Learn to Enrich Your Teaching Business
Perhaps the most important thing to do if you want to become — and remain — a really good yoga teacher is to continue your professional development. Sometimes that means doing more training, going to workshops, finding a mentor, studying classic texts; the usual stuff. But those aren’t the only ways to develop as teacher and enrich your business.
That can make your teaching more interesting or more adaptable to different students.
Teaching yoga brings together a lot of different skills and qualities. It’s important to be well trained; to know what you’re doing when you have a room full of bodies in front of you. To know how to support and challenge the people in each class, and to teach safely.
Experiences and insights can add deeper levels to your teaching and ensure that you’re able to build and sustain a viable career.
But beyond the obvious, a vast array of other skills, experiences and insights can add deeper levels to your teaching and ensure that you’re able to build and sustain a viable career. Know loads about history? That can make your teaching more interesting or more adaptable to different students. Used to be a standup comedian? Great — making people laugh can definitely help them stick with postures that demand endurance.
Here are four new skills you could learn to make yourself a better yoga teacher, or better at the business side of your work.
These are just ideas; what other skills do you want to add to your teaching toolkit?
Take a marketing course
It’s first on the list because knowing how to market your work is essential, and because lots of yoga teachers find it really hard. For every teacher who finds it easy to promote themselves online, there are more who feel uncomfortable about Insta-yoga trends and struggle to communicate their offerings with honesty and confidence.
You believe in the practice but you don’t know how to connect with the students who will benefit from your classes. That’s OK — but it’s important to find a way in. Knowing the basics of marketing, both online and offline, will increase the chance that you’ll earn a living from teaching. And that increases the chances that you’ll be able to keep teaching.
There are lots of low-cost courses available online that could help. We recommend checking out SkillShare as a place to start. And you can make your life easier by streamlining your booking and payments process, and viewing your business stats using Momoyoga.
Move differently — try a completely different practice
Yoga teachers love yoga. But when it comes to movement practices, yoga isn’t all there is. If you teach any physical practice, it’s incredibly beneficial to understand — and experience — other approaches to movement and health. Go to classes, and you’ll take away ideas and new knowledge to make your teaching more interesting and holistic.
Try practices like…pilates, somatics, dance, ti-chi, or animal flow. And if you want to create classes specifically designed for runners, cyclists or swimmers for example, make sure you know what it feels like to run, cycle, or swim.
Learn how to notice — and respond to — people who need help
Many people who come to yoga classes are working with a mental or emotional challenge. Lots of them are handling that issue very well, and have support networks around them to help. But some of them might need someone to notice their struggle, or ask how they’re doing.
But expanding your knowledge could enable you to help someone access the support services they need.
Anyone who regularly comes into contact with the public in a professional capacity, including teaching yoga, could take a mental health safeguarding course. A range of courses are available that will increase your awareness and teach you what to do if someone appears to be in trouble.
Google mental health safeguarding courses in your area. You might never have to use what you learn. But expanding your knowledge could enable you to help someone access the support services they need.
Try spoken word
Yoga teachers love telling stories and reading poems in classes. We’ve all done it at some point…well, most of us!
But have you ever been in a class where a teacher delivers a moving poem in a monotone voice and it’s left you feeling flat?
Try spoken word poetry. Go to an open mic night and listen; hear the way that poets use their voices to communicate a message and create an impact. If you’re feeling brave you could get up on stage and speak yourself — try it. You’ll taken new rhythm into your classes, and improve your ability to create an inspiring journey in every practice.