5 Complementary Courses to Enhance Your Yoga Career
In another article, I wrote about supplementary training to add to your CV. I talked about adding physical skills in your practice that you can adapt to your teaching sequences. Moreover, I also presented higher education available for yoga teachers that can widen your scope such as Yoga Medicine and Therapy.
All of these programs are already fitted for yoga teachers–a curriculum structured for our field. What about the other industry-adjacent courses out there? In a class setting, we often find ourselves in situations where we become more than our job description; a hydra of different guidance archetypes like therapist, spiritualist, coach, friend, even mom.
The thing is, when we get ourselves in these circumstances, we often find ourselves displaced. While we would love to help, the truth is we need to have the job title included to protect ourselves from liabilities that may arise, officially making other roles within our scope of practice. So here are a few suggestions that you may want to consider.
1. Circus arts
I complimented my yogic background by taking up an intensive cirque course at my local acrobatics school. Since I teach aerial yoga, I wanted to know its roots. Within my first week, I noticed that the learning environment is completely different. While yoga provided you with a safe haven to explore your body's potential, the cirque technique makes you charge hard and fast into a movement so that your muscle memory kicks in.
Different approaches, both effective. Learning a different aerial apparatus or trying another style to inversions gives us the opportunity to look at our discipline through a different lens. After which we present that new vision to our students giving them new experiences. As for professional growth, you can go into performing as a side job, owning a studio or school or open a summer program for kids.
2. Life coaching
Life coaching is different from psychotherapy. In therapy, we deal with how people’s pasts affect their present. Through regular sessions of introspection, we look for breakthroughs to combat self-destructive behavior that deter the clients´ abilities to function in society. However, in life coaching, the person-at-hand, uses his/her current situation as a starting point for your road to achieving your goals. Imagine a professional closet organiser for your mind.
I get a lot of questions from students after studio hours about how to stay calm and carry on. Some have asked for my story and some have decided to follow in my footsteps. It was amazing to realise that you have such a big impact on someone. While I could have stuck to making blanket statements to appease my pupils, eventually they would have noticed that–which can appear insensitive.
By taking up this path you can help even more by being qualified to set them on their way should they choose to seek your advice. From a business point of view, it opens many doors for consultant work, corporate team building, and going tandem with a motivational speaker.
3. Personal training
In my 200h teacher training, we had a personal trainer/yoga teacher within the faculty. He was able to incorporate many hybrid movements and exercises to strengthen our shoulders, gain flexibility in our hips so that we may have a better practice. He had a symbiotic relationship within his 2 systems and he was able to impart a very well-rounded class that challenged our bodies.
While our students go to our classes, almost all of them have a gym membership. Including personal training into our roster will not only set us apart from other yoga teachers, but we can also branch out into other variations of training with a yogic practice. For example, you can offer sports conditioning for athletes with yoga as their restorative session. By offering modules such as these, you can take your career into another level.
4. Sports nutrition
Have you ever heard that fitness expression, “Abs are made in the kitchen”? I will add to that by saying, “All the muscles are made in the kitchen.” While the process of making muscles are about destroying and rebuilding tissue, The fuel it needs to accomplish this comes from nutritional intake.
Your students will always have nutritional questions for you. Most of these will be about stress and weight management. By providing our students with proper facts about their diet we can help our clients achieve their goals and prevent muscle cramping, contracture, compression, giving us a higher attendance rate in our classes with the peace of mind knowing that we gave our clients correct advice.
5. Physical therapy (PT)
PT was and is a regret of mine for not studying. I took up nursing which helps a bit during injuries and collaborating your private classes with their therapists’ treatment, but becoming a PT would have been a better choice in hindsight. As a yoga instructor and a certified health professional, you will gain an expert understanding of anatomy and physiology. You can improve your class progression to focus on better mobility, precise physical adjustments on your part, not to mention being able to charge more for your services. Maybe it is a long road because it is a bachelor of science degree that you will be taking, but well worth it.
To summarise, we have circus arts as a way to bridge the gap between two approaches in teaching with the possible creation to open yourself to a younger demographic. There is life coaching which helps us to truly guide others, giving us consultation work. In personal training we combine our knowledge of both fields by creating hybrid programs for individual clients, graduating from a nutrition course allows us to widen our capacity to aid our students into reaching their fitness goals. Last but certainly not least, we have physical therapy, which allows us to be in charge of both preventive and curative measures for our clients.
I hope this article serves you well, yoga teachers. If you are curious about courses available out there, I have a list of resources for the study portals available for you to search through. Good luck, yogis! Namaste!