Yoga Teacher Training Complete: What Next? 3 Practical Tips For Newly Qualified Yoga Teachers
If this article caught your eye, chances are you’ve not long ago completed your yoga teacher training and you’re looking for yoga teacher jobs or to set up on your own building your own classes.
Brandishing your RYT200 hour (or more) certificate, you’ve had an amazing experience, you’re full of enthusiasm and you want to teach because yoga has helped you so much you want to share this with others.
But then you stall.
Because you’re not sure what to do next. Maybe nerves kick in and those nerves hold you back. You don’t have a plan and you see the “competition” and your inner “gremlin” screams you can’t compete with these already established teachers in your area.
Don’t let your inner gremlins stop you. The skills you have learned could potentially help hundreds of others.
Know that a journey of a 1000 miles starts with the first step – just take that step.
And it may seem like a thousand miles to you – to get from where you are now, rookie on the scene, to a confident teacher with a loyal following – but ALL those other teachers you see out there, including those who taught you on your yoga teacher training, have been exactly where you are now…..they just didn’t let that stop them.
So, take a deep Ujayyi breath….and follow these simple 3 steps to get your first yoga job:
1. Decide whether you want to work for a gym or yoga studio or launch out on your own from the get-go.
If you have previous business experience, are confident about your yoga “niche,” and feel comfortable about marketing your classes, then absolutely – go for launching out on your own. And, if you do, you might find the following resource useful: 13-Point Checklist For Launching Your First Yoga Class. This simple checklist will help you feel more confident that you have prepared as well as you can to make your launch a success.However, if everything I’ve just said is making your eyes glaze over, you’ve no idea what I mean by “niche” or what yours is, and the word marketing fills you with dread, then I’d start with working for others. (And before you move to the next step, take a quick look at “The Pros And Cons Of Working For A Gym Or Yoga Studio.”
Read that article? Still think that’s your best route?Then that’s your first step taken! Decision made! You’re ready for step 2.
2. Research the venues where you’d like to work and get clear about exactly when you can make yourself available to teach.
I call this “reverse engineering” and it’s a VERY useful technique when you’re trying to build a business or a career. What do I mean by “reverse engineering?” You start with a clear goal of where you want to end up. What “success” looks like for you. Stephen Covey, in his book “The 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People” called it “beginning with the end in mind.” Once you know where you want to get to – and where you are now – you can then work back with the steps you need to take in order to get to your goal.
So here’s some tips about reverse engineering this step.
You need to get clear about what you will/will not do and what does/does not fit into your current work/life balance. Going out there looking for “anything” might be OK if you have few responsibilities or time pressures, but aiming for something which aligns as closely with your own needs as possible will lead to less frustration or chance of you quitting early on.
Key questions to ask yourself:
(And maybe let these questions germinate for a little while in your mind. Use your time on the mat, your meditation space to allow your mind to tap your intuition about what feels “right” for you. I find a lot of my best decisions are taken when I allow myself this time and honour my inner compass).
a) Do I want to retain work life balance or am I prepared to stretch working hours to get the experience?
b) What hours will I make myself available to teach on a regular basis? (Think about this very carefully – getting a class every Monday at 7am or every Sunday at 10am may be OK for the first few weeks, but months in could be a noose around your neck).
c) If I work these hours on a regular basis, how will this affect my personal life/important relationships? Am I comfortable with that?
d) How far am I willing to travel?
e) Do I want to teach a particular style of yoga?
f) Do I want to teach a particular group of students (seniors, children, pre and/or post-natal women, etc.).
g) Am I willing to teach any type of class?
h) What do I hope to be compensated for my time?
Once you have the answers to these questions in your mind, you have a far clearer idea of what you’re looking for when you approach these studios or gyms and when they offer you a Saturday morning at 10am be clear about whether it fits your plan or not!
If it doesn’t – say no! (Honestly – saying “Yes” to anything is rarely a good plan. There’s a difference between being “open” to opportunities and a door mat!).
Armed with your list of personal needs, research the gyms and studios in your area. Look at their schedules. Can you offer something they don’t currently offer? Are they looking for new ideas? Are they struggling to get teachers for a time you can make? Do they need cover for teachers when those teachers are sick or on leave?
See if you can ring up and speak to the manager and instead of talking about yourself, just tell them you are a new yoga teacher interested in helping them develop their offering to their members, and asking them what their current needs are in terms of scheduling and offering. Do they have members asking for a yoga class/more yoga/a specific type of yoga? Is getting cover a challenge? If they don’t currently have a need, thank them for their time, and ask if they would like to take your details in case things change? Offer to send them your CV and then just keep in touch.
By focusing on their needs, you’ll be remembered as someone they’d like to stay in touch with – and chances are – when an opening crops up, you’re on their list of people to try first.
Finding out what gaps these studios or gyms have and which you might be able to fill will put you in a good position to show you have taken the trouble to learn a little about how they operate and what their key goals are. You’re also learning a little about the demand in your area – maybe something you can fill on your own?
3. Write your CV
To be honest, this very much depends on where you live and whether you are wanting to work for a yoga studio or a gym. In my experience, gyms are less knowledgeable about yoga. People usually join a gym primarily for the gym itself, the classes being an added bonus and something they dip into, as opposed to a yoga studio which is attracting more serious and discerning yoga students.
As a result, you may find it easier as a complete novice to get work at a gym first, and then, as you build your confidence and your following and reputation, you have a higher chance of being taken seriously by a good yoga studio.
That being said, if your research from step 2 threw up some vacancies at yoga studios, or a new studio just opening up, then go for it! You have nothing to lose – and you’ll learn a lot from the process.Want some help putting together your CV? I rather like this article from Lisa Greenblatt Binderow https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18217/want-to-teach-yoga-heres-how-to-build-a-standout-resume.html
Coming from someone with real experience hiring new teachers, her article makes sense.Keep it simple – one page – and bring a little of your personality to the page. And, if you have a business card, staple that to the CV. A business card is NOT a must. To be honest, there will be an article on this coming soon because to have a business card that stands out I think you need to be a little more confident about your “niche,” otherwise your card will look like everyone else’s – bland. But, if you’ve already gone out there and got one done, then add it to the CV.
—————————————————————————-Remember – what is driving both the studio and the gym is filling the places – they want teachers who bring in more members and keep them. If you’re offering something which might appeal to their members or might add something new to the studios class schedule, you could be just what they’re looking for.
The main thing is to just get yourself out there. Take these simple steps. Make a start. Don’t let the gremlins hold you back!
Even if you just teach a couple of classes a week, it will help you in so many ways – both in your confidence teaching and helping you clarify how you might like to move forward with your teaching and your yoga career. In the meantime, hopefully, you’ll be impacting positively on the lives of the students you teach – and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Actions you can take:
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