Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the plunge and become a yoga teacher. With new yoga teacher trainings popping up each year, all you have to do is sit back and choose the right course for you, right? But hang on a minute. Do you really know what you’re getting yourself into? It’s time to get behind the marketing hype and discover some home truths about becoming a yoga teacher. Here are 5 things you need to know before you sign up.
1. There are already LOTS of yoga teachers out there.
I get emails every day from new yoga teachers looking for work. If you’re hoping to get work after graduation, you’ll need a plan (and plenty of support). Start making a list of where you'd like to teach (commercial studio? Gym? Corporate? From home?) and figure out what steps you’ll need to take to get started.
2. Yoga teaching is NOT a lucrative career.
I’ve met a lot of great teachers who couldn’t make ends meet and went back to their desk jobs. Take a hard look at your finances and plan your transition to yoga teaching in advance. The universe does not always provide in quite the way you’d hoped.
3. The skills you learn in yoga teacher training may not be up to the real-world job.
Teacher training courses are usually full of yogis (D’uh). When you start teaching, your classes are usually full of normal people. Unlike the yogi bodies you practice on during teacher training, your real-world students will have all sorts of injuries and attitudes that you’ve never come across before. You need to learn to adapt your teaching pretty quickly.
4. Teaching yoga can be a lonely business.
Unlike most regular jobs, yoga teachers don’t run into their colleagues at the water cooler. Many new teachers take classes in several locations and there is little sense of community as they dash from class to class. It’s good to start building mentoring relationships with senior teachers and maintain strong relationships with the people you’re doing your teaching training with – these relationships will be invaluable for emotional support and finding work once you’re out in the real world. Also, when choosing a teacher trianing course, find a course that offers ongoing training, mentoring and support.
5. 200hrs teacher training isn’t enough.
Thanks to Yoga Alliance and market forces, 200hrs has become the standard entry-level qualification. But 200hrs training will not make you a good yoga teacher. Not even close. A further 150hrs post-grad training to reach Yoga Australia Level 1 status is essential, and even then you never stop learning. I don’t mean getting enough annual CPD points to satisfy professional registration. I mean you’re never through learning about yoga, yourself, and how to share both with your students.
Have I put you off yet? If teaching yoga is your true path, you'll still be longing to get started. You might even be feeling even more determined to follow your heart and learn to share the gift of yoga with others. Now it's time to find an accredited course that resonates with your personal values and offers the support you need to flourish as a yoga practitioner and teacher. Enjoy the ride!
Learn about body-positive, small group yoga teacher training for ALL ages, abilities and body-types at Adore Yoga.
Nikola Ellis is the founder of Adore Yoga, yoga therapist, counsellor and teacher trainer. She conducts regular trainings that help people of all ages, shapes and abilities enjoy the benefits of yoga and meditation, including Meditation Facilitator Certificate Trainings; Level 1 200hr Teacher Training and Post Graduate Yoga Teacher Training in Mental Health, Adaptive Asana and the Foundations of Yoga Therapy and a highly regarded professional 650hr Graduate Certificate of Yoga Therapy.