December 16, 2019

Tips for New Yoga Teachers – 8 Steps After Graduating Your YTT

Congratulations! You graduated from your Yoga Teacher Training – but now what? You spent hours studying, earned your certification, and even taught your very first class, but after returning home you might be wondering how to get a successful teaching career started. While your Yoga Teacher Training has planted the seeds, you now need to nourish them in order to become the best yoga teacher you can be. Read this post for eight essential steps you should take after graduating.

1. Deepen Your Own Practice

After your Yoga Teacher Training, you are equipped with a deeper understanding of yoga and its tools – asana, pranayama, meditation, etc. Now is the time to refine this understanding and put it into practice. That way, when you start teaching, you share only what you understand and have confirmed through your own experiences. Slowly, but surely, you will find your unique voice!

In fact, this tip might be the most important one of all – and it’s something even seasoned yoga teachers tend to forget. When you start teaching regularly, it’s easy to neglect your own practice. You might even tell yourself that the hours you spend teaching count as your practice time, too.

But to hold space for others, it is crucial to invest time in your own practice. Doing the inner work and committing to your own practice encourages you to continuously grow as a teacher. Furthermore, the more you show integrity in your yoga journey, the more authentic and trustworthy you will be to your students. That’s why self-practice distinguishes a good teacher from a great one. 

2. Be a Student

By going to different yoga classes, you can learn from a variety of talented teachers. Take a notebook with you to write down interesting sequences, unique transitions, or great cues for tricky yoga postures. Don’t worry about copying, all teachers get inspired by others. In fact, every experienced teacher has been in your shoes when they started and can probably give you valuable advice.

You don’t have a yoga studio in your local area? Join our Online Studio to access hundreds of classes by expert teachers that will help you deepen your practice and further improve your teaching skills. Plus, you can pause and rewind the videos anytime, which makes taking notes so much easier.

3. Continue Your Education

After your Yoga Teacher Training, the learning doesn’t stop! Maybe there was a topic in your course that was new to you. Perhaps you struggled to remember anatomical terms or the seven chakras. That is exactly what you should keep exploring. There are countless workshops, both online and offline, that will take you deeper.

While a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training lays a solid foundation, you need to continue your education if you want to make teaching your full-time career. Maybe consider specializing in your favorite style of yoga, or learning how to work with a specific group of students such as seniors, children, prenatal yoga, etc.

4. Register with Yoga Alliance

This step is not obligatory, but registering with Yoga Alliance is definitely worth considering. If your school is a Registered Yoga School (RYS) you are eligible to become a Yoga Alliance member – which will open many doors if you wish to teach internationally. In addition, you gain access to their directory listing, online workshops, resources, and discounted liability insurance.

5. Do a Teaching Internship (Extended Practicum)

The sooner you start teaching after graduating, the easier it might be. On the other hand, the longer you wait to “feel ready,” the bigger the barrier of entry might become. Therefore, before enrolling in a Yoga Teacher Training program, ask your school if they can offer you the opportunity to gain practical experience. Some schools offer internships, also know as Extended Practicum, or volunteering programs. 

At One Yoga, we provide ongoing support to our students – even after graduation. That’s why we give our graduates the opportunity to teach free classes on our campus. It allows them to practice their teaching skills right away in a safe and supportive environment. Find out more about our Yoga Teacher Training to explore how you can grow with us.

6. Teach for Free

Maybe you cannot – or don’t want to – find a paid position right away. This doesn’t have to hold you back from teaching though. Teaching free classes is a great opportunity to rack up teaching hours, get experience, and gain exposure in your community. Teach free community classes at the beach or in the park. Get your friends, family or colleagues on the mat. Volunteer as a yoga teacher at your local church, school, kindergarten or youth club. Get creative!

Teaching from the heart – without expecting anything in return – can be considered a form of Karma Yoga. Translated as “the path of right action,” Karma Yoga promises to burn away selfish tendencies and worldly attachments. Thus, one can achieve spiritual liberation through selfless deeds. Learn more about Karma Yoga and the four paths to spiritual liberation here.

7. Get on Studio Sub-Lists

While it can be challenging to find a teaching job right away, you can get on the sub-lists of your favorite yoga studios and local gyms. Whenever one of their teachers has to call in sick will be your time to shine!

This is not always an easy job. You have to be spontaneous and available on short notice. You also won’t know who your students are before entering the classroom, so you might have to change your planned sequence on the spot. But if you are open to as many opportunities as possible, you will gain great exposure at the studios you’re trying to impress.

8. Face Your Fears

Even though you spent hours and hours practicing during your Yoga Teacher Training, stepping in front of a class for the very first time can be daunting. We have got you – here are 11 tips to make sure your first yoga class is a success!

Never let your fear hold you back from pursuing your passion and chasing your dreams. In moments of self-doubt or uncertainty, remember your personal reason for wanting to share the essence of yoga with the world.