We just wrapped up our 500-hour yoga teacher training at Aham Yoga this last weekend. We’ve been having great discussions about what it means to be a yoga teacher in the modern-day and how to make a difference while standing out in a saturated yoga market.
Most, if not all, yoga teacher training covers how to teach yoga poses, sequencing, anatomy, and yoga philosophy. Very few actually teach the business side of being a yoga teacher. Likely because it’s complex, to say the least. The complexity comes from the small details a yoga teacher needs to do on a regular basis.
As an immigrant who moved to the U.S. 7 years ago, I’ve successfully built my yoga and dance studios from the ground up. I’ve not studied business, but I have instinct and drive that has always led me in the right direction. I have a passion to help others. My goal is to save you from wasting time making some of the same mistakes I have. So, I’m going to share a few of my secrets with you in this blog, and you can expect many blogs geared towards yoga teachers coming your way in 2020. But for now, let’s jump in.
3 Things new and advanced yoga teachers should do right after finishing teacher training…
BUILD YOUR VISION & MAKE AN ACTIONABLE PLAN
Over the years, I’ve seen yoga teachers play small. They’ll put their heart, soul, and a lot of dollars to train to become a yoga teacher, but they fizzle out after that. Most will never teach a yoga class. Those who do will teach a few here and there, but rarely chase their yoga dreams with the same fire in their bellies they had during training. I’ve observed a lot of yoga teachers over the years. After reflecting, I’ve come up with the reasons why this happens. The yoga world for a teacher is very hard to navigate. It’s a lot of hours with little reward, it’s hard work, it’s the inability to stand out, the lack of marketing skills and more.
Yoga teachers are mini entrepreneurs but most don’t think like one. It’s crucial to make a plan and have a vision for what they want their careers to blossom into. There are many routes a yoga teacher can take, but more on this another day. You’ll need to start with a plan, a vision, a dream, a destination, a goal and start building your life around it. You can’t expect to grow without making some changes. I started with the dream of teaching yoga classes and that evolved into building a yoga studio business. Then I chipped away at it slowly. Bit by bit, day and night, until it became what I wanted it to be. There are no shortcuts to success. It takes diligence and hard work.
Pro Tip – Sit down in silence, light your favorite candle, pull out your favorite journal, be somewhere alone, take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to dream. Where do you see yourself a year from now? 2 years, 3 years and so on. Once you have that drawn up, start breaking that down into smaller steps. Know that all of us yoga teachers don’t need to look identical in what we do and who we appeal to.
POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA (Good quality – Eyeball-worthy content)
I can almost see my yoga teacher trainees roll their eyes when I say post on social media. I won’t get into the debate about yoga and social media here. Here’s what I want you to know; It’s a free marketing tool. It’s the modern-day newspaper that does a feature on you every day. So, you either get with it or you get left behind.
Posting that you’re going into deeper yoga studies helps others know that you take your craft seriously and you’re invested in this field. It’s not something you do because it’s trendy or because you’re bored. You’re aiming to be a true professional in yoga. Posting about your yoga teacher training journey, your graduation, etc… will help your audience connect with you in ways that you don’t realize. You never know who is out there looking for what you have to offer. Truth be told, I found my first many students through Facebook years ago. Many of these students still practice with me to date. I used to show up every day on Facebook and post regularly until they changed their algorithms. Consistency always pays off.
Pro Tip – There is SO much I want to share with you but I’ll just say this – post consistently. It takes a while to figure out what to post and how to say it best. If you stay consistent, just like you did with yoga poses, you’ll get better with time and find your groove. Always remember images matter but they should also be authentic to you. It’s super easy to grab a few pictures with our phones today. Stop making excuses and focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t.
UPDATE & EMAIL YOUR RESUME
Update your resume to reflect your new training credentials. If you don’t have a yoga resume, make one. Keep it focussed on wellness and yoga. There are many resume tools out there for free that will help but check out my pro tip on a few must-haves below. You should also check out my recent blog post, “How to: Building a Yoga Teacher Resume” for more in-depth help on your resume.
Once you’ve updated your resume with a significant status jump, say you became a 500 RYT from a 200 or you became an E-RYT from an RYT, it’s a good idea to send your updated resume to your current studio manager. If you’ve applied for a job in the past, send it again focussed on the status change asking for openings or sub opportunities. Once employers see that you’re invested in your yoga journey, you become more noticeable. In some cases, you might get a raise for leveling up on your training.
Pro Tip – Resumes should be a page long with your name, basic qualifications, yoga teacher training + graduation timelines, your skillset, additional training or workshops that exemplify your skill set, availability, references, and contact details.
A word of advice – Don’t give up. Being a yoga teacher in a saturated market can be hard and often frustrating. Stay focused on your goals and work towards them diligently. It’s very easy to get off track and lose focus nowadays with so much out there. Remember what is noise to some is gold to others.
Follow these 3 simple but effective steps and watch them work their magic for you. If you have any follow up questions, leave them for me in the comments below. Join us on Facebook for our weekly LIVE session to ask me anything.
If you haven’t already, check out our last post with 5 Easy tips to build rapport as a yoga teacher.