OK, so you’ve completed your 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. Now what? How do you take what you learned in YTT and then apply it to a yoga career? What’s the next step?
From Yoga Student to Yoga Teacher
Having led nearly 20 yoga teacher training programs now I can honestly say these are the most common questions I get on graduation day. During YTT, we’re in this magical bubble of learning and support but then it all suddenly comes to a close when the students are called upon to now be the teachers. This radical shift can be challenging to wrap our brains around; you’re so not alone if you’re feeling a little lost right now!
The most honest advice I can give you during this transition time is to just do it. Stop waiting for that moment when you’ll ‘feel ready’ as there’s a chance you never will! So whether you think you’re ready or not, get on your mat and instruct. Here are the three reasons why:
- The information you learned in YTT is fresh. The longer you wait, the less of what you learned will be retained.
- Students are more forgiving of new instructors. When they hear that you just finished your YTT last week, they’re going to be super excited for you! They’ll understand that you’re new, and they’ll be more willing to pretend you didn’t just say “foot” instead of “hand”.
- You’re still riding that YTT high. You came out of your training proud of yourself and excited with all the new information you have. If you wait to teach, this excitement will wane and you could get distracted by other things. Keep the energy around your love for yoga up by diving right into teaching.
Gaining Confidence as a Yoga Teahcer
If you’re still not convinced you’re ready, there are a few things you can do to add confidence to your skills. Try hiring a mentor, like an experienced yoga teacher, to coach you around those first few classes. If you feel like your training had gaps, or you just don’t feel like you have enough expertise to teach, try filling in those gaps using free information from the internet. Be sure to make your searches specific. For example, you want to teach a flow class but you don’t know if you’ll cue the breaths in Surya Namaskar A right. Find that sequence on YouTube! Then STUDY it. You got this.
Finally, always remember that you know more than your students. So even if you don’t feel knowledgeable enough to teach, chances are you learned SOMETHING in YTT that Joe Blow in the corner of your class doesn’t have any awareness around. That being said, if someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, be okay with that. It’s more important to be honest and let your student know you don’t know, rather than making something up.
Ok, good luck! You. Can. Do. It.