Bridging the gap
Bridging the gap to teaching success. By Fenella Lindsell
Learning yoga and practicing as a yoga professional are quite different things. Love for the practice will take us a great deal of the way but building this passion into a successful yoga business allows us to help and learn from others in a career that gives back as much as it gives away. However, if you aren’t an economic engineer, building the bridge between practice and profession can be tricky.
Turning theory into practice
Teacher training provides the theory for how and why yoga works, but often leaves people adrift when it comes to setting up a yoga business. We learn through hands-on practice the health benefits of individual postures and the reasons behind Om chanting’s veneration, but at some point, we must share it with others, and this requires another game plan. We all see the depth of yoga’s healing power, but each of us must have a sturdy ship that will withstand the turbulence of a highly competitive and quite saturated yoga market. Being directly involved as the yoga community has spread across Europe and flourished in the last few decades, I have pieced together, in one coherent course, the most important elements for people to run an enduring, successful and rewarding yoga business.
The central theme of my yoga academy is to outline the transition from taught, to teacher. In my case this has grown out of 30 years of teaching experience. Those with the teacher training knowledge can now implement this theory into a business practice that builds a strong fabric of clients, friends and supportive health practitioners.
Nothing works well when we’re nervous, so confidence is key. Confident teaching requires diverse injury management, varied class plans and tailored advice from those who have gone before you. The core elements I offer are:
Class plans that are tried and tested over decades. These classes are themed and carefully refined from my private, group classes and mixed ability yoga retreats. The stand-out point is that these classes have been built with the direct help of thousands of students’ feedback.
A directory of injury, health issues management and rehabilitation. This makes correction and development an anxiety-free process for both student and teacher. The comprehensive, illustrated directory is not only sufficient for injury guidance in yoga, but also a range of sport-specific physical activities, particularly tailored for rehabilitative development. Home practices and videos are included so that students can work on their issues and gain confidence in their practice.
As a teacher, your network of healthcare professionals and a loyal clientele are the slow burning stove of your operation, the grease on the chain that keeps the wheels turning. A network doesn’t come without effort, but it does come far more quickly with guidance. Though network building can be the biggest hurdle, I have a step-by-step procedure to make this mountain into a molehill! The central importance of a strong and diverse yoga network is that it offers resilience against changing economic landscapes like pandemics/ recessions, whilst giving consistency over competitors.
Landing on your feet
You too can develop a loyal client base, whilst bridging the gap from foundational teacher training experience to the running of your own yoga business. Simple guidance and mentoring can really help. The outcome is a reliable teaching network, a stable income and a worklife balance that pays compliment to yoga’s therapeutic potential.
Fenella Lindsell is the founder of the Yoga Forever Academy (yogaforeveracademy.com)
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.