With every year that goes by, yoga becomes more and more popular. In December 2012, a Yoga In America study found that 20.4 million Americans were practicing yoga, up from 15.8 million in 2008. Trendy new studios seem to be popping up every week, and as the yoga industry booms, increasing numbers of yoga practitioners are enrolling in 200-hour yoga teacher training programs.
While 200-hour teacher training programs do a great job of covering basics like alignment, anatomy, sequencing, adjustments and more, earning your yoga diploma doesn’t necessarily mean your studio (or any studio) will have a slot open for you to start teaching. Going from earning your certification to actually teaching classes takes some work, but it’s not impossible. Here are 11 ways to make it happen.
1. Do your research.
Because you’ll need to fork over a pretty significant chunk of change to enroll in any TT program, make sure you find the right certification program for you. Invest a little time, money and energy into getting to know different studios in your area. How much do you really like a studio’s style? How intense is the training? Does it cover the topics you’re most interested in? It might also be worth asking how many graduates actually go on to teach at the studio.
“When it comes to choosing the right teacher training, the last thing you want to do is settle,” Pamela Nixon, owner and editor of yoga teacher resource Teachasana, wrote on Yoga Trail. “If you love the studio but not the teacher, keep looking. If you found a training that fits your budget but it’s half way across the world, move on.”
2. Offer to teach for free.
Realistically, teaching yoga isn’t going to pay the bills until you’re quite experienced and have built up a clientele. But when you’re just getting started, hands-on teaching experience is a must. Get a group of close friends together, have some fun teaching a class in your home, and ask for feedback afterward. Make sure to let as many people as possible know that you’re available to teach — you never know who will take you up on your offer.
“I had friends who were runners and had to do cross training, so I started leading an informal weekly class,” Humberto Cruz, a teacher at Strala Yoga in New York City, told The Huffington Post. “I gained a lot of experience quickly and was able to experiment a lot.”
3. Network. And not just at your studio.
Just as getting a job often requires a connection or two, you’re better off knowing people within the yoga community rather than blindly dropping your off resume at studios. If there’s an opportunity to volunteer or do administrative work at your favorite yoga studio, take it. And don’t limit yourself — get out there and connect with people at other studios as well.
“In my free time I’m always going to different studios, talking to people there and making friends,” Jes Allen, also a teacher at Strala, said. “I make genuine connections. When you find a place you really like, keep going there. When people like you, they’ll support you and tell their friends.”
4. Be creative with space.
If you haven’t started teaching at an established studio yet, finding the space to teach can be tough — especially if you live in a big city and have a small apartment. Taking advantage of parks and rooftops is a great option in the warmer months, but when the weather cools down you have to use your imagination. You can also ask to use conference rooms in your office or friends’ apartment buildings. And if you live in a place with a big dance or theater community, rent out studios. Continue reading >>