you should not be a yoga teacherBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Are there reasons why someone should not be a Yoga teacher? Truthfully, there are no reasons why any of us cannot be, or do, what we want, as long as you are not hurting anyone. You should always strive to be the best you can be. However, you may find that many people create obstacles, in front of themselves, to avoid success.

This is truly ironic that we hold ourselves back from making achievements, and teaching Yoga is just one of many goals that are not fully realized. Below is a list of common reasons why many good practitioners do not pursue their goal of becoming a Yoga instructor.

1. “I am too old to teach Yoga.”

Actually, age is not a factor. The ability to teach is timeless. There are many Yogic styles; and the most common, outside of India, is Hatha and its many sub-styles. Although Hatha is the union of physical mastery, it has many gentle, therapeutic, and vigorous styles.

There is a need for mature, compassionate, safety conscious, and gentle instructors. The world’s population is aging and students are living longer. Who would have thought that hospitals and religious centers would seek out Yoga teachers ten or twenty years ago?

Therefore, Yoga is becoming readily accepted by mainstream global society and does not have to apply to any one particular type of person or religious group. Many of the old barriers that prevented the masses from being exposed to Yogic methodology are gone.

2. “Dancers, martial artists, and gymnasts perform better asanas than I can.”

Yoga is not dance, martial arts, or gymnastics. This is not to take away the importance of any of the above-mentioned arts. After all, I am a martial artist, and I was originally introduced to Yogic practices in a martial arts setting.

Being a little more flexible than the average person is a gift. However, it does not serve as a top priority for teaching Yoga. The best Yoga teachers are those who can communicate, and those teachers usually have to struggle to excel at asana practice. Yet, this type of teacher can explain how to master an asana to anyone.  On the other hand, the extraordinarily flexible teacher may not understand how the skeletal body works.

Yoga instructors who are naturally flexible think that everyone else should be, as well. This is not always the case, as there are skeletal limitations within some students. This is not to say that they cannot increase, or improve, their flexibility, but each person’s body is unique.

3. “Teaching Yoga costs too much money.”

This is true in some cases; however, you can shop around for the best course at the most affordable price. Some onsite Yoga training facilities have seva programs, where you can work for partial tuition. This is much like a college, where there are scholarships for students who perform tasks around the campus. There are also a variety of Yoga correspondence courses, which allow flexible study hours, little or no travel, and no extra expenses.

Aura Wellness Center offers such a Yoga course, and we have interns and graduates worldwide.  We also offer traditional onsite training to groups and individuals.  The point to understand about teaching is that you are a student for life.  Every teacher of Yogic methodology is immersed in continuing education for as long as we teach, and some of us will study to our last day.

4. “I only want to teach Yoga to a few students and I don’t want to go into business.”

Many practitioners feel this way and that’s fine. This is not a problem because if you are teaching a few friends, as a hobby, it is not necessary to go through the certification process.

If your circle of friends starts to expand, it would be wise to get some type of liability coverage. There are a number of liability insurance programs to choose. You could purchase a sports, holistic, Yoga, or home liability policy to cover your specific needs.

You should also learn as much as you can about safety, anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. The reason I mention this is so that you do not hurt your students. The compassion and knowledge to become a safe Yoga instructor is very important.

5. “I have a good paying job and teaching Yoga may not support my family.”

Like all start up small businesses, teaching Yogic methodology cannot offer “instant bundles of cash.” You would want to build your business as an independent contractor first. In our 240-hour Yoga teacher training course, you will find 16 ways to grow your business, with little or no overhead. When you build up enough accounts, the decision, as to whether or not to open your own independent studio, will be clear.

This has been a radical job change for all of us, who go into teaching Yoga full time, but you do not have to take any sudden or financial risks. Growing your own teaching practice can start on a part time basis and later develop into full time, if you get the right guidance and take the proper steps.

Bear in mind that the business and marketing information in our Yoga certification courses is current and “field tested.” This information is specific to Yoga instructors and contains successful methods used, with regard to return on investment.

Right now, there are a lot of studios that “flounder” economically, because the economy is tough and owners have insufficient business or marketing skills. Within this kind of climate, it is not hard to get your market share of students within your geographic area.

Lastly, there are so many reasons to avoid progress, you can make up reasons why you should not be a Yoga teacher, and you could create a book of excuses, but the reason to succeed at anything is your passion. If you are passionate, safe, and knowledgeable about Yoga, this is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to become a Yoga teacher.


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