It’s more difficult to teach than practice Ashtanga. A group of students would be relying on you for their asanas and you need to have all the knowledge for this. So before you embark on your Ashtanga yoga teacher training, you have to know some facts. Some could be inspiring but others could also be the harsh truth.
Nevertheless, being a yoga instructor is a sustainable career if you happen to catch the best opportunities. You can make your yoga passion as a viable source of income. But before you think that these are all roses, read on.
1. Get yourself insured
As a yoga instructor, you’ll be dealing with a lot of students: beginners and long-time practitioners. Whatever their level of practice is, injuries and untoward incidents may happen. Liability insurance will save you from all the trouble if ever something happens in the future. Your potential studio employer may have this, but if not, it’s pressing that you avail one.
Some students may have injuries outside the studio. They might associate it with your teaching and sue you in court. This is the worst-case scenario because lawsuits are expensive and can break your bank. With liability insurance, your money is protected before you embark on an Ashtanga yoga teacher training.
2. Get certified
Some students won’t care if you’re certified enough but your potential employers will. Even if you have 10 or so years of self-practice experience, you have to get certification from yoga schools. It could be 200 hours but I suggest that you enroll for longer courses. Certification for a longer study will give you an edge from other instructors these days.
Many yoga schools offer a 26-day, 200-hour training certification. If you want to be ahead of other teachers, I suggest that you enroll on famous ones, as this will be a selling point. Another thing you have to remember is that as a teacher, you’ll be delving into business and spirituality.
3. You should practice first before you teach
The saying “practice what you preach” applies to Ashtanga but it’s also best to remember that you should “preach what you practice”. Teaching a whole class is a daunting task especially if you’re doing Mysore. You cannot handle it well if you’re not equipped with knowledge about different techniques.
Also, every student is different from the other. They will likely ask for pose variations for the Ashtanga routine. You can invite friends or family members to be your first students so you can practice it before you apply for training. Though the training is meant to teach you the techniques, it won’t include everything. You still need to have the working knowledge of the yoga before you enroll in an Ashtanga yoga teacher training.
4. Know your salary
The salary will depend on your agreement with the studio. Rates may also vary on location and the number of enrollees per class. But to give you a hint, most instructors would be paid a rate of $45 per hour as a start. This will have a $5 increase every year until it reaches the $75 per hour rate. This will be on a regular basis if you have a contract.
If this isn’t enough for a living, you can accept private sessions that will cost more like $100. But if you can have higher rates in the studio, the better.
5. This isn’t a 9-5 job
A yoga instructor isn’t employed on a 9-5 basis. You practice the whole day and sessions can be scattered in different schedules. Still, you can create a schedule of your own that you can suggest to the studio. This is if they will agree for such setup.
You have to make Ashtanga your way of living if you want to make your teaching career worthwhile. You can ask for an early morning schedule or a day off so you can catch up with your family. But whatever the setup will be, you have to prepare yourself before you sign up for training.
6. You’ll need to have continuing education
The 200 or so hours of training might be enough to land you a teaching job in a studio, but it won’t sustain the needs of your students. You have to study, attend yoga camps, seminars, and anything that can improve your skills. The more decorated you get, the more you’ll get famous, and the higher your rate will be.
As you know, Ashtanga is a massive discipline. Learning every philosophy there is in every asana can’t be squeezed in a few days of Ashtanga yoga teacher training. So as a teacher, you also have to be a student too. You have to do this but don’t burn yourself out.
7. You need to wear different hats
In a yoga class, you’ll meet all kinds of people: the patient ones, the irate type, and the total dummy. You need to have the patience and passion to get along with them. As a teacher, it’s your responsibility to promote a positive yoga environment. You should wear different hats to get along with each student.
If you’ll research about the renowned yoga gurus nowadays, you’ll notice that they’re identified by their personalities. Kathryn Budig is known for her humor in the mat while Seane Corn is famous for her advocacy and passion.
8. Mysore or led? You choose.
Mysore and led have different nature of practice. Think about where you’ll be more effective. Are you more comfortable addressing the class as a whole or do you want customized approach for each student? Once you choose, you can sign for a training. Most likely, training courses will cover the two but if you’re serious of excelling into one, look for a specific training. Check first what’s in demand on your place or what the studio is looking for. This is important if you’re planning to make the practice more profitable.
Weigh these points first before you enroll for an Ashtanga yoga teacher training. This isn’t meant to discourage you to pursue your yoga teaching career, instead, it’s intended to prepare you for the real practice. Once you think you’re ready to proceed with the training, we’ll be glad to hear from you!