Yoga is for Everyone
Exploring career prospects and possibilities for yoga teachers in the post-pandemic era. By Michael Hammond
The last two years have been really challenging. As a studio owner, it’s not only your own livelihood that’s at stake, but you also feel responsible for all the other teachers at the studio. The enforced lockdown break, however, gave me the chance to take a step back and review the studio and its direction without the pressure of rushing to teach the next class.
This turned out to be a real blessing and started a chain of events that has seen the studio expand in a number of directions.
Firstly, I decided I enjoyed not rushing around teaching class after class and giving more time to my own practice, so I dropped a number of classes and actually took on six new teachers. Again, this turned out to be an important decision as three of my existing teachers
decided to stop teaching post-pandemic.
Secondly, I sat down and designed the Tall Trees teacher training programme along with one of my lead teachers, Karen. We wanted a completely different way of delivering a TT course to ensure that our graduates would be confident to teach yoga to anyone, whatever
their clients’ needs might be. I had been shocked that a friend of mine who was a newly-qualified Ashtanga teacher had not felt comfortable taking on a private client with a shoulder injury even though my friend was also a sports injury massage therapist.
Thirdly, and this is where it all started to come together, I was approached by Doncaster Council to help in their Get Doncaster Moving campaign, and myself and my team started to take yoga classes to our local Multiple Sclerosis Society. Through this, we have become service providers for the NHS, Flourish Enterprises, Be Well Doncaster, as well the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and also run regular classes for fibromyalgia and diabetic groups as well as patients suffering with mental health problems. We are also about to start research for the NHS on the effects of yoga for long Covid sufferers.
To cap it off, the site the yoga studio is on has been selected to become a Green Prescription site, with the studio being at the heart of the enterprise, so I already have classes for this year’s graduates to teach.
With all the pressures on the NHS and GPs in general, the modern yoga teacher can fulfil an important role in the health and wellbeing of their community. When we were collecting data for the Green Prescription project it was found that 80% of the reasons people called their health providers were down to social problems and only 20% were purely medical reasons…this opens a number of doors for the modern, well-rounded yoga teacher.
So, to finish, yes, your normal day-today classes are very important to you as a teacher, but if you get the opportunity to teach a class to a group of people who sometimes feel as if they have been cut away from the rest of society, the rewards are endless! After all, yoga is, and should always be, for everyone.
Michael Hammond is the owner of Tall Trees Yoga Studio in Doncaster South Yorkshire (talltreesyoga.co.uk)
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.