Teaching Yoga: What it Takes
I have taken a year off from teaching regularly after an intense 5 years of teaching; sometimes as many as 15-18 classes a week. But one of my spiritual teachers mentioned to me last week that I should be teaching again.
Today I receive an inquiry from a studio that has an open time slot and would I be interested. Somewhere in my beginning years of teaching in the early 1990’s, I remember one of my teachers saying that we are obliged to teach whenever asked. So of course I will follow-up and see how this will be, in a new city with new students.
Being a yoga teacher is not exactly the way Madonna portrayed it in the movies! Most yoga teachers do not support themselves from teaching. There are a few top names that make a lot of money but it’s kind of like the acting business- the top 10% make all the money and the rest of the 90% have many other jobs to support themselves and do it because they love it.
The responsibilities are also much more complex. Beyond knowing how to care for student’s physical needs with training in anatomy and physiology, you also must be aware of the emotional, psychological and spiritual effects of yoga. And most importantly your own devotion to yoga is sincere and strong. Furthermore, many yoga teachers find an area that they immerse themselves in: chanting, reading sacred texts, pilgrimages to sacred sites, working with specific population such as those with limited physical mobility or with different age groups.
The beauty of yoga is that it can hold all these approaches and intentions. And a good yoga teacher will be able to guide you through all the different aspects of yoga knowledge.