6 Creative Ways to Gain Experience as a New Yoga Teacher
Congratulations! You’ve graduated from yoga teacher training with certificate in hand, an impeccably-shaped Downward-Facing Dog, and a renewed sense of purpose. But before you resign from your day job, take some time to consider what’s next on your journey, and ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to teach?
- To whom?
- In what capacity?
If you plan to teach, your next step should be to think outside the four walls of the yoga studio, not only because yoga teacher supply far outstrips demand, but also because there are thousands of people out there who want to practice yoga, but don’t have access to it. Thinking creatively about teaching can not only help you gain valuable experience, but it also has the potential to bring you great intrinsic reward.
More than 36 million Americans practice yoga—a welcome trend indeed—but with the skyrocketing number of practitioners comes an increase in the number of newly minted teachers, all competing for the same jobs. If you’ve tried to make a career out of teaching, you know about its challenges:
- How many classes can you realistically teach per day?
- Can you make enough money to pay your bills?
- Do you feel ready to start leading retreats and workshops?
- Will you need to supplement your income with another job?
Just because there are challenges, though, doesn’t mean you need to give up your dream of teaching. It just means you may need to think differently about how, where, and to whom you teach. This can be an amazing time in your life to step outside your comfort zone and work with a new population. Yoga teaching of any kind has the potential to make a huge impact on individuals, communities, and the world.
Here are six creative ways to gain some experience as a new yoga teacher:
1. Sub and Assist
Many studios hire directly from their new crop of teachers, so your home studio is the easiest place to start subbing and/or assisting. Put in the time, continue learning, ask for feedback from your mentors, and you’ll be rewarded. Also, don’t be afraid to open yourself up to other studios. If you want to teach somewhere, practice there first to get a sense of whether it’s the right environment for you, then get to know the other teachers, and finally show that you’re interested in that studio.
2. Teach at Work
If you didn’t quit your day job, this is another ideal place to bolster your teaching resume. Businesses around the world have started investing in employee well-being, not just to boost their bottom lines, but also because it’s the right thing to do. This is a win-win. It’s good for you (you’re getting paid to teach during your regular hours), and it’s good for your co-workers. Yoga in the workplace can boost morale, bring a greater sense of peace and calm into the day, and build camaraderie among co-workers.