How to Get Started as a Yoga Teacher
Many new yoga teachers have decided to become teachers because they love practicing yoga and wish to share the practice with others. However, it is possible to complete a yoga teacher training program, gain in-depth knowledge of teaching yoga, but have very little awareness of where to begin when starting to work as a yoga teacher. Fortunately, there are many ways you can plan, start and build your yoga classes.
The first part of getting started as a yoga teacher is the preparatory stage. To lay the groundwork for teaching yoga professionally, you can start by creating a resume or brochure that includes all your relevant experience. This can involve past teaching experience (even in unrelated fields), how long you have practiced yoga, where you studied and the names of yoga teacher training programs you have completed. You can bring your resume to life by adding a personalized description of your classes, your approach to the yoga practice and student testimonials.
Consider purchasing insurance as a next step in getting started as a yoga teacher. Low-cost insurance for yoga teachers is available through Solana Beach, California’s Fitness and Wellness Insurance Program. Members of the Yoga Alliance, Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association and the California Yoga Teachers Association can get special insurance rates.
Student Information Forms
It is also a good idea to prepare a student information form if you plan to teach independently of a yoga studio. This form should include information about whether a student has practiced yoga before, what other physical activities he or she does and about any medical or chronic conditions or injuries.
A waiver would ideally accompany the student information form and include an agreement from the student to take responsibility for not exceeding his or personal limits in yoga practice and for any discomfort or injury he or she may experience.
Names, phone numbers and email addresses are also helpful to keep on record if you have your students’ permission to add them to your mailing list for future workshops and classes.
Finding a location is the next step in getting started as a yoga instructor. It is difficult for beginner teachers to start teaching at yoga studios, but a good way to try to do this is through substitute teaching.
Call various studios to see if you can be added to their list of substitutes or ask a friend who teaches yoga if you can sub for him or her. You can also find studio teaching slots at off-hours like 6 a.m. or 8 p.m. when beginning to teach.
Health Clubs & Spas
Health clubs and spas are another source of yoga teaching opportunities that can provide you with a good following size. Once you develop a strong student base, you can more easily move to atmospheres more conducive to yoga.
Corporations and businesses are other great sources of yoga teacher jobs, particularly those that value healthy living, such as Cliff Bar and Whole Foods. Ask around your network of friends if there are good companies for you to teach at. You can also try cold calling human resource departments of different companies.
Complementary medicine offices like those of chiropractors and acupuncturists are also good locations for teaching yoga, as are religious institutions and community centers.
Creative Ways to Get Started
You can also teach yoga privately in homes, the local library or park. Attract potential students by providing a free class at one of these places. In some areas, yoga in the park is an ongoing event on days with good weather and local teachers take turns offering a community service and developing interest in yoga amongst local people.
Target Special Populations
Another tip for building a student base as a new teacher is to target teaching specific populations. You can consider teaching traditional or gentle yoga classes in senior centers or nursing homes.
You can also think about teaching in hospitals, as many have wellness facilities, community outreach courses and integrative medicine centers that could be interested in having yoga classes.
Schools – whether public, private, charter or even preschools – could have great spaces for teaching classes. Ask if you can start classes for teachers, students and/or parents, or see if you can simply rent a room in a local school to hold public classes in.