I'm a Yoga Teacher, Now What?

I’ve been an RYT-200 certified yoga teacher for over a year now and have been contemplating my next move for a while.  When I signed up for YTT (yoga teacher training), the main goal was to deepen my practice and understanding of yoga.  I have a full-time job and many interests outside of yoga, so I wasn’t sure I’d want to commit my precious spare time to teaching.  However, I know now that I want to teach, I’m just not sure what that looks like.  Do I apply to teach scheduled classes?  Offer private beginner/intro to yoga classes?  Classes at work?  Well, I’m weighing all of these options right now.

Last weekend, I taught a class to three of my friends.  Most of the teaching I’ve done has been one on one full classes, private instruction, and small groups, so this was perfect.  My biggest challenge for group classes is finding studio space, but one of my friends offered up her front room, which was perfect!  Two of my friends had practiced before and one was new to yoga.  I’m always nervous with a mix of students because I want to challenge the experienced yogis, but make the sequence accessible to newbies.  I started by demonstrating Chataranga since I find that combination to be the most difficult for new students to flow in the sequence while maintaining form.  I also offered many modifications throughout class.

Private group yoga

Private group yoga

We dimmed the lights, turned up the heat, pressed play on my yoga playlist and began class.  Since there was a newbie, I demonstrated more poses than normal - quite a bit of the sequence, actually!  It can get tiring when you take part in class while talking through the poses and sequence, which gives me mixed feelings about teaching this way. On one hand, newbies always have a demonstrator, but this also distracts them from listening to cues.  The more experienced yogis miss out on my observation of their practice so I can provide helpful cues by “reading the room”.  It’s tough, but it went well!  They all texted me later letting me know they were a little sore - good sore!  The biggest indication of a good class is they want to do another, so I’m excited.  It’s great practice for me as I begin to weigh my options for offering classes.

These experiences make me anxious to get my class offerings set and figure out what I want from my yoga certification!  I’ll be offering classes soon to my co-workers including a mid-day yoga break for newbies and full classes for experienced yogis.  I’ll be teaching 15 classes in a week on vacation in Jamaica soon and couldn’t be more excited.  My long term plan is to offer private individual and group classes, a yoga buddy package and private SUP yoga and teach scheduled SUP yoga classes on Lake Michigan.  There are many factors to consider while weighing all these options, so stay tuned as I figure out my yoga future!