It’s been 12 months since I graduated from my Yoga Teacher Training course at Bristol School of Yoga. It’s fair to say that a lot’s happened over the past year. So, what have I learnt that could come in useful for this year’s fresh batch of graduated yoga teachers?
Keep on moving
Yoga teacher training is such a whirlwind, as you graduate it can feel as though the best thing to do is kick back, relax and take a (three-part) breath-er. A key to my success over the past year has been maintaining momentum. By the time I finished the course, I had launched YogaDad, sold out a 6-week beginner’s Yoga For Cyclists course in 73 Degrees bike shop in Keynsham and was preparing to launch Yoga For Men classes in Keynsham. It would have been nice to spend more time reflecting on the course and what I had achieved, but it was more important to build confidence and develop as a yoga teacher. If you intend to continue teaching once you graduate, I would encourage you to find opportunities to teach, even if it’s with friends, family, work colleagues. I ran classes that raised money for charity, and this meant my students got into the idea of paying for classes, without there being too much pressure on my teaching during the early days.
Comparing apples with pears
Graduating as a yoga teacher rightly feels like a big deal. If, like me, you’re juggling a day job, busy home life and much more besides, completing the course is an achievement in itself. But of course, the hard work has only just begun – all of a sudden, you’re propelled into a commercial downward dog-eat-dog world of yoga teaching. As a new graduate, it’s easy to fall into a trap of comparing yourself to other yoga teachers, especially on social media. Any niggling doubts you have can soon grow, and discourage you from teaching. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and don’t compare yourself to others, particularly yoga teachers that have likely been around that much longer than you. If you find yourself doing this, remind yourself of the intentions of your practice. Focus on all that you have to offer, and take comfort from that. Reflect on any feedback you receive, and be immensely proud that you are potentially changing lives for the better.
Practice what you preach
Starting out as a yoga teacher, it can feel as though the best thing to do is to say yes to all opportunities as you can feel quite flattered when you’re approached. By doing so, you risk burn out from darting from one class to the next, not to mention the time and cost to plan and market classes and travel to and from venues. A lot depends on whether you are teaching full-time once graduated or continuing with a regular job and teaching on the side. In my situation, i am continuing with my day job and teaching in the evenings. I have committed to classes where my health and wellbeing has suffered as a result. It’s important that you practice what you preach in terms of self care. So, by all means be brave in committing to new opportunities, but also be brave in saying no, or pulling the plug on opportunities where you feel as though your health and wellbeing is suffering. Friends, family, yoga school alumni can be great sounding boards to inform any decision.
I have learnt so much over the past year that this blog could go on & on. Taking heed of my own advice, I am going to stop here for my morning practice and promote self care! If there’s enough interest, I will write a follow-up with some further words of wisdom. If you are a seasoned yoga teacher, share any golden nuggets of advice in the comments.
Thanks for reading and for any newly graduated yoga teachers, I wish you every success. Should you have any questions on life as a yoga teacher, I would love to hear from you.