February 1, 2014

3 Essential Tips for New Yoga Teachers. ~ Patty Kikos

Nina Savidi, from Athens - 'Barceloneta' beach

Welcome to the world of magic, mantra, mala and mayhem fellow yogi.

There are a few things that will change in your life—it is best that you start to make peace with them from now.

1. Day Naps. 

Make like you’re back in Spain and make friends with the siesta again. Oh yes. Conserve your energy my friend. You’re now holding the space for people to do extraordinary things like stand on their head or sit still for 20 minutes

This is no mean feat and will be difficult to do if you are tired, haven’t slept or are adding to your mental shopping lists while simultaneously moving your class through surya namaskar.

You may have noticed that the practice of yoga nidra helps your students relax at the end of the day—it also helps you restore your own energy in the middle of the day.

Your day has also possibly become a little more elongated. There’s a good chance that you’re getting up a little earlier than usual and possibly working after hours. I think it’s called ‘after-work-for-the-rest-of-the-population.’

You are no longer part of this population.

Instead of switching off at 6pm or 7pm, you now switch on. You are now either teaching brand new beginners or you are looking for new inspiration to theme your regular classes.

2. Boundaries Baby, Boundaries.

So you’re a newbie and full of beans? Eager to show the world and its inhabitants how much their life can change through the sacred teachings of yoga that you are now qualified to share?

Awesome! But just how clear will your instruction be when you are teaching at so many different studio spaces with little time to rest and recuperate yourself?

The art of saying ‘no’ is both liberating and life changing at the same time. You taught four classes in one day and finished your last class at 9.30pm? A simple and mono-syllabic ‘No’ is your best response when it comes to covering the next day’s  six am class.

So you teach close to where you live? Be prepared to bump into your students at the supermarket and for them to peer into the contents of your trolley. Conversations about the pros and cons of veganism and organic produce often ensue.

Your local café may also be the local stomping ground for some of your students. A family brunch (or in some cases a hot date) for you is an opportunity for them to seize the moment and tell you about the amazing experience they had in your class the other night, and oh-before-they -forget, what-was-that-amazing-track-you-played-in –savasana-three-weeks-ago?

The art of mastering ‘Great to see you, let’s chat about this at the studio when it’s not my personal time’ will be another one of your go-to quick responses. Make friends with that little phrase as well.

3. Not everyone will like you or your classes.

And this is OK. Why? Because you cannot be any more you than what you already are.

And this is a wonderful thing. Like Dr Seuss says, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

You know about the a third, a third, a third rule right?

The idea behind this is that a third of the world will love you no matter what you do and will follow you wherever you will go.

The second third are indifferent towards you. They may or may not necessarily even remember your name or anything about you.

The last third will never like you, no matter what you do or what you say.

So wanting to be liked by everyone is really wasting your time, energy and spiritual resources on two thirds of the world that are never really going to give a downward dog about you in the first place.

Isn’t it liberating to know that you have less work to do and fewer people to please?

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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 Assistant Editor: Heather Hendry/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Nina Savidi, from Athens, ‘Barceloneta’ beach


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