8 Steps to Get Back on Track & Start Teaching Yoga | The Driven Yogi
If you are like every other teacher trainee, you were probably exhausted after your teacher training. To rejuvenate you took a break from yoga (including practicing because it all was just too much!) Since recovering from your hiatus, you have been toying with the idea of hopping back on the teaching train. But, one thing is stopping you – you think you’ve forgotten everything you learned in training and you have no idea how to get back on track. Don’t worry, yogi friend. We’re here to tell you 8 ways to start teaching yoga again after a long break.
1. Start Attending Classes Consistently
If you’re serious about teaching you have to get back to your mat. Remember how your trainers told you over and over that you needed a personal practice? Well, it’s the truth. In order for you to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk...or rather, breathe through the asana, firsthand. Visit different studios in your area to get an idea of the studio vibe and to get a feel for the teachers who teach there. Once you’ve found the perfect studio for you and you’ve attend a couple of classes, be sure to introduce yourself to the instructor(s) and the studio owner to make yourself known.
2. Refresh Your Mind - Take a Workshop or Mini-Training
Once you’ve gotten all of the kinks out of your own practice and you’ve figured out the niche you want to possibly teach, attend a workshop or mini-training. Several studios offer 2–3 hour intensives for alignment, restorative, inversions, prenatal, etc. Depending where you live these intensives can range anywhere from $25–$75 or more. By doing a workshop you’ll be able to refresh your memory on what you learned in training, and even learn a thing or two more!
3. Hit the Books for Inspiration to Start Teaching Yoga
Chances are you have several books and notes from your teacher training. Put them to use! Dust off the cobwebs and revisit those documents. By reading your own notes you took during training, things may come back to you faster and this might put you back into the mindset to start teaching yoga again.
4. Ask to Assist a Yoga Teacher
Let’s jump back to #1. If you’ve kept up with going to classes and have introduced yourself to the teachers and studio owner(s), it’s time to take a chance – ask the teacher/studio owner if they would be willing to let you assist a yoga class to gain more experience. You could start out by simply offering hands-on adjustments in the class, and if that goes well, perhaps they will even let you teach a portion of the class down the line. Keep all your options open and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want...at the appropriate time of course.
5. Start Writing Out Sequences
To get used to what you’ll have to do as a teacher, start writing out different yoga sequences. Begin with a simple sequence that hits all parts of the body (hip flexors, shoulders, back, etc). Then move on to developing classes for peak poses, themed classes, and so forth. Once you have that down, pretend you are teaching a class and record yourself voicing the sequence out loud as if you were teaching to students. Once you’ve done that, play the recording back to yourself and play the role of the student. It sounds awkward (and it is!) but it actually works as a way to start teaching yoga again.
6. Teach to a Group of Yoga Teachers
There’s no quicker way to know how you are doing with your sequence, cues, and general teaching than by teaching to a group of certified, experienced yoga teachers. For one, yoga teachers have been where you are so they understand the frustration and anxiety that comes along with teaching. Secondly, everyone teaches differently, so by teaching to a group of teachers you will be able to get different feedback and take their advice as you see fit.
7. Get on a Yoga Sub List
Once you’ve assisted group classes and built relationships with studios, you are one step closer to living out your teaching dreams! There are two ways to go about this:
You can develop a relationship with the teacher from #1. And let him/her know you are available to sub when needed (the trick here is actually being available, sometimes at the last minute). By developing this relationship you can end up being their go-to person in a pinch.
You can approach studio owners and ask them the process for getting on the sub list. Most times you will need to go through a brief audition to secure your spot, but there are those unique times where they may be desperate and put your name on the list right then and there. Again, the key is making yourself available when they need you.
8. Believe in Yourself
We are all our own worst critics. Don’t fall into the trap of self-deprecation. We all start at the beginning, and yes, a lot of us fumble along the way, but that is how we learn! Envision yourself being a teacher, take the steps to make it a reality, and make it come to life!