Graduating from your 200-hour teacher training is an exhilarating feeling; you might be full of purpose and drive on how to offer out all that you have learnt into the world and feel so much potential for your business. However, needing the experience to teach but not having any experience to get hired in a teaching role is that age-old catch-22 of being newly qualified in a profession. How can you teach with no experience, how can you get experience if you can’t teach?
Well, first you should check out our earlier blog post on how to get hired as a new yoga teacher here. Because we know that getting hired is both important and tricky, we wanted to pull together the info we have here from experts within the OfferingTree team – comprised of yoga teachers, former studio managers, meditation teachers and students as well as our tech experts!
Tip 1 – Build Your Experience Outside of the Studio
There are many ways in 2022 to build your yoga teaching experience, without getting hired by a yoga studio. You can literally take your yoga mat outside, roll it out, and start to teach. You will, of course, want to attract clients to come to your classes too but starting off small can be a great way to break through your nerves and get out there teaching.
Teaching classes outside, or finding spaces you can rent such as community centers, churches and dance studios is a great start. You can also set yourself up to teach yoga online and we have a handy guide on how to do that here.
Importantly, starting out to teach for yourself under the umbrella of your own business enables you to get a feel for what you want to teach, what you are good at, and whether you actually want to teach for a studio at all.
Tip 2 – Network
The most important part of success in any industry is networking and in Yoga, this means talking about what you do to everyone you know, and to people you don’t know.
Talking about your love of yoga sounds basic, however, if you aren’t telling the people that you meet and that you know about your yoga training and practice, how can they know what you want to do, and how can they help you get there? It will open doors and opportunities, and lay the groundwork to build your new business.
If there is a yoga studio that you want to work for, become known to them in all the authentic ways that you can. Take classes, speak with instructors, get a feel for what they do and truly evaluate if you could be a good fit for them, and they for you. If it feels right, you can offer to audition for the studio or to teach a karma class for free so they can sense your style, and whether you would be a good fit.
Tip 3 – Be Prepared, and Say ‘Yes’
Be ready to say yes to opportunities – and be prepared to teach at a moment’s notice.
It’s wise to have a class plan or two up your sleeve that you can teach anytime you need to. This way, if you are asked to step in to sub a class or to demo your teaching style, you have a solid plan to rely on, which means you can teach it easily, fluidly and with less stress.
Having a couple of favorite sequences committed to memory is something that will also serve you well throughout your teaching career, and saves you blushes or unnecessary stress if you do pick up a last-minute class.
Tip 4 – Get Hired as an Awesome Substitute
Getting on the sub list at a studio is often the first step to getting a permanent class. Subbing is a really good way to experiment with teaching different styles so you can learn what you are good at, build your experience and at the same time earn the trust and respect of the studio manager. To get hired as a sub, you need to let the studio know you are looking to teach with them – so check in above on networking – introduce yourself, practice there, get to know the teachers and the clients and – most importantly – ask!
Some studios have such a low turnover of teachers that you might be on the sub list for a while, but however long it takes the key thing is to be reliable – say yes as often as you can, but only say yes if you can definitely sub the class.
The two things a studio owner or manager is really concerned about are: (1) getting classes covered, and (2) having reliable staff. Prove that you can do both, and you will find yourself on their ‘permanent instructor’ list faster than you can say ‘I’ll cover it!’.
Tip 5 – Have an Online Presence
Having your corner of the internet set up as a new yoga teacher is a valuable way to showcase your work and your yoga business intentions. Like many employers, a yoga studio is likely to do a quick check of your online footprint to get an assessment of your teaching, your tech skills, your social media opinions and to check out your online community.
Your value to a yoga studio is more than just teaching – it is bringing in new clients, and adding to their marketing efforts with your own online platform. Some studio contracts actually include the requirement to promote your classes on your social media platforms, so having a solid online presence (website, social media following, etc) will set you up as a good prospect.
You could also use your social media to share the studio information, promotions and workshops and events, showing your commitment to promoting them and adding to their value in as many ways as you can.
Tip 6 – Stay Authentic
As much as you should say yes to opportunities, it’s also important to remain authentic to teaching styles that you enjoy teaching, and that you are good at. For example, if teaching kids is not your jam, but your local studio is seeking a permanent teacher for a kids yoga class, really consider if this is something you can be good at before committing to it.
The hardest lesson we have seen yoga teachers learn is that they spread themselves too thin, teaching too many types of yoga at once when they start out. While this approach will help you narrow down what you want to teach eventually, it can also dilute your skillset and drain your passion for teaching. And teaching without passion can lead you right into a joyless burnout, so choose carefully – if you can.
Tip 7 – Maintain your own practice
Keeping up a regular personal practice is more important than ever when you begin to teach, even if your schedule has become so busy that it makes finding time to practice more challenging.
Some studios will offer free classes to instructors and subs as part of their contract, but if that isn’t available, be sure you are trying to build in your practice in whatever way works for you. Retaining the passion and joy of your yoga is crucial when it comes to being a successful teacher, as that passion translates into every class you teach.
Tip 8 – Understand What a Studio Wants
Getting hired as a yoga teacher in 2022 has different expectations from pre-pandemic hiring in the industry. The general focus in 2022 is less about how good your hands-on adjustments are, and more on how well you can teach from your yoga mat, or into a camera.
There has never been as much diversity in the world of yoga and this makes it a perfect time to recognize what you are good at and to utilize those skills.
It could be that a studio is looking for a front desk person, or someone to manage their social media platforms, and this might be your first step in the door. We know of yoga teachers working with studios to set them up online and create a great space to teach remotely from. It always comes back to understanding your strengths and playing to them.
OfferingTree is a yoga software that has been designed for your online yoga business, and yoga studio needs. With a combination of features built specifically to support online wellness professionals, you can set up your new website and sell your offerings on it within minutes. Email us at [email protected] for more information or check out a demo of our software here.