Keeping Up with the Times and What It Means for Us Yoga Teachers

In older posts, I presented the myriad of options available to us as wellness providers. As I learned more about the top trending concepts in yoga, the more anxiety crept in. We can do online classes now when just 7 years ago you had to have a studio to represent your work. Only 5 years ago you needed a marketing team to promote your classes. Now you can essentially do it on your own. This is great! We save money while we gain anonymity over our methods. Yet, are we really ready to be the lone ranger?

I remember listing ideas for myself as I wrote articles. Drafting plans as to where my career ought to go. It was invigorating as long as I kept at it. Then the moment came when I took a step back to see what I’ve created. As soon as the vision sets, I become overwhelmed with everything that lies on my shoulders. Every career move meant monetary investment, which led to calculating your returns, which leads to another question, ultimately landing to the ultimate query: Is it worth it? Like a Ferrari going from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds, My mind would race with ideas then it would also come to a screeching halt. I would always have a reason to not do it. Whether my savings wasn’t enough or I had family issues; there was always something. So I took time to work from within. Here’s what I have observed:

1. Time is Your Friend

I’m on the way to my 4th year as a yoga teacher. While I am neither novice nor expert. I can say with confidence that I have credentials to impart information as well as advice. Only with the passing of months and years can this be achieved provided we work our skills, teach and let time do its job. As yoga teachers, time is in our advantage because we have no retirement. It’s one of those professions where we can keep going if we wanted to. The tasks just change depending on our individual evolution. We forget this sometimes (I know I did), especially when we see ads telling us not to let an opportunity pass. What will happen if it passes? Will something detrimental happen when we don’t grab that groupon or catch that early-bird discount? No. Nothing will happen. We just have to keep carrying on until we find something for us. This doesn’t mean we’re wasting our potential, it just means that we are still gaining momentum. As we teach live classes or assist in a TT, we learn from our students just as they learn from us. We have realisations as to where we go with each passing day. If I had rushed into things I would have paid for my 300 hundred hour training as soon as I could and I wouldn’t have come to the conclusion that my interests lay in yoga therapy. Leaving me in financial debt without the path that I was meant for. So relax. time will tell your destination.

2. Work with the Hand That You’re Dealt with

Making lists was a way to calm me down from absorbing too much information. There was so much i wanted to do and I felt that i could do anything. I had to find some structure so that I could retrofit my musings. In doing so I discovered that I cannot be everything nor am I able to do anything. I had limitations. From physical, monetary, to technological there is a hindrance. It was only when I really took stock of what I possessed that I saw my advantages. I had more than enough. My point is that you are not lacking. It doesn’t matter if you are a starter teacher or 20 years experience you are enough. Make a realistic assessment and do like Tim Gunn in Project Runaway and make it work.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself

We’ve all been there. It starts as admiration then a small joke about how we “hate” that Instagram star for being so flexible, then before we know it were envious. After which doubt sets in. We ask ourselves if we’ll ever get to that point. I will stop you right there and say that you will. You will reach a point in your career where you are satisfied. One of the reasons I became depressed was because I went through this. As early as a few months after the teacher training I was exposed to teachers with more experience than myself. I thought that I was never going to be like them. True. I was never going to be like them because I wasn’t them. I was on my own unique journey. We need to keep reminding ourselves about this fact because there will be times when this message becomes blurry.

4. Mistakes Are a Part of It

Whether its by wrongful act, the passing of opportunity, or an investment gone awry, learn from your faults and mistakes, don’t dwell and move on. We teach the mindset of living in the moment yet we rarely follow it when it comes to our careers. I made some bad investments when I started. I was immensely disappointed in myself that I wasn’t more careful. I got back on my feet again to come back a more discerning person. These days I study any product or service before I invest. I am more active at Facebook communities, I even create focus groups before I go into anything. I have no animosity over the people that sold me into their products. They are still out there but instead of exposing them which just puts me in a bad light. I made it my priority to do my homework. Learn from your mistakes learn from others’ mistakes. It can save you so much.  

Whether its by wrongful act, the passing of opportunity, or an investment gone awry, learn from your faults and mistakes, don’t dwell and move on 

5. Don’t Lose You

Since I follow yoga teachers on social media, I have been privy to the development of their stories. Some have changed remarkably, others have staggered, while a few fell short. Not because they lost financial stability but because their posts have become formulaic, strategized by a consultant. While building their brand story, they lost what makes it theirs to begin with. I followed a teacher who projected childlike positivity in her practice. It was well done. Then as her career grew her posts became repetitive or had sexual innuendo. Fast forward to 2018 and she is all over the place. Retreats without structure; offering promises without foundation. She became a gimmick while her work became a scheme. What I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t let marketing techniques or our own goals overshadow our sincerity as teachers. If you don’t make 100 followers every week so what? It will take a longer but we don’t lose ourselves. From here we can truly practice what we preach. So there you have it. 5 tips to keep up with the ever-changing world of the wellness industry. As technology advances so that other jobs are under more pressure. The need for us increases. Keep that in mind while we continue to press on with our activities. Take our time and let our journey unfold. Play to our strengths for that will serve as the compass for our path. Stop comparing ourselves because each one of us has our own story to tell. Learn from our mistakes to get back on track. All this while keeping true to ourselves. It seems much but if just do one of these for now and work your way up__your career won’t feel so much like work. Good luck teachers.

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Jennifer Yusi
My name is Jennifer Yusi. Vinyasa/Aerial yoga instructor, writer for Momoyoga, founder of I believe in the fusion of yoga with different forms of movement. In my downtime, I like hiking, painting and karaoke.

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