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Grow More Confident As A New Yoga Teacher With These 5 Tips

Navigating Your Yoga Teacher Journey: Building Confidence and Finding Your Unique Teaching Style - By Meagan Hale

Reading time: 4 minutes

When I did my yoga teacher training, one thing that became increasingly encouraged was teacher reviews. Students were given multiple chances to create their own sequences and then choose a day to teach an instructor and their peers. As the program neared its end, it became imperative that students take advantage of such an opportunity. The idea behind it was to build up the student's confidence. By teaching the teacher, the hope is that students will begin to establish their unique teaching style, find their voice, and gain valuable feedback from the instructor.

What of those yoga teachers who have yet to grow such confidence? If you've completed a yoga teacher training, but haven't quite figured out how to navigate your way as an instructor, worry not. There is still hope. Here are a few ideas to help you feel more confident as you go and grow into your yoga teacher journey.

1. Observe other teachers. Ask a fellow teacher for permission to sit in on a class, or request an apprenticeship. Remain a student even after you've received the certificate. There's always more to learn. Watching, making healthy comparisons, paying close attention to how they cue, and command a class are all things to take note of and absorb.

2. Know that no one teacher will be perfect for every student. It will happen one day. A potential client will walk through your studio doors, take your class, and not feel that it was right for them. Some students won’t come back and you will have to learn to be accepting of it. Feeling disappointed that a student doesn’t like your class is normal but it has no bearing on you as a teacher. It doesn’t somehow signify that you’re not good enough. You are! This leads us to the next point.

3. Realize that you have something that others don't. Students look for teachers that suit their needs. While some will inevitably walk away, others will choose to make your studio their home away from home. You will attract clients that feel drawn to you - not your method of teaching but you - your energy and your light. And that is non-replicable.

4. Teach more, even if to no one at all. You may not have the option to teach your yoga teacher for feedback or depend on family and friends whenever you'd like to practice. I know this sounds strange, and it will likely feel even more unnatural when you try it, but it can be transformative once you get the hang of it. Speaking aloud using cues and terms as you would in a room full of students, and practicing giving verbal adjustments before physically doing so, gives you the confidence to know what you’re teaching. It also allows for a better understanding of how to modify verbally before physically.

5. Fake it until you make it, or rather, be vigilant in your pursuit to be as confident as you desire to be, even on days that you aren’t.

Confidence wavers. As a new yoga teacher, learn to remove the pressure of having to be perfect. It’s okay if you forget the Sanskrit name of an asana, especially one you typically know. It is even okay if you slip up by confusing asanas, for example, calling cobra pose, upward facing dog, or mixing up warrior 1 and warrior 2. Miscues happen and are correctable.

Most importantly, take your time getting to know you. As a new yoga teacher, there will be times when you question your authority and capabilities. However, it is important to remember that you are very much capable and that you do in fact, belong here. Hold your head high, and be self-assured as you take your place in the world of yoga teachers.