The Fundamentals of Being a New Yoga Teacher

Train to be a yoga teacher they said, spread joy where ever you go they said, it’ll be fun they said!

They weren’t kidding. My Yoga teacher training was A LOT of fun and I definitely felt the joy, but training to be a yoga teacher, has also been a steep learning curve.

Navigating any new business world is exciting, there are often bumps and steps in the road. Knowing where to put your next foot is imperative to your journey! Although, to enter a rabbit hole, the journey is always a journey, amairite? 

No matter how long your experience and knowledge of yoga, you’re going to come up with hurdles in the first little while when setting up. That’s normal in any business and Yoga maybe more so as the people on the other side (aka other teachers) are very precious about the Yoga they know.

This should never deter you or make you feel inferior about the yoga you know and want to teach. Stand strong. You have the tools to create and spread light just as much as the next Yoga teacher.

That said, there’s a certain sequence of steps to take a newly qualified yoga teacher. The most common advice I’ve detailed below, with it’s pros and cons, and ebbs and flows!

Insure, register and disclose

First up – you need to register and insure yourself as a yoga teacher.

We chose to combine our insurance with registering with Yoga Alliance UK .  It came in about £180, although there was a discount as my Yoga Teacher Training was YA approved. 

Your local run gym will no doubt have a schedule packed with Yoga classes, so it’s a good idea to pop your name down to cover for them. For this you’ll need to get a Basic Disclosure Scotland, easy to apply for, costs £20 and can be done online in 10 minutes. It can take a few weeks to receive it in the post as they thoroughly check your history, so best get it done asap.

Once you have these in place, you can proceed up the pathway to the next stop on your journey – teaching!

Transitioning to Teaching

You will always have so many options as a new yoga teacher, remember that. Your training was worth something. You are worth something. Never undersell yourself, or your services. Finding your particular path happens in time. I personally have always been drawn to gentle, restorative yoga, I come from a fitness background and for me, approaching anything too gung-ho and not respecting your body is trouble in waiting. Respect your body, practise self-care, especially when you are setting up as a new teacher. It can be daunting, but don’t let it consume you.

Find time for yourself, and your own personal practise. Don’t worry about other yoga teachers and what they are doing. You are your priority, you and your students.

You have trained as a Yoga Teacher for good reason. You have always had the power my dear. ( To steal a well-known film phrase)

Find a Yoga Studio

Finding a yoga studio to take a chance on a newly qualified yoga teacher isn’t easy. You are advised to go along and practise at the studio, build a relationship with them, then ask to teach cover classes, in the hope that sometime in the future the long list of dependable cover teachers they have has ran dry.

The gem here is, that it sometimes does, so don’t lose hope.

However, I think it’s fitting that Yoga studios are built on communities, and like any community it is always challenging for new people to join in. It’s fair for members that a strong and solid teaching group has been set. If you are truly invested in a yoga studio, then it’s worth waiting around for the chance to teach there.

Setting up classes

Finding a space and setting up your own classes is easy in principal, but you have lots to consider. First is cost of renting your space, second is marketing your class, and third is finding an empty, suitable space.

Spaces are usually full of yoga/pilates/zumba classes already. So how do you find a space that is suitable for you? Ask EVERYONE you know, shout about it online, check friends, family and neighbours. Nine times out of ten someone will know a space. Perhaps look for local coffee shops to collaborate with.

Would they like to run classes before they have opened? It’s becoming popular! My first yoga venture, South Edinburgh Yoga, I rented the unused space above a Gin Bar in Edinburgh. My students were local office workers, who joined me on the mat in their lunch hour. Genius! Some are still great friends today.

Be inventive. Yoga can be done on the space the size of a mat, you do not need a lot of room. The space just needs to be nice to practice in.

I wish you well on your Yoga teaching journey – may the force be with you!

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