5 Lessons I Learned After Yoga Teacher Training | The Driven Yogi

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After yoga teacher training, I had an ultimate goal in mind – find a paying job teaching yoga part-time. If you're like me (a type-A yogi), you may be the same way. However, since reaching my goal, I've learned quite a few valuable things, and I wish I knew them before I became laser focused on the goal of getting a paid teaching job. There are so many other valuable steps new teachers can take after yoga teacher training so that they are better prepared to teach when the time comes. I made the mistake of jumping the gun, and I'm sharing these five tips so you don't make the same mistake I did.

1. Take a Break!

You just spent several weeks or months devoting time to learning asanas, philosophy, alignment, and everything else under the sun. Do yourself a favor – TAKE. A. BREAK! Have you ever worked on something and realized you just needed to step away to let it all sink in? Guess what? The same is true for yoga! After yoga teacher training, allow yourself some ample time away from the books and rules and just allow your mind to have some yoga-free space. You've earned it!

2. Build Community & Look Into Work Trade

While I was in my teacher training, I didn't venture outside of my home studio much. Don't make this mistake. If your ultimate goal is to teach after yoga teacher training, start to build a community and familiarize yourself with the teachers who are already out there. Try new classes, introduce yourself to the teachers, studio owners, and students. To do this at a low or no cost, look into work trade! Several studios offer this benefit. Work trade looks like this: you work for the studio for a certain number of hours, and in return, you get to take discounted or free classes. Studios offer different options: cleaning the studio, checking in at the front desk, administrative work, the list goes on and on. I took advantage of this benefit at my local studio by working the front desk for two hours a week, and in exchange, I received eight free classes a month. A steal in my opinion! The agreement was mutually beneficial. If your local studio doesn't advertise work trade, ask them about it. Closed mouths don't get fed.

3. Be Patient

Just like progressing in your practice takes time, so does becoming a yoga teacher. Just because you finish a teacher training program doesn’t mean you are ready to teach immediately. And if you are, kudos to you! BUT if you're like the many other new teachers out there (myself included) finding your voice, style, and flow takes exploration and time. Be patient when it comes to figuring this out. It will all fall into place eventually.

4. Focus on YOUR Journey and Not that of Others

It can sometimes be difficult to standby and watch as members of your cohort get jobs that you too are hoping to get, but how are you going to grow if you are focused on the journey of others? Don't get discouraged. Your time will come too, and that teaching position you dream of may actually come about in ways you weren't expecting. Keep an open mind, stay focused on your own path, and see #3 above.

5. Your Personal Practice Matters

I don't know about you, but I was THE WORST at continuing with my personal practice after yoga teacher training. Now that time has passed, I now know why teachers were so adamant about it! Once you start teaching, a lot of your time goes into crafting classes for others. What about you?! Remember that we come to our mats for a variety of reasons, but those reasons ultimately all lead back to balancing YOURSELF for health and clarity. So don't let up. Go to classes as a student, wake up early and do yoga (or do it at night if you're not a morning person...like myself), and don't forget that your balance is of the utmost importance. Plus, if you aren't balanced and clear-headed how do you expect to pass it on to your students?

If you’re a recent graduate, what are some things you learned after yoga teacher training?