yoga teacher educationBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

To each Yoga teacher, the word “success” means something different. Some teachers would like to train elite athletic students. Others want to train students, who contribute higher qualities, to the rest of humanity, such as: compassion, understanding, and loving kindness. Success is all a matter of perspective.

With that said, what is failure defined as, when we consider teaching Hatha classes? The easiest way to define failure of anything is when we reach a state of mind that causes us to give up. When some interns spend years of study, and thousands of dollars, how is it possible to give up?

Below is one case among many, where a graduate met every requirement in the Yoga teacher training intensive  course, but managed to fail at finding a teaching position. When a graduate quits teaching Yoga, due to being ill informed, it is a loss to the lineage, as well as a missed opportunity for the graduate.

Ben trained in many deep rooted sub-styles of Hatha Yoga, for over ten years, before deciding to become a Yoga teacher. He chose carefully and decided upon a course, which taught him many aspects of Hatha. Upon graduation, he began to approach Yoga schools within 30 miles of his local area.

Most of the studios informed him that they promoted teachers from within their own studios. A few put him on a list to be a substitute teacher, after he taught a free class, as part of an audition process. Once in a blue moon, the phone would ring with a last second substitution for a teacher who had car problems.

He was prepared to teach classes on short notice, and had a bag prepacked for last second opportunities, just like this one. Ben would rush down, and teach a class at the last second – hoping the management would recognize that he put his heart and soul into his classes, and he was hungry to teach full time.

Eventually, the phone stopped ringing. Later, he found out, through the grapevine, that the teacher with car problems had been replaced by a graduate who came from within that studio. It seemed that the window of opportunity was closing. Maybe, there were no opportunities to teach in his area; and he gave up for nearly a year, until he found online Yoga teacher education to show him marketing techniques and business tips.

What was Ben doing wrong before? He was doing what he was taught. The problem here is Ben did not know or see all of the potential opportunities there are for teaching Yoga. He was not prepared to look for teaching positions in the corporate world, at hospitals, at fitness centers, or any other places in his area.

He was completely oblivious, as to the dozens of opportunities, within a fifteen minute drive of his home. He had not thought of the local hotels, with small fitness centers, who were seeking to network with a local Yoga teacher like him. Success can be measured in many ways, but to see opportunity as a tiny sliver of a small pie is a recipe for failure. He now knows the opportunities are infinite.

© Copyright 2011 – Paul Jerard / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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