Find your uniqueness as a yoga teacher
Find your uniqueness as a 21st century yoga teacher. Explore these creative advice, tips and ideas from Gopala Amir Yaffa
You love yoga! You immensely dislike your office job, maybe?
So you took a yoga teacher training…maybe a few of them, and thought you’ll be able to make a living out of it.
Well, it’s not that easy when there are a few other thousand yoga teachers in your city!
I come from a small country with lots of people living in a small place. If you offer the same product as everyone else, you get swallowed in the crowd. To be noticed you have to be different.
It is the same with teaching yoga. To be successful, to be a yoga superstar, you have to stand out!
What can you do that no one else can? What will make people choose you over all of the other yoga options in town? What will make them go ‘wow’? How can you reinvent yoga in a unique way that is totally you?
I suggest that you start from where you already are.
What are your passions? What are you really good at? What have you been working on already for your whole life that has made you who you are today?
You don’t need to forget about all of those hours and days and years and sweat and blood you put into your ‘old’ passions when you shift into teaching yoga. Life is an evolution rather than a revolution, and everything you will build from here on has, in one way or another, its foundation on what you have achieved in your past.
Combining your passions is a great way to come up with something new. Here are some examples:
You have been a DJ: create yoga parties with live audio/video effects. Super fun!
You have played the guitar or harp or didgeridoo: let yourself shine and play your instrument during relaxation in your class. People will come back again and again for that!
You love chocolate: feed your students chocolate between poses and teach them how to meditate and reach ecstasy by discovering and diving into those intense flavours.
You have been a dancer for your whole life: bring it on! Freestyle dancing is the perfect balance for the sometimes rigid movements of yoga.
You have studied medicine for the past five years before you decided to convert to being a yoga teacher: teach your yoga students about the amazing magic that is happening in their body while doing yoga. Make it interactive and fun!
You are an accountant or lawyer or hold another serious role: you must know how stressful it is to have such a job, so use your experience to share something special with the world.
You have always been good at inventing and building stuff, maybe you are even a carpenter or an engineer: create and build new and amazing yoga props and fill your yoga studio with them…maybe even call it The Yoga Inquisition!
With a bit of imagination, the sky is the limit!
The possibilities are endless and this is how people came up with ideas like baby yoga, pre/postnatal yoga, partner yoga, senior yoga, aqua yoga (yoga in the water), yoga and weight lifting, yoga and knitting, yoga on exercise balls, and of course Doga (yoga with your dog!).
There are so many amazing things out there: yoga fight club (yoga and martial arts), yoga canvas and cabernet (yoga, painting and wine drinking), yoga for surfers, yoga for golfers, equestrian yoga (yoga on horseback), naked yoga, acro yoga, circus yoga, aerial yoga (yoga suspended from the ceiling by straps) — and probably many, many more!
Here’s the thing: yoga is not set in stone! It has been evolving since the beginning. Even if you took a very ‘traditional’ yoga teacher training, it had very little in it that was called yoga a hundred years ago.
So don’t be like everyone else! Have some style! Dare! Live a little! Experiment!
Don’t be boring, be a bit crazy. Be yourself. Think outside the yoga box. I can’t wait to see what you will come up with!
Also, think about what do people really need and want? They want to be healthy and fit, but they also want to feel alive! They want to have fun. They want to interact, socialise and play. They want to learn something new…maybe about themselves. What can you give them that they can take back into their lives?
More than anything, people want to be happy. So this is your new job description as a yoga teacher: making people happy! Can you do that? I know you can!
You are the future of yoga. We (the old folks of yoga) don’t want you to be an exact copy of us…we want you to be you! We believe in you! Amaze us, please!