Since becoming certified, I’ve been putting myself out there for any teaching opportunity available. It included teaching community classes through a mentorship program, paying to rent out a space, and then getting hired at Firefly Yoga (wheeee!!! Which is what I was really really really hoping for!). I applied for a Summer Rooftop Yoga gig at a really nice Inn/Spa in Beacon, NY - even though the job listing said “3 years experience” I applied anyway because why not? And was offered a morning teaching slot starting in June as well as teaching privates for their members and guests.
It’s only been two months of steady teaching and the learning continues. I had a moment one day where no one showed up for a class and my inner saboteur jumped all over it reminding me why I am not good enough to teach. I took this way personal, went home and cried. I texted my friend and fellow YTT grad Jill how much I sucked and she put me back in my place reminding me that it was Spring Break and 4:30pm on a Thursday can be a funky time and some more sweet encouraging words. I talk to other teachers and everyone has that class where no one shows up, it happens, I’m over it. A few more things I’m learning and continue to work on as a newbie teacher…
Looks Are Deceiving
Don’t judge the faces people make. I truly understand what “Yoga Face” is now. The first couple of classes I’ve taught, I notice some of the faces of the yogis and they’re SO SERIOUS. Naturally, I see this and think “They’re hating this!” only to have them smile and thank me afterward for a great class. I’m pretty sure I make the same face too, so now I’m learning to smile more or at least blink my eyes and relax my face.
Don’t Plan Ahead
This is a big issue for me. Because I’m such a Type-A person, I plan everything, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. It’s kind of pointless to plan beforehand what cool shit I’m gonna say during class because I always forget and I either end up saying something else or nothing at all - just breathe with them, sometimes that’s enough. After class I have this hangup where I feel like I should have said more. Thankfully, I learned about Baptiste Yoga methodology which can be a big help in what to focus on when teaching.
Don’t Take Yourself Seriously
When I flub my words, get my Lefts and Rights mixed up, forget something, there’s no need to freeze or have an inner dialogue to find your place. Laugh, make a joke about it, move on. I’m getting better at this!
Engage With Your Fellow Yogis
As much as I love assisting, I don’t do this nearly as much when I’m teaching. I also know that when I assist while teaching, I give better cues, so I definitely need to do it more. And recognizing people during class, it’s a good feeling when a teacher praises you during class. So when you don’t know what to say, do that.
Overall, I’m so happy that I get to do this and always look forward to the next time I teach. As much as I love Yoga and my practice, I get to experience it a different way when I teach. I wasn’t even this happy about making jewelry! Maybe I shouldn’t have wasted those years on that and stuck with yoga? Well, everything happens when it does for a reason and I’m here now and now is all that matters.