A lot of information gets thrown at you in a 200-hour yoga teacher training. In my training, I learned everything from the anatomy of the lungs to the origins of Yin Yoga. However, looking back on my journey as a teacher, I learned a whole lot about supporting my students and not enough about supporting myself.
Now that I mentor yoga teachers and help them take their passion for teaching to another level, it’s clear to me that teacher training programs are falling short in giving teachers the tools to manage stress and negative thoughts while teaching.
The fears and discomforts of teaching yoga is paralyzing instructors.
78% of the teachers in my program went over a year after getting certified not teaching due to personal fear and self-doubt.
Commit to Always Being a Student
This is the most important piece of advice I can recommend to yoga teacher. Keep going to classes and learning from other teachers. Have an active membership to a studio that you do not teach at.
Continuing to be a student in addition to a teacher will help you:
Far too often I work with teachers who are focusing on the nitty-gritty details of a class from a student’s perspective — do not matter. For example, they stress about the lights, the temperature, accidentally messing up a sequence. These details are important but they’re not important enough to be actively stressing about during class.
By tapping into your inner student, you can teach your students more effectively, stay centered, and focused on your mission. Commit to always being a student so that you can serve from a place of authenticity and not habit.
Keep it Simple
Teachers tend to feel this pressure to teach really creative, complex sequences to keep their students engaged and inspired.
It’s a huge misconception that a good class needs to incorporate complicated sequencing. Some of the best yoga teachers lead very simple, straightforward classes that still incorporate all of the important class elements.
Lastly, always remember that you are human and while you may be your biggest critic — you are adding value to your students’ lives. As long as you are teaching from a place that is true to yourself, you’re never a bad teacher.