Last week, one of our Teach Yoga in English Journey students asked me: ‘How do I know if I’m ready to start for myself?’ Right now she works an office job that doesn’t fulfill her. She, like most of you here, has a big passion for teaching yoga. She wants to quit the job she only does to pay her bills, so that she can live her purpose and teach yoga full-time. But, this transition feels scary and unsafe, making her wonder ‘How do I know if I’m ready?’. I know she’s not alone and you may wonder the way. That’s why in this blog, I want to help you understand how to begin your entrepreneurial yoga teacher journey, giving you clear action steps to work with.
How do you know if you’re ready to begin your entrepreneurial yoga teacher journey?
The answer is simple: listen to your inner calling!
Your inner calling is a personal and intuitive sense of purpose and direction that originates from within. It’s that inner voice or feeling that guides you toward a particular path or goal.
For example, from a very young age, I had a very strong feeling that I didn’t want to work for a boss. I didn’t yet know what I wanted to do instead, but the feeling was there. Due to social conditioning, fear of unpredictability and also lack of clarity on what I wanted to create, I did work as an English and yoga teacher in schools and studios.
I was hired as an employee and worked on a payroll which felt safe and secure. Through these experiences I learned a lot that I could later transfer to my own business, but in that time those jobs didn’t fulfil me. I didn’t like that I was location bound, that my schedules were fixed, or that I had to teach according to a curriculum that I didn’t agree with.
I strongly felt I needed to break free and kept receiving the message that I needed to start for myself. To write an English course for yogis and build a course platform on my terms. Apart from what I knew I had to create, I had a really strong gut feeling that I needed to launch it in Mexico. I didn’t have any connections in Mexico or experience writing courses. Neither did I know anything about business and marketing. Most of all, I was scared it wouldn’t work. Thinking: ‘Who am I to write an English course for yogis?’ Though, the feeling was strong.
I couldn’t explain why I needed to do this, I just knew I had to. It was my inner calling telling me to take action.
What is your inner calling?
As a yoga teacher you probably know that your inner calling manifests itself in different ways. They can be:
- Gut feelings or intuitive insights. Sometimes, you just know that a certain path is the right one for you, even if you can’t logically explain why. In my example, traveling to Mexico.
- Passion, something that gives you a deep sense of joy, enthusiasm, and fulfillment when you engage with this aspect of your life. In my example, teaching and empowering yoga teachers.
- A burning desire to pursue something specific. This desire is so strong that it motivates you to take action and make changes in your life. In my example, freedom and fulfillment.
- Core values and things that align with your beliefs. It reflects what you feel is truly important and meaningful in your life. In my example, breaking free from old-fashioned school systems and adapting the learning process to the students’ needs.
- A sense of purpose, a feeling that you are meant to do something significant or contribute to a particular cause or mission. In my example, sharing the beauty and benefits of yoga worldwide.
In the world of yoga we often refer to them as ‘messages’. But, when you’ve never listened to these messages before, it can be challenging to feel or hear them. These messages can mean venturing a new path which means change and transformation. Especially if they tell you to do something new or step out of your comfort-zone, we tend to ignore them because they feel really scary or unrealistic.
Why is it challenging to listen to your inner calling?
Unfortunately, many of us have never learned to listen or act upon our inner calling. In other words, most of us are out of tune with our intuition. This can be because of social conditioning, fear of the unknown, doubts and self-criticism, pressure from others or yourself, logical thinking, attachment to comfort, or simply lack of practice.
Overcoming these challenges involves a process of self-awareness, self-acceptance, and reprogramming. It requires recognising the conditioning and past experiences that hold you back and consciously working to rewire your mindset. This can involve self-reflection, seeking support from mentors or therapists, and gradually taking steps to trust and act upon our intuition.
Exploring how to listen to your intuition deserves its own dedicated blog post. But for now, it may be useful to take some time to reflect on how you’re conditioned and what it is that holds you back from listening to your intuition.
- What societal or cultural beliefs have influenced your decisions regarding your inner calling?
- Have you experienced pressure from family, friends, or society to conform to certain expectations?
- Have there been moments when you felt a strong inner calling? How did you react?
- Reflect on a specific situation where you chose not to follow your intuition. What were the factors that influenced your decision?
You can use these types of questions when journaling, in your visualisation practices, or comfort zone exercises.
As a yoga teacher, you have a massive advantage practising Svadhyaya. Your self-studies play a vital role in helping you gain awareness, understand, accept and rewire to develop the confidence to follow your inner calling. So use it!
From Idea to Independence
Now you know that you’re ready to begin your entrepreneurial yoga teacher journey, the biggest mistake I see yoga teachers make is that they go for an idea that seems popular, think is profitable or the easiest option.
Your intuition may tell you, ‘Start yourself!’ But fears, limiting beliefs, lack of clarity, or simply ‘not knowing how’ may cause you to start small. Because what if I fail, people think it’s stupid, it takes a long time and it doesn’t pay off?
To find and create job opportunities that feel fulfilling you want to fully understand your reason ‘why’, ‘how’ you(’re going to) do it, and ‘what’ the products and the benefits are. The answers to these three words are the foundation of your entrepreneurial yoga teacher journey. They define how you set and complete goals. But also the actions you take when creating your products and services. And thereby own job opportunities. In my business coaching programmes, I teach you in detail about the concept of Why, How, What by Simon Sinkek. And help you build your business with those three key pillars. But for now, to understand or decide whether you’re ready to begin your entrepreneurial yoga teacher journey, focus on your reason why!
Start your entrepreneurial yoga teacher journey with why!
The ‘why’ entails your purpose, your biggest desire, your values and calling. It’s the thing you feel you’ve been born to do in this life. For example; answers to ‘why’ could be finding meaning, helping people do/overcome xyz, or making a difference in xyz life/field.
Your ‘why’ is deeply connected to emotions, such as the desire for freedom and independence. How you want to feel in the process of creating your entrepreneurial journey. How you want to feel building up your services. And how you want to feel working with your clients, isn’t about achieving your goals, big numbers or the money in your back account. Especially as a yoga teacher, your drive is linked to purpose and fulfilment rather than financial or power. Your reason why is what initiates your entrepreneurial yoga teacher journey.
So, create a list of all the reasons ‘why’ you’d like to start for yourself. You can write down as many things as you like from a practical, but definitely also an emotional, spiritual and energetic point of view. Especially since in yoga, your drive is more often linked to purpose and fulfilment than financial or power.
Navigating Challenges on Your Entrepreneurial Yoga Teacher Journey
Remember I said that listening to your gut or trusting it can be challenging, especially if it entails change? As you begin your entrepreneurial yoga teacher journey you may have many ideas, but feel stuck. Stuck choosing the right business model, because you don’t know how to create it. You may overthink structures, systems, methods, or strategies and feel overwhelmed. It may be that you compare yourself to others and underestimate or devalue your own knowledge, experience, expertise. Thinking you first need to do xyz… If any of these fears, limiting beliefs, or practical challenges come up, I want you to remind yourself of two things:
1. Trust the process
Building your own business doesn’t happen in one day – it’s a process. Just as for many of you here you didn’t learn to speak English in one day, or you didn’t become an effective yoga teacher overnight, you won’t be a successful or thriving business owner the day you start either. It’s unrealistic.
2. Your brain is wired to learn!
If you set your mind to something and if you keep reminding yourself of your purpose, you’ll find the drive and motivation to learn. Building your products, social visibility, marketing, recording videos, creating systems and strategies are skills! They aren’t talents you have or not, you can learn anything!
Stop comparing yourself to others, what you think you should do or should have already achieved! Trust your own process and do the work to gradually grow! You’re building a business for the foreseeable future, not just to host 1 retreat of yourself and then stop again, or are you?
I compare it to having a baby – are you ever fully ready for the transformation a baby brings to your life? Maybe yes, but most people aren’t. As a parent you learn and adapt as you go too. We never stop learning, we never stop growing, we never stop making changes. Neither in life, nor in business. Your entrepreneurial yoga teaching journey doesn’t have to be perfect from day 1. The most important thing is that you keep listening to your purpose or intuition and keep showing up!
Begin Your Entrepreneurial Yoga Teacher Journey
Soon we’ll host our Launch Your International Career: Yoga Business Foundations. This is a workshop series to help you define your reason why, but also decide on the how and what. I’ll help you choose your business model and define your ideal client. And provide you with the strategies for social media, visibility, project management and growth.
If you’re interested in learning more, take action and set yourself up with a solid foundation for your own yoga business, sign up to the waitlist here.
Also, in our community, we can learn a lot from each other! I’d love for you to share your experiences or thoughts. Write them in the comments, send me a DM on Instagram. If you’d like to directly share your insights or things you’ve done to grow in your role as a teacher or build your own business, I’d love to interview you to inspire others in our community. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me about what you’d like to share so we can discuss the details.