Transmit positive vibes
Be kind to yourself, give out positive vibes and always do your best: the building blocks to success. By Sally Parkes
Like most yoga teachers, you probably took up yoga to improve your overall wellbeing and became so enthralled with the practice, that you decided to teach yoga as well. However, making a career out of yoga is becoming more competitive by the day, so in order to achieve your goals, you need to have an edge. But how?
Know your yoga
Get to know your practice, inside and out. See how your mind and body responds to different practices and which style works for you, and then fall in love with it! Yes, there will be ups and downs between you and the yoga mat (that’s part of the practice!) but find an approach you can fall in love with so it feels like it’s part of you. Then you know you’ll be in it for the long game: your teaching will flow more easily and your genuine energy and positive vibes will be felt by your students.
“No matter how big your class or what you are being paid, if people have shown up for your session, stay positive and do your best. ”
Always do your best
No matter how big your class or what you are being paid, if people have shown up for your session, have positive vibes and do your best. You never know what a profound effect your teaching is having on them and you never know where it may lead. Be respectful and courteous and always thank people for attending. Basic manners go a long way. Know also that your best will change from day to day, we are all human after all. But if you focus on doing your best with whatever mental and physical energy you have on the day, you can have peace of mind that you served your yogis as well as possible.
Find your yoga tribe
Soon enough you will start to notice a trend in the majority of people you are attracting to your sessions. This is a wonderful point to be with your work as it means you can really start to cultivate a community. This could include celebrating students’ achievements via social media or sending out small gifts, holding regular events in subjects they have asked about, engaging in conversation when your followers comment on social media posts. Or why not hold a virtual open morning, taking your group through a shorter than normal class (as this is more likely to attract beginners) and then having a Q&A session afterwards?
Get to know your market
Listen to your students. What do they enjoy about the class and what are they hoping to achieve? It could be improved physical and mental fitness, better sleep or even just a weekly break from the household, and then theme your classes around these ideas. For example, if sleep issues are a common problem within the group, how about including more grounding asana and a yoga nidra in class? It’s also worth asking for feedback after classes while its fresh in their minds and alter the following session accordingly.
Is there a particular yoga-related subject you are interested in or have a passion for? If so, why not write an article about it? You can then either put it into a PDF format along with some professional looking images and self-publish it on your platforms, or ask various publications if they would be interested in publishing it. You may need to ask several times, but be persistent and you may well succeed. Once published, present yourself as a published writer and you will possibly find yourself writing more and more and soon be regarded as an expert.
Find your unique selling point, develop your yoga teacher brand with a good logo, colour theme and positive vibes, relate your posts back to it where possible and be consistent with your posts. Try to stay on track with the message you are sending out and what you are trying to sell, and be sure to engage with people leaving comments. This doesn’t mean you always have to be on social media all the time, maybe check it just twice a day with one day off to help keep your enthusiasm up and your content full of positive energy. It’s also worth researching what platforms your yoga tribe prefers and aiming your energy towards those.
Be kind to yourself
I speak to many student teachers who feel they are too far behind to catch up with other teachers who have been teaching for several years. But know there will always be students for you and some actually prefer much newer teachers as they feel less intimidated. If you simply work on showing them positive vibes and that yoga is not something to be afraid of and they begin to enjoy the practice and reap the benefits, they will be with you for the long-term.
You can’t please everyone!
It’s impossible to please every single person that wants to practice yoga — and that’s okay. Most people have preconceived ideas of how yoga should work for them, and how a teacher should teach. This means that as a teacher who is regularly putting themselves out there in-front of people, be it virtual or in-person, some will not click with what you’re offering — and although this can be challenging to accept initially, it’s okay and it’s part of the process. Accept it and move on so you can serve and enjoy the wonderful community you have manifested with positive vibes.
@sallyparkesyoga is a yoga teacher trainer and teaches for @movementformodernlife
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.