I have been getting a lot of questions lately via email, Facebook and direct messages on Instagram about yoga teaching - How to market yourself and your classes, how to put yourself out there, how to find the confidence to lead a class and how I manage to get brands to send me things (that last one made me giggle a little but it's just #BloggerPerks). Anyway, I wanted to address a few of these things on the blog beginning with a major one in my books - confidence.
How to Find Confidence as a Yoga Teacher
1. The fact that I get up in front of a class full of people (almost) every single day totally baffles me. My husband can testify that I have never been a confident person, even calling someone I didn't know on the telephone would send me into a panic and make me sweat. In fact the first yoga class I ever led I was so nervous I could feel the sweat dripping down my armpits (delightful I know!). So what changed? Practice. Like everything - practice. I said yes to every teaching opportunity which came my way and slowly I became more confident in myself and what I had to share.
2. Arrive to class early to set up, settle into the space and just breathe. I'm not one of those people who can just rock up to lead a yoga class with 2 minutes to spare before class is due to start. I like to prep - I like to get there early, set up my mat and either move through some mini sequences or just sit and find my own breath and a sense of calm.
3. Another thing about arriving early is that you can get to know your students! After all, the class isn't about you. Sure, you hold the space and guide the class but the class is ultimately for them. Get to know everyone's name and address them by their names. This way you build up a relationship with the class and create a sense of community. In turn, this makes you feel more at ease.
4. I think of myself as a yoga guide rather than a yoga teacher. I'm not above everyone else and quite often there are several other teachers in the room (it's Bristol, being a yoga teacher is a thing). I guide the class and hold the space, my students are their own teachers because here is the thing - no one know your own body or how you are feeling in that one moment more than you do. Give your students space to move and honour how they are feeling. Trust me, it's a magical thing!
5. Allow yourself to find your own voice. When you first begin leading classes you'll find that you kinda sorta imitate what you learnt on teacher training or your favourite teacher. Inspiration from others is great but give yourself space to find your own voice, something with resonates with you. Keep going to different classes and workshops, finding inspiration and learning. Once you allow yourself to find your own voice you will find that you feel more confident in yourself and it will shine through.
I hope that you found this post helpful. What other yoga teacher tips would you like me to share on the blog? Leave me a comment below!
A couple things to tell you: 1) There are only a couple of spaces left for my New Year Space Maker Workshop, snag your spot now to avoid disappointment! 2) Our Spring and Summer yoga retreats in Devon are filling up send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us for a perfect weekend of yoga and healthy living.
PS - I get a lot of questions about the leggings I am wearing here. They are by Lululemon and that exact print is sold out but I have linked a few alternatives below!