Tired of your dead end job? Had it with cube dwelling and stapler-stealers at the 9-5er? Drop your Dolly Parton broken record and become a yoga teacher! U.S.News & World Report shares with us what so many have already realized, yoga teacher training has become the new grad school! “I’m going back to school to find my true path” has taken on new meaning as more folks flock to teaching yoga as their second (third, fourth or fifth) career.
While we see the growth and proliferation of yoga as an intrinsically good thing and obviously inevitable with everyone from soccer star Ryan Giggs, Michelle Obama and Osama bin Laden haters downing their dogs, on top of the new yoga fest-o-rama and latest imminent development of Magic Kingdom Anusaraland, there are some pitfalls like trendiness and shallow intentions that put us off. Even, yoga’s pop star Sadie Nardini is sensing the “superficiality” on the mat.
It’s awesome more people are interested in yoga, and we are extra flippin’ enthused about more people enrolling in yoga teacher training. We said it! And it’s because we have faith that it means there’s enough interest to want a deeper understanding of the practice. But be forewarned, yoga teachers to be! Don’t think it’s an easy thing to fall back on like a law degree, or certificate in ‘notorious terrorist sniffer-outting.’ Still, there are major benefits to switching streams and swimming with the yoga fishes.
We’ll break down our words of advice based on the article in quote bite form.
1. Yoga offers a better quality of life to many who endeavor to teach, with increased peace of mind, freedom and sense of purpose.
“Starting out, [my salary] is much smaller than what I was earning at my old position, but the quality of life … is a thousands times [better],” says Laird, 27, who makes a living teaching a combination of group classes, private lessons, and yoga therapy. “I would take this salary over my old one any day, because I can actually enjoy life rather than being miserable.”
Translation: Teaching, yes. But don’t expect to be able to pay for taking too many classes, at least to start anyway. Also, invest in a planner, or google calendar the crap out of your sched. There is no happiness guarantee the instant you get your 200hr belt. Your education shouldn’t end there either.
2. Yoga in practice can positively affect your entire life, not just your parsva bakasana split leg variation. (keep the hips lifted!)
“The lifestyle is one of the things that makes yoga popular,” says Cristie Newhart, operational manager of professional training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, a nonprofit organization that trains yoga teachers in western Massachusetts. “It’s not just the physical pose. It’s the breath. It’s learning about nutrition. It’s learning to be in touch with feelings … People are very much attracted to living a more authentic life.”
Translation: Don’t get wrapped up in idealisms. It’s too easy to think you’re not advanced enough, flexible enough, or look enough like the glossy photos of fancy asan-ers presented in the media. Be patient. Be the authentic YOU. (Keep in mind that YOU may not be a yoga teacher after all. And that’s OK.)
3. Yoga is getting so popular that there are even more job opportunities out there for budding teachers.
“It’s almost like yoga studios are becoming like Starbucks,” Laird says. “There’s one on every corner now. So there’s plenty of opportunity for teachers—it’s just a matter of finding your way into the studio.”
Translation: Yes, it’s true! NYC is a bonafide SCENE. New Yorkers are more excited about yoga than free iced coffee day at Dunkin Donuts. And we hear this yoga thing is pretty popular elsewhere. However, it’s a hustle. Just like anything else, it’s a business and you’ve got to treat it as such no matter how long you can stand on your head and hold your kumbhakas. The good news is, what you put out is what you’ll get back. Keep truckin’.
Interested in more yoga biz news and tips? Stay tuned for YD teacher series coming soon. Have questions? Let us know.