How to Avoid the Number One Mistake Yoga Teachers DO
What is the number one mistake?
The number one mistake I see yoga teachers do is to dreaming of teaching yoga successfully, without taking the necessary actions to make it happen. In order to succeed you need an actionable plan. Many yoga teachers understand spirituality, but without the same understanding of business. This is why we at SiRA do our best to assist yoga teachers with all the preparation work. But you will still be responsible for execution! If you believe that working according to a plan and doing your homework is not your best attribute, I would recommend you find a friend or mentor that will hold you accountable for executing this plan and creating a profitable yoga business.
How to overcome this mistake.
Taking the first step is the most difficult thing to do. The more time you spend thinking about it, the more difficult and scary it will look to you. The solution is simple – just begin. Take the first step towards your dream. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. Taking action will blow away all your concerns and fears.
“A little progress each day adds up to big results”
Becoming a teacher
In order to overcome the number one mistake on our way towards creating a profitable yoga business, you must start moving toward your target. The most important step toward forward is to start teaching yoga. Opening your own studio to teach yoga is not a simple task, and we will discuss this later. Nevertheless, before opening your own studio you can start teaching yoga in one of the following ways:
You can find a job as yoga teacher in one of the existing studios in your area. Starting to teach yoga as an employee has many advantages:
- You will be able to get teaching experience and focus on improving your teaching skills.
- You might get help and instruction from more experienced yoga teachers
- You don’t need to worry about bringing in customers
- You don’t need to worry about running a business
- You won’t have the expenses of running a business, and you will start earning money from teaching yoga
- You can learn how a yoga business runs
- You will get known as yoga teacher and might gain students that will follow you in the future
How to find the job
There are various ways to find a job as a hired teacher. I suggest starting by seeing yourself as a YOGA TEACHER. It might sounds silly, but if you are not confident enough with this decision, it will be difficult for you to find a job and to pass an interview. Once you have decided that you are a yoga teacher, you should announce it to your world. Talk to everyone around you (your family, friends and neighbors) and tell them that you have passed your yoga-teaching certification and you are looking for a job as a yoga teacher. By telling others that you are looking for a yoga teaching job, you will achieve three things:
- You will confirm to yourself this inner decision that yes, you are yoga teacher. You might discover that it is difficult at the beginning to tell to others “I’m Yoga Teacher”, but once you do, it will be very satisfying. With each new person, it will become easier for you and you will feel more confident.
- All those people will help hold you accountable to this decision to become a working yoga teacher. They will become your accountability buddies. If you have told to all those people that you are going to work as yoga teacher, it will be much more difficult to quit.
- Someone out of all those people might actually help you find a job. The best and easiest way to find a job is when someone who knows you refers and recommends you. You never know who could help you unless you ask. So don’t be shy, tell people that you are a yoga teacher looking for a job. I’m quite sure that out of all the people you know and will meet, someone knows someone who knows the owner or manager of a gym, yoga studio, community center or other place that might hire a yoga teacher.
Important! Pitfall ahead!
When you tell people that you became a yoga teacher some of them will be thrilled for you, some of them will be skeptical, and some will try to discourage you. In general, people respond strongly when others take actions to change their lives that are not according to what they believe in and do. Usually, this discouragement will be from someone that is very close to you, like family or a best friend. They will try to discourage you not because they are evil, but because they really care for you. They will tell you that something like “yoga is not for you,” “you can’t make living out of yoga,” or something else that has no ground in reality and is based only on their own fears. Don’t let them influence you! If yoga is your passion, you will be a successful yoga teacher.
My entire family are engineers. When I told my parents during a family dinner that I was going to leave my engineering job to become a sales manager they were in shock. My mother, out of true love and real concern, told me that nobody would ever leave the job I had and that I wouldn’t be able to sell even a fork! It was very difficult for me to hear such a discouragement from my mother. An well… she was right – I never sold a fork, but I have become very successful by selling complex telecommunications equipment and projects in multi-million deals.
Another option to start teaching yoga is to actively propose your services as independent teacher anywhere possible. When Lena became a yoga teacher, she approached several kindergartens, proposing weekly kids yoga classes. Out of tens of kindergartens a few hired her for her services. Those kindergartens are the place where Lena got her experience and confidence to deliver yoga kids classes.
Going back to discouragement pitfall we just talked – Lena has a friend that owns a kindergarten, and of course, she also proposed her kid’s yoga classes to her friend. The answer Lena got? That yoga is not for kids, and that there’s no way anyone would hire her to deliver yoga classes to kindergartens. Imagine if Lena would have followed her friend’s opinion as the truth?
Kindergartens are only an example. You can propose your yoga services to community centers, nursing homes (for example yoga on a chair), schools, enterprises that believe in the wellbeing of their employees or any other organization in your area. What is important is that you proactively approach every possible client with a proposal of your services. You can start looking for freelancing jobs by asking people you know, sending emails with a flyer that explains the benefits of yoga to this specific organization, or by calling or physically approaching them.
Volunteering to teach yoga might not have you earning money right away, but is a first step towards you target. Not only will you overcome the most common mistake, but you will gain experience and confidence in delivering yoga classes.
In addition to the opportunity to build experience and knowledge, volunteering offers the chance to give something back to the community and to make a change in the lives of people around you. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose.
Pitfall ahead! – volunteering is a good way to get experience and to give back to the community, but you might fall into trap with it. In general, people don’t highly value the free services they get, and they often expect to get more and more. Therefore, I would recommend volunteering, but don’t let volunteering become your full time job. When you don’t get payed for your work, especially at the beginning, be careful not to allow this to make you think that you are not good enough to get paid for teaching yoga.
You don’t have to choose between starting as hired teacher, freelancer or volunteer. You can do or at least try to do all of them simultaneously. While looking for a hired teacher job, you can propose your service as freelancer where a yoga teacher is needed only occasionally. While proposing your service as freelancer, you will meet organizations that would be happy to have yoga classes but don’t have money to pay you. In such organizations, you can volunteer.
When Lena started to look for a yoga teaching job, she fired in all directions. After some time, she worked as a hired yoga teacher in a fitness studio, as a freelancer in few kindergartens, and as a volunteer in a school.
When looking for a job or proposing your service as freelancer you will get many rejections. Remember that in most of the cases this is not about you. The people rejecting you may not even know you, and their rejection may be because of their prejudice to yoga in general or it may have nothing at all to do with yoga. You will be surprised, but some will reject your volunteering proposal. Don’t give-up and keep going! Remember your target, move toward it, and you will succeed. It’s in your hands to become a yoga teacher and to do what you love every day. The key is to take small steps. Start moving and realize your dream.