You completed your teacher training and are now an official yoga instructor. Yay! While all the studying and preparation is complete, there are still a number of other steps you should take. Here are 17 important things you should do after you complete your yoga teacher training.
- Start a “certification” file: Make sure you keep copies of your certification, your attendance records, and a list of the completed classes and grades for each class. This is important information to have on hand when applying for teaching opportunities.
- Get certified in CPR: It may not be required, but becoming certified in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) shows that you have taken one extra step beyond your yoga teaching certification to be a professional part of the yoga community. And make sure to add that CPR certificate to your certification file!
- Don’t Quit Your Day Job: While the thought of becoming a full time yoga teacher sounds amazing, your chances of filling up your schedule with 20+ classes a week is slim when you’re first starting off. Be patient and continue working to support yourself. Never lose sight of your dream, there may be a day when you are a full time yoga teacher.
- Purchase yoga liability insurance: While you don’t often hear about injuries from yoga, it is important to be protected and purchase yoga liability insurance. It is also important to have proof of liability insurance when applying for yoga teaching positions.
- Talk to an accountant: You are ultimately developing a business. You should talk to an accountant or other tax professional so you can properly establish yourself and your business right from the start.
- Offer assistance: A great way to gain classroom experience is to sign up to assist in classes at a local yoga studio. Assisting is a great way to gain hands-on experience while continuing to learn and develop a presence in the studio’s community. You can also learn from the yoga instructor leading the class about class management and working with different students.
- Develop your resume: Just like applying for any job, you need a resume. Make sure you include all the information related to your completed training program; including the school you attended, classes completed, any continuing education units (CEUs), and anywhere you are assisting.
- Market yourself: Everyone today needs business cards and a website. Just like your resume, it may initially start out simple, but will develop over time as your teaching experience grows. Don’t forget about social media! In this digital age, having a social presence is key.
- Determine your rate: While you may just be starting out, it is important to develop a rate for instruction. Your rate will vary based on your geographic area, your associated costs, and your revenue needs. As you gain experience, your rate will increase, but for now it is important to develop a minimum rate in order to get started.
- Develop professional contacts: As you begin to assist at different classes, meet yoga studio owners and fellow teachers, you are developing professional contacts. Make sure to keep track of all the people you meet. You are developing a strong professional network that can help you along the way as you develop your professional teaching practice.
- Teach on a regular basis: While you are looking for a teaching opportunity at a yoga studio, make sure you teach on a regular basis – anywhere. It will help develop your teaching approach and can help get your name out in the community. It could be a “donation only” class at the local community center, donate time at a nearby senior citizen residence, or even just your friends and family at home. Get in the habit of teaching and develop your own classroom approach.
- Take Continuing Education Units: It is a great accomplishment that you have completed your yoga teaching certification. You should be proud. Understand, however, that there is much more to learn. Make sure to continue to learn by attending classes, workshops, and continuing education units (CEUs). Whether you decide to learn about a different facet of yoga you are unfamiliar with or gain a new view on a topic you have already studied, continuing to learn is crucial to your success as a teacher.
- Look for constructive criticism: Teach a class of your friends and family and them ask for honest feedback on your approach. You will learn how to work with people at different levels and different physical limitations. Think about even recording yourself giving a class so you can watch your responses to students and listen to your voice. Do you sound calming? Are you providing explicit instructions? You may not receive this type of honest feedback any other way.
- Get on substitute lists: While you are looking for a long-term teaching opportunity, talk to different yoga studio managers and gym owners about getting hired as a substitute yoga instructor. It will give you the opportunity to build a relationship with the managers, get in some teaching practice, and build your resume. If a long-term teaching opportunity opens up, you are right there ready to apply!
- Find a niche: Sometimes it is hard to set yourself apart from other teachers. Work to develop a niche. Consider developing a practice around the needs of cancer survivors or veterans. Find a need in your community and service that need.
- Continue your own practice: While you are developing your professional practice, don’t forget to continue to develop your own practice. It is important to continuously learn and push your abilities. When you do so, you will not only become a better student, you will become a better teacher.
- Be patient: You finished your training and you are excited to go! It will, however, take time to make contacts, get on sub lists, and establish a business. Don’t give up. Be focused. Manifest what makes a great yoga teacher and how you want to present yourself. It will all come together.
By completing your yoga teacher training, you have taken a great step toward your dream of becoming a yoga teacher and perhaps owning your own studio. It is important to remember, however, there are steps you need to take to have a successful business. Steps like purchasing yoga insurance, continuing to learn more by taking classes or attending workshops, and building a network may not feel very “yoga-like,” but they are definitely important to building a successful yoga teaching practice.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Kali from beYogi.com.