I remember receiving my yoga teacher certificate in 2016 and feeling optimistic about this exiting venture into a new career. My optimism soon faded once I realized how difficult it can be to make this full time gig. I felt there were so many things I wasn’t prepared for, not to mention I had zero experience teaching (and most studios require that you’ve been teaching at least a year or two).

So where do you start? Well, first ask yourself the most important question…Do you want to do this full-time, to make it your career? If you’re passionate about this, if you walk, talk, read, watch, and practice everything yoga- then stick to it. Thats honestly my biggest advice- no matter how hard it gets, how many dead roads you’ve found yourself in, how much your friends and family casually critizize you for embarking on a career that seems impossible to be successful at… don’t give up.

I’ve been teaching for two years now and I’m constanly doubting myself whether I’m doing the right thing or not. Then I teach a really powerful class, see the change in my students from when they walk in the door to when they leave, and I’m reminded of why I do this.

These are some tips on what has helped me get started:

(1) Contact every single yoga studio and gym in your area and see if they have any sub positions available. Start out small

When I moved to the Bay Area I made a list of every single studio in San Francisco and Oakland and sent an email to ALL of them. I got a lot of rejection emails, however, the one studio that initially offered an assistant position, I ended up teaching full-time. It was at this studio where I gained a ton of experience and really became comfortable teaching.

(2) A lot of studios may have mentorship program- if not, find a really good teacher and ask if they can be your mentor.

I participated in a mentorship program at a popular studio in Denver. This really helped improve my classes as I had a lot of questions regarding sequencing and alignment. Some questions just can’t be answered in books. It helps to have someone you can go to with these types of questions.

(3) Offer free class to gain experience and exposure

It’s hard to say no to free yoga. I offered “community yoga” when I was living in Lake Tahoe one winter and got a lot of experience teaching beginners, which is a lot harder than teaching an experienced practitioner.

(4) Never stop learning

I’m constantly reading books on yoga, listening to yoga podcasts, and taking a variety of classes. My favorite thing about teaching yoga is that my practice is constantly changing because I’m always learning something new. A really great yoga teacher is also a really great student.

(5) Find your niche.

There are so many yoga teachers out there that it’s hard to get any sort of following because there is so much competition. Find your niche. Whether its teaching yoga to children, seniors, veterens, etc- there’s yoga for everybody. Set yourself apart from the rest.

(6)Build your following.

This is a tough one. I used to never be into social media, but in this day and age social media is the new way of marketing. If you want to make this a career, you have to be really good at marketing yourself. Post regularly on Instagrahm, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Build your following online as well as in person. Once you start teaching classes, start collecting emails from your students and send out monthly newsletters.

(7) Never loose sight of your goal.

As mentioned earlier, this is my biggest advice for all teachers just starting out. If you can’t think of doing anything else but teaching yoga, than your on the right path. Trust that with time and effort, you’ll get to where you want to be. Don’t loose sight of your goal.

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UPCOMING EVENT: SPRING 2019 I’ll be offering a yoga retreat JUST for new yoga teachers. If you’ve just graduated YTT and feel you need a little more support, drop me a line and learn more this opportunity.