10 Simple Steps to Becoming a Great Yoga Teacher

Yoga Instructor with Yoga Class
There are over 20.4 million Americans who practice yoga today, which is more than a 29% increase since the figures were analysed for a 2008 study.  If you’ve enjoyed the benefits of yoga, you may have got to the stage where you’re thinking that perhaps it’s time to take things one step further.

Becoming a Yoga Teacher may be something you’re considering because you’ve found particular health benefits yourself from practising yoga.  It may be a career that you think you would be well suited to and need something a little more ‘flexible’ (excuse the pun) than a regular office job.  

Due to it’s popularity, the yoga industry, in the U.S., is estimated to be worth in excess of $10.3billion, when you take into account sales from classes, products, clothing, vacations, equipment and media.  Becoming a Yoga Teacher can be an excellent second career or one to fit around your existing job.   With newly trained teachers earning between $50-$200 per week, it’s easy to see how yoga can bring more balance and harmony to your life than you may have first thought. 

  1. If you’re going to become a Yoga Teacher, immerse yourself!  Let the benefits shine from you so that people see that you are totally committed to everything that can be achieved through yoga.
  2. Be a Constant Learner – once you’ve got your teaching certificate set yourself a new challenge to continue your yoga education.  Enlist in courses, discuss with colleagues and read as much as you can to learn all you can about the benefits of yoga.
  3. Anyone teaching Yoga, or any other form of physical exercise, has a duty of care to themselves and their students.  Be aware of health and safety issues and make sure that you discuss all related topics with your class.  Ensure that you are available for discussions before and after your classes for anyone experiencing difficulties or who has an injury or illness.  
  4. Be Yourself – don’t pretend to be your idea of how a Yoga Teacher is supposed to be.  Be authentic!  In time this will become easier and you’ll find what you, and your students, feel most comfortable with.
  5. Challenge Yourself regularly – is there something that you find awkward and shy away from?  Learn to master it – after all if you can’t, why should your students?  Don't be afraid to ask a colleague to observe one of your classes to pinpoint any areas you can improve on. 
  6. Yoga InstructorHumor – we all have days where things don’t go according to plan and everything feels like a disaster.  Don’t forget to embrace humor .. your class will thank you for it when they are having a tough day too.  Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine!
  7. It’s not all about you!  Drop the ego.  There’s an old saying ‘The meaning of life is to gather light and to take it where it’s most needed’.  You are not the first, or last, to love and teach Yoga – focus your light and energy on your class.  Your job is ‘enabler’ not ‘performer’.
  8. Develop your own style.  There are lots of Yoga Teachers to choose from – think about what makes your classes special. What can you do to make your yoga class better?  Ask for feedback.
  9. Be organised.  Make sure that you have a good system for taking notes, record keeping and maintaining financial records.  
  10. Get support.  Stay in touch with people you’ve studied with, join forums and participate in Yoga events.  If you’re experiencing any difficulties whether in your classes, dealing with students or business matters, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Did you know that:

  • 82.2% of people that practice yoga are women and that 17.8% are men
  • 62.8% of people who enjoy regular yoga are between the ages of 18-44 and have only been practising for one year or less.
  • Therefore 44.8% of people attending yoga classes consider themselves to be beginners, whilst 15.6% consider themselves to be experience yoga practitioners.

Top 5 Reasons for Taking Up Yoga:

  1. Flexibility (78.3%)
  2. General conditioning (62.2%)
  3. Stress Relief (59.6%)
  4. Improve overall health (58.5%)
  5. Physical Fitness (55.1%)

Your style of teaching yoga will develop over time as you experiment with new techniques.  Always remain open to new ideas, be enthusiastic about continued learning and practice the art of listening.  

We'd love to hear your experiences of teaching yoga – share them with us in the comments below or on our social media networks.

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* Statistics gathered by Sports Marketings Surveys, USA for Yoga Journal.

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