Yoga Teaching As a Living?

Dear Diane, I'm thinking about a career change and would like to do something to help other people. I'm taking a yoga class now and think it would be fun to teach it. Is it possible to teach yoga f

Dear Diane,

I'm thinking about a career change and would like to do something to help other people. I'm taking a yoga class now and think it would be fun to teach it. Is it possible to teach yoga for a living, and where do I go for training?

— Future Yoga Teacher

Dear FYT,

I'm glad to hear you're already a yoga student, but you didn't say for how long. If you've been practicing six months or less, don't quit your day job quite yet. If you're a serious student who attends weekly yoga classes and has a regular home practice, however, you might be ready to consider teaching yoga.

It's a lot more than knowing how to do a pose. You need to feel how yoga works in your own body, mind and spirit so you can understand how to explain that to students with safety and compassion. It's also not for the faint of heart. It takes passion.

That means constant learning, dedication, energy, organization and the willingness to show up not only bodily but also mentally and spiritually.

Making a living teaching yoga does not happen overnight. You need to build up satisfied repeat students and teach at a variety of places. I suggest you start part time to make sure you like it. Most full time yoga instructors have to teach six to 10 classes a week and have other part-time jobs to fill in when attendance is slow. But the nice part is you're an independent contractor and able to arrange a schedule that works for you in a career that helps others tremendously.

You can get training at most of the local established yoga centers. Keep in mind your certification will probably be in the style the center is affiliated with. Or join the mentor/apprenticeship program with the nonprofit organization Cincinnati Yoga Teachers Association. You can learn more at www.cyta.org — this program is not a certification but can help you prepare. A basic certification is 200 hours (approximately 30 days in training) and to be legitimate should be recognized by the National Yoga Alliance. You would finish as a registered yoga teacher (RYT).

A good way to find out if this is for you is help assist or sub for your current teacher. I decided to quit my sales and marketing career after subbing for my teacher. Students would come up after class and hug me. In 23 years, that never happened once in my corporate jobs! I decided I could get used to that for a living.

They say do what you love and the money will follow. So I did. The rest is history.



DIANE UTASKI ANSWERS YOGA QUESTIONS in her columns; send questions to [email protected]. Find more info at www.cincyoga.com.

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