There are so many things that go in to getting certified to teach yoga and just as many emotions that go along with teaching your first class (or first 100 classes!).
Next time you find yourself with butterflies in your stomach, take these bits of advice to calm those pesky nerves:
1. Take other classes! It’s important to always remain a student. No matter what class, style, or teacher it is, you always learn something when you look at it through someone elses eyes. Plus, it’s such a welcome relaxation to be taught instead of being the one doing the teaching. Just try to stay in the moment—no note taking!
2. Be yourself. Remember that your students are coming to your class because you’re you. They’re not coming to your class to see your best [insert yoga-lebrity name here] impression. It’s cliche, but trying to be a second rate version of someone else isn’t going to yield the results you think it might. Being you is a no-fail strategy. Don’t like to teach with music? That’s cool. Like to mix your playlist with a little Beyonce? Sweet! Trying to teach like someone else is going to let you down because there’s just not enough “them” in you. And that’s a good thing!
3. Don’t over extend yourself. Teach what you know how to do and what you’re strong in. If you can’t comfortably or safely teach/do a certain pose, stay away from it for a little while until you can. Just like you would tell a student in your class: there’s no shame in not feeling ready to do something. Always practice and teach from where you are.
4. Put yourself out there. Get out of your comfort zone! Invite your friends and family to your classes. Do you work at a gym? Drag a couple people off the treadmill and invite them in for your class. Do you see the same cashier at the grocery store every week? Invite her, too! Hairdressers, colleagues, neighbors, your personal trainer – anyone! Be proud of what you do and don’t ever be shy about inviting people to join you.
Those are just a few of the things I wish someone would have told me when I started out. Even if you’re a seasoned instructor, every once in a while you need a friendly reminder, too.