Last week, Elephant Journal published a piece written by Sean Conley listing 5 Tips For New Yoga Teachers. I have been mulling over the mistakes I’ve made as a yoga teacher, both in the earlier days and even more recently, and I know others are making the same errors…so here are five more tips:
- Stop regurgitating what other teachers say. The students who keep coming back to your classes are doing so because they are relating to your energy and the way you pass on information. If you keep quoting other teachers and tapping into their energy, you’re stifling your own essence and selling yourself short.
- Stop comparing yourself to other teachers. Stop looking at attendance numbers in your classes vs attendance in other teacher’s classes, and stop comparing how many “friends” you have on various social media outlets compared to other teachers. Focus on what you have to say and use your classes, workshops, and retreats to help you say it. You will get to the top of your game by doing your absolute best, not by trying to one-up other teachers.
- If you’re teaching at a studio, make sure that what you teach aligns with what the studio owner wants to convey through the classes. You may feel compelled to teach different styles or bring different aspects of philosophy or insight into your classes, but make sure they accurately represent the person who believed in you enough to hire you.
- If you mess something up in class, laugh and keep going. Yoga teachers mess up constantly, but only the ones who let it affect their focus end up letting it affect their class.
- Speak to students the way you’d like to be spoken to. Use real language, even while incorporating Sanskrit or philosophical terms. No one wants to hear that breathing through their third eye will help them levitate. Give people real tools they can practically apply using real words. Speaking in the abstract is condescending and no one wants to be spoken down to.