Over the past few months, I’ve been speaking to many newly graduated yoga teachers. It’s curious to see how everyone experiences their training so differently. Some feel extremely inspired and can’t wait to continue their learning journey while others feel a little lost, discouraged and disappointed. However, one challenge a lot of us seem to have in common is the feeling of not being prepared enough to actually teach. With this blog, I hope to give you some guidance after your yoga teacher training. It aims to provide you with the tools and support you need to fill the gaps in the information or teaching practice which are stopping you from teaching yoga confidently. So, let dive in: how to find support after your yoga teacher training!
“How was your yoga teacher training? “
“No one taught me how to write a sequence! What do I do now?”
“I’m disappointed, I never got the chance to teach during my training.”
“It was so overwhelming: too much information, very few practices.“
If this sounds like you, know that you’re not alone! Know that there are a lot of options, resources, communities and teachers out there that can help you further! Continue with this blog, to find out where and how you can find support after your yoga teacher training!
I’ve been there too!
One of the reasons why I felt unqualified, incapable, or simply lost in this yoga teaching world was that, during my training, I had very few opportunities to actually practise teaching yoga. My course had a very academic twist to it; lots of talking, lots of terminology, but very little practice. You’re noticing now that I’m saying this on repeat, aren’t you?! But repetition is the key to learning anything new! With that, I mean repetition in all skills; receptive and productive.
No one becomes an expert overnight.
And no one becomes an expert without identifying their favourite way(s) of learning. You might know that you’re naturally quicker at picking things up by either reading, hearing or seeing things for example. But to fully embody new information and to be able to explain it as teachers, we need to use as many of our skills as possible. We need to work with our own skills: to hear, see, feel, write, speak, practise, make mistakes, reflect, try again, and the same again, again and again to really understand something to a level that allows you to teach it to others.
It’s for that reason we and many other school systems give you the opportunity to integrate your learning through various types of exercises. It is extremely beneficial to know about the different learning styles and how you pick up things fastest. Make sure you know these things about yourself but also about your students! Find out how they learn to provide a smooth learning curve for everyone. If you’d like more information on this and/or want to take a test to find out what your learning style is, go to our blog: how to prepare for your yoga teacher training.
Your 200-hour yoga teacher training is only the beginning
The majority of yoga teacher training only lasts 4 weeks. You’re handed your certificate and are ready to enter the world of teaching yoga. But, to be honest, I believe that’s where it really starts! And exactly where support is lacking for many of us. That isn’t a good combination, is it? For us as human beings, in such a short time it’s almost impossible to actually gain, remember and also integrate all the knowledge and skills we learn in our training.
I want to reassure you that a four week training is amazing and an incredibly inspiring experience. But your yoga teacher journey, just like your yoga practitioner journey, are journeys that last a lifetime.
Just like all other jobs, it’s a never-ending evolving one; full of learnings, new discoveries and many many, many different studies in even more different aspects. Go into training with an open mind and don’t get discouraged by the wealth or extent of these studies. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but embrace it rather than let it frustrate you. And know that if you need a hand, or simply need to chat with someone, we are here to support you.
How to find support after your yoga teacher training that works for you!
Ask for follow-up and feedback.
After your training you may be surprised to never hear back from your teacher. It’s unfortunate, but not uncommon to not receive feedback after your certification. I believe it is extremely valuable to simply write them an email, or get on the phone and ask!
During or after your training you probably wrote an essay or discussed what you yourself, believed went well and would like to improve, but don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for their opinion/what they think. Your teacher could provide you with new insights and help you find your direction in your first few months or years of your yoga teaching path.
Search for teaching practice after your yoga teacher training
Teaching practice is highly underestimated and even neglected during many training courses. We get out of training and jump straight into teaching classes, but may experience feeling unsure or incapable. Sometimes we don’t even know where to start. Participating in teaching practice classes provides you with a safe space to gain confidence, try new things, learn from others and exchange ideas and experiences.
Practice and experience are the stepping stones we all need after training and before having the pressure of a full-time teaching timetable.
Having done training and having a desire to teach yoga means you are already capable. Enga’s teaching practices help you to realise what you know and can do, which will allow you to improve, add more detail to what you know and become even more efficient and confident as a teacher.
Finding your voice after your yoga teacher training
Teaching yoga can be very intimidating. There’s heaps to remember: the breath, verbs, asanas, variations of asanas, potential injuries, preventing injuries, sensitive language, inclusive language, and so on. As a teacher, you want to share your enthusiasm for yoga. You possibly hope to share the sensations, feelings and insights you experienced and that have changed you for the better.
Especially when you start teaching, it’s possible you feel the need to be able to teach everything and to try all the different methods. We often have an image of The Teacher and that’s not always compatible with who you truly are. If you try to create that persona, you need to act on top of teaching.
Yoga and teaching yoga are very personal. When combined, we must accommodate for this even more. Perhaps take time for some Svādhyāya (self-study) reflection to define what your own teaching style is. Not what you want it to be, but what your natural style is at this point in your development. You want to practise what you teach and teach what you practise. Mandarin teachers don’t teach French: they teach Mandarin because that’s what they’ve studied themselves, and they know it’s what they’re good at. We’ve written a blog dedicated to this topic that includes some really good journal questions and tools that help you find your personal teacher voice.
Continuing education after your yoga teacher training
As mentioned above, your teacher training is only the beginning. You’ll notice that Yoga Alliance has a ‘Continuing Education Requirement’ that requires you to complete an additional amount of training and practice every three years. Whether you’re registered with Yoga Alliance or not, I highly recommend investing time in continuing your education for six reasons:
It helps you:
- fully embody your earlier learnings from your other teacher training
- see your studies and interests from different points of view
- stay up-to-date and informed on new discoveries and developments
- meet other yogis with whom you share an experience and can share past experiences
- understand who you teach and what type of classes are most beneficial for them
- offer your students more up-to-date, detailed, educative and valuable classes
Resources and other support after your yoga teacher training
In our last blog I shared with you some resources that I recommend diving into before your training. Here, I’ll share some resources I recommend for after your training:
Books (most are also available as audiobooks).
- The Tree of Yoga – B. K. S. Iyengar
- Light on Pranayama: The Definitive Guide to the Art of Breathing – B. K. S. Iyengar
- Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes – Mark Stephens
- Your Body, Your Yoga – Bernie Clark
- Yoga Anatomy – Leslie Kaminoff
- Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses: A Practical Workbook for Integrating Themes, Ideas, and Inspiration Into Your Class – Alexandra Desiato and Sage Rountree
- I Am Maris: Portrait of a Young Yogi – Laura Vanzee Taylor
- Yogawoman – Saraswati Clere, Kate Clere McIntyre
- On Yoga the Architecture of Peace – Heitor Dhalia
- Heal – Kelly Noonan
- Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator – Eva Orner
- Kevin Boyle Podcast (formerly The Yoga Life)
- Yogipreneur Podcast
- Yoga Hero: Teachers
- Yoga Teacher Resource Podcast
- Emprendedores del Yoga (Hispanohablantes)
- Your Yoga in English Podcast (our own podcast)
- Yoga Teaching Practice
- Emprendedores del Yoga (Hispanohablantes)
- YOGA TEACHER MARKETING COMMUNITY – DIGITAL YOGA ACADEMY
- Yoga Teacher Resource Group
- Yoga in English // yoga en inglés – Enga’s group
Teach Yoga in English This is the group we use for your 5-Day Challenge and will reopen on the 9th of May 2021.
To help you find support you after your yoga teacher training, we’ve created a video guide to help you boost your confidence and design more effective yoga classes with these 10 yoga teaching tips & techniques to for professional development as a multilingual yoga teacher!