By Kosta Miachin
There’s an abundance of well-trained yoga teachers eager to get in front of the room and lead a class. Even if you attend an awesome teacher training or yoga retreat, you will not automatically be an amazing teacher.
Here’s five tips to help you find your niche and stand out among other certified instructors:
Play the Field
Many yogis find a style of yoga that they connect with early on, and then focus solely on that one type of yoga. But, without trying them all, you’ll never know what other styles you may enjoy. Make sure to get out of your comfort zone and practice a variety of yoga styles, even those that aren’t offered at your home studio. Until you try them all, you’ll never know which style of yoga is the best for you. Plus, you could discover that you love a type of yoga that’s a bit out of the main stream, such as aerial or kundalini.
Let the Music Guide You
The music that you choose to play for a class, or the decision not to play music, sets the tone for all of the students. Make sure that the flow and pace at which you’re teaching align with your choice of music to create a fluid experience for your class. No one wants to power flow in silence. Make sure the music is right for your specific class, and that you’re not just emulating the playlist you’ve heard from other teachers.
You don’t want to be just another copy of other teachers in town. But, pay attention to what you like and dislike when you take other teacher’s classes. That way, you can expand your teaching style and be conscious of the things you want to avoid.
Immerse Yourself in the Community
The support of a community of yogis can make all the difference in the way that you teach. Building a relationship with your students and the community at large will allow you to be your true self while you teach, and give you the confidence to try new things that your students may end up loving.
Stay True to Yourself
If you try to be someone you’re not while you teach, your students will catch on to that energy. Play around and find the style of yoga, type of music (or lack thereof), and teaching style that feels right for you, and build on that. If there’s something unique about your personality or interests, don’t be afraid to incorporate it in your teaching. Unique classes such as “punk rock yoga” led by instructors who are fans of the music have built a following of other fans, as have specialized classes aimed at rock climbers. If you integrate what you love into your yoga teaching, students will notice that passion.
It takes time to find your niche as an instructor. No one comes fresh out of their YTT with a following of devoted students. Take your time to experiment and find what works for you, and then grow from there. Don’t be afraid to experiment if something new is calling to you, but most importantly, never try to be something you’re not.