When I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with Yoga London in July 2016 I knew I had only just scratched the surface of my yoga journey. It was a fantastic experience and rather daunting, as at the start of any career you realise there is a long road ahead, and exciting one with lots of work to put in.
So how have I approached my first year? Rather than put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve I thought I’d start by taking one class a week to put into practice the skills I had learnt. In the meantime, I took a part-time office job to ensure a regular income, whilst I continued to build my confidence and find my voice as a teacher.
My first regular class was in the gym at my old work place and it felt strange to have had a conversation with one of the attendees in January 2016 explaining what my plans were for the year ahead, I had to pinch myself that the goal had been realised! My first regular class had a shelf life of a few months as the site was closing, and so I began plans to start a couple of my own classes that would fit in around my current work pattern.
Additional training Yoga London offered an additional course to teach pre and post natal yoga. I booked myself on and started September 2016. I really enjoyed this course for many reasons, and I will blog about that at a later date. Overall my confidence grew a little bit more on this course, being able to put into practice what we had already learnt whilst learning new skills.
New year new classes In January 2017 I had a couple of new classes ready to start. This is where the hard graft really started. How do I get people into my classes? How does social media work? Will my website get any traffic? So many things to think about as well as delivering a good yoga class.
I went in hoping that I would have a couple of people coming to my classes but knowing the reality could be no one turns up. The reality was sometimes only one person, however I enjoyed the opportunity to teach one on one, and if no one turned up it meant I could enjoy a solo practice in a beautiful big space. As the months went by a couple of the classes began to flourish and a couple of the others diminished. The ones that never picked up I finished, enabling more time to look at other opportunities, knowing that perhaps I’ll pick them up again in the future. It’s an expensive way of doing market research, but it is invaluable experience. Sometimes you don’t know how these things will pan out until you try them. Always review and make a note of what you have tried and note down what you could have done differently.
What next? The list of training courses available is endless and there are so many interesting ones to choose from. I had a top three for this year and it took a while to decide on one, based on what would increase my customer base and what would I benefit from, in terms of building upon my current experience. In the end I decided on taking a sideways move to re-discover Pilates. Yoga has made me realised how poor my core generally is, it used to be really strong from martial arts and horse riding, but a desk job changed that.
Pilates would be great for:
• Improving my core • Re-visiting the anatomy from yoga • Add a different dimension to my teaching
All of these are equally important to me, however being able to diversify into another area of health and fitness stood out as a way to demonstrate that I’m serious about pursuing a new direction in life. Yoga is fantastic and I will continue my studies with it, however it is always great to cross-train in other areas, this applies to any industry. I first became aware of this when I was competing at Tae-kwon-do competitions. It’s great to be an expert in your field, however seeing and speaking to people who have cross-trained in other martial arts, demonstrate a better understanding of how the body works, and their flexibility and agility seemed to be so much greater. So, here’s to continued learning and development.
Thank you I’m so very thankful to the teachers who gave me my first paid classes. I learnt so much from them, and it is always scary filling someone else’s shoes whom you admire. I will never forget it! A huge thank you to all my mentors you’ve been amazing, this includes friends and family for supporting me on this new adventure. Without your continued support and encouragement, it would have been so much harder, if not impossible.
Have you been teaching or are interesting in becoming a teacher. I would love to hear how your year as a teacher has been, new or experienced or even if you have aspirations to become a teacher.
*First published August 2017