challenging and rewarding journey if it’s right for you. Good luck!