So You Want To Be A… Yoga Teacher
Hatha, hot, aerial… even goat. Nowadays the ancient practice of yoga is more diverse than ever. Thanks to the bendy-bodied Instagram brigade who have been head-standing their way across the beaches of Bali, over 300 million people worldwide are pulling on their Lululemon to attempt Downward-Facing Dog. As the $16bn industry continues to boom, it’s never been more enticing to step inside the studio and teach.
Tossing the overnight influencer status and six-figure endorsement deals aside, in an increasingly competitive field the most realistic route to success consists of years of practice, irregular working hours and the decision to invest in your most important commodity: yourself. Be prepared to spend money to make money, and you can kiss routine goodbye.
Once you’re qualified, working across yoga studios will provide invaluable experience and help grow your network. But if you’re serious about taking your salary to the next level, you’ll need to go it alone.
This will require both mental and physical strength, as you morph from teacher, to marketeer, to accountant, to all-round therapist. Yep, your students will look to you to heal everything, from posture to broken hearts.
In today’s ecosystem, establishing a personal brand is what will get bums on mats, headline influencer appearances and that obligatory book deal. Market yourself as much as you can, but remember in the end, it’s how you transform the lives of others that will determine whether you drive a successful and sustainable career.
Official qualifications don’t (yet) exist, but if you don’t know your Shavasana from your Utkatasana you’re not going to get very far.
There are so many to choose from, but just to give you an idea: Triyoga’s 24-month programme will set you back £4,500; Frame Academy’s 200hr course, led by teachers Michael James Wong and Emily-Clare Hill, comes in at £2,800; Hotpod‘s new month-long intensive 200-hour and Weekender courses (which include four three-day weekends with a week either side) is £2,500. All are accredited.
Most courses ask for at least two years of practice with a qualified teacher. It’s best to view your journey as turning a passion into a profession.
Yogaalliance.org is a non-profit organisation representing the yoga community and provides resources, routes for continued education and support.
Jay Fields’ Teaching People Not Poses will help you truly connect with your students.
Point Of View
Sanchia Legister: ‘‘With yoga, I’ve been able to start a small community of people who like their wellness served up with a side of collaboration and some dope brands. I’ve travelled and shared yoga in beautiful places and been part of some cool campaigns, bringing yoga to more unusual spaces.’
Michael James Wong: ‘There are challenges with every career, but what I’ve learned through yoga is that if you bring honesty and integrity to every class, conversation and situation you’re faced with personally and professionally, there will always be a way to make this life successful.’
Phoebe Greenacre: ‘After practicing yoga on and off for 15+ years, I realised it was fast becoming an international language. I know how much yoga had added to my life and I wanted to be able to share this wonderful gift with others. Being able to travel and teach yoga was always a dream.’