In today’s day and age, yoga is becoming more popular than ever before, with an average of 35 million instructors worldwide, practicing their teachings. Spending an estimated £16 Billion on yoga accessories and classes each year, it’s not so secret that yoga is increasing in popularity by the day. With this amount of instructors already trained and practicing their craft, it’s an amazing, but competitive job role to get into, so being at the top of your game is of the utmost importance. In this article, we will explore some of the qualities the most sought after yoga instructors hold, and give out a few tips on how to be successful in this challenging, yet rewarding career.
On your journey to becoming a successful yoga instructor, the first step is learning the basics. Getting certified through a respected, well-known teaching college will ensure that you are learning the key skills to a high standard, right from the get-go. Although, in no means, does your training stop here, setting the all important foundations to build the rest of your career upon, starts with the basics.
All the best yoga instructors, never stop improving on their craft. If you believe that you are all-knowing as soon as you have finished your training, you will never become as successful as you could be if you choose to live every day with an open mind. Every time advice is taken from someone else, you will find yourself in a better position than ever before, and consequently at some point, in a position to give out that advice for yourself. Continuing to participate in training classes and workshops, in addition to keeping up-to-date with the relevant reading material will ensure that you continue learning throughout your career. At some point during your time as in instructor, you will come across things that you aren’t quite as good at; taking these realisations on board, and working to improve in each area will mean continued development in your art, day after day.
Although it might seem obvious, getting to know each of your students individually is of great importance. Building up an appropriate bond with each individual that attends your class, will make the students feel valued, heard and important, leading to them returning to your sessions time after time, rather than going elsewhere.
Getting to know your students, takes a lot more investment than just learning their names. Many younger students, especially, look to any type of teacher as an authoritative figure, so you need to be ready to set the great example you know you want to. Learning to read the student’s body language, so you are able to adapt sessions accordingly will result in them leaving class feeling healthy and happy, without them having to mention in front of everyone that they were struggling with a specific pose. Referred to as a hidden investment, even though the students may not even realise you are adapting the session to help them specifically, they will leave the session satisfied with their progress and raring to go next week, rather than hurt and disheartened, possibly, never to return.
It’s no secret that every teacher wants their students to excel in class, not just for the students benefit, but also as a little confidence boost for themselves, as your students doing well, means you’re doing a great job as a teach – right? You and your students are a team when one does well, so does the other. The key to ensuring your students are achieving high standards of practice is finding out what teaching methods work best for you both, which will involve a little trial and error, but you’ll get there. A popular method among yoga instructors, is instead of giving commands or barking orders to the class, try waiting until the students are in the position on their yoga mats, and then slowly leading them into the next stage of the pose. This tried and tested method will ensure that nobody is getting left behind, and you are all moving forward together, as a collective.
Truly understanding each posture and the benefits it holds before teaching to a class is an absolute essential. Although this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how many instructors take a couple of weeks to memorise the poses, and then think they are good to go. Being a great instructor isn’t just about knowing names, and basic outlines of postures; it’s about knowing the positioning of each move inside and out and speaking from personal experience as to how the stretch benefits the human body. Once we understand for ourselves what the posture is doing for us, we can offer each of the individuals undivided attention and knowledge, without even having to think about it.
Realising for yourself, and teaching to others, the benefits of yoga as a form of health care shows that you are well on your way to becoming a successful yoga instructor. In today’s world, waiting until damage has already been done to the body before seeking help is becoming more common than ever. As a yoga instructor, one of your main focusses should be on helping people to stay healthy, and to regain and maintain a positive state of being, before the damage is done. A key trait of a successful yoga teacher is educating your students on maintaining great health care, without ever directly talking about it. When already in the right mind set, people will remain conscious about the care of their bodies, without even realising it, subsequently leading to less long-term pain, health issues, and recurrent visits to the GP.
If you are interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor, there are many courses and training colleges available worldwide, offering expert knowledge and qualifications in different forms of the practice. Once you have learned the basics, we hope that our little tips will help you on your way to a successful, and rewarding career.