You completed your teacher training and are now a registered yoga teacher! Congratulations! Are you inspired to use your education to share the benefits of yoga with others? At the same time, are you uncertain about how to make the jump from new graduate to professional yoga teacher? If you answered yes to both questions, you’re definitely not alone. Read on for some simple, easy-to-implement tips to land your first teaching job.
1. Create a resume. Make it clear, visually appealing, and no more than one page. It should include your contact information, education and any relevant certifications (like CPR). Detail specifically what you learned from your teacher training program (not all programs have the same curriculum) and how it prepared you to teach. Keep it yoga-focused: only include past work experience that is explicitly helpful to your new career, like those in fitness, medical, or other teaching fields. Lastly, consider adding a sentence or two about your teaching philosophy for a personal touch.
2. Do your research. Begin taking classes at local studios in your area to figure out which ones might be a good fit for your personality and the type of yoga you teach (this doesn’t have to be expensive: many studios offer deals for new students). By getting to know the teachers, students, and staff, you can begin to build a community, and 10-minutes of friendly chit-chat can teach you more than an hour of online searching about the culture and environment. In addition, when owners and managers are looking for a new teacher or sub, they will be more likely to consider you if you are a familiar, positive presence at their studio.
3. Think outside the studio box. Working at a studio is great, but it’s not the only option. Gyms often offer yoga as part of their class schedule, and you can widen your research to include corporations/offices (hint: contact HR), schools, community centers, treatment facilities, senior centers, hotels, resorts… the list goes on. The international yoga community is growing at an astonishing rate, and there are more opportunities than ever if you get creative with where you look.
4. Remember you are always on a job interview. When you’re taking classes, speaking with teachers and staff, and interacting with students at any studio, be aware that you are always making an impression. It sounds obvious, but showing up on time (at least 5 minutes early to take a class) and being polite, well-groomed, and friendly can go a long way. You never know whom you may meet!
5. Get online. In today’s Google era, when students or possible employers are interested in you, the first thing they might do is look you up online. Consider creating professional profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that reflect your teaching style and personality. Keep it authentic to you: people will be more likely to follow and engage with your profiles if they represent a real person. Share photos, inspirations, articles, your teaching schedule and more. Make a point of using social media to not only promote yourself but to connect with and celebrate others in your community.
It can be overwhelming to bridge the gap from graduation to your first public teaching job, but these tips can help you get started. Building relationships, doing your due diligence, and putting yourself out there will create opportunities to fulfill your dream of sharing yoga with the world.
Lainie Devina is a highly-regarded yoga teacher as well as a both a lead Teacher Trainer and Mentor in the YogaWorks Professional Program. She is a Business of Yoga Coach who offers personalized guidance to make your teaching vision come to life, and also leads workshops and international retreats. Practice with Lainie at YogaWorks and online at MyYogaWorks.com. For more information, visit lainiedevina.com or connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.