So You Went to a YTT... Now What?
How to start teaching yoga after receiving your certification.
LIFESTYLE | YOGA
By: Brooke Davidson
Over the past year I’ve had a handful of folks reach out to me, asking how to start teaching now that they have their teaching cert: “It’s intimidating..” “I don’t feel like I know enough yet..” “I’m not even sure what style I want to teach yet..”
Starting into this part of your journey can be scary, for sure, but here are some steps to make it more approachable:
1. Practice Cuing Your Home Yoga Flows
While doing your own practice at home, whisper cues aloud. Notice the adjustments you make when entering a pose and the thoughts that go through your head as you adjust your own alignment. Start verbalizing these, aiming for clear, concise cues. This will help you think through the primary teaching aspect of yoga -- cuing -- and become more consistent in what you say. Consistent, articulate cues are helpful for students who then have the chance to internalize your words.
2. Use Notes
Although we’d all love to be able to jump into teaching guided by pure passion and intuition, notes for your class can be a huge help. It takes a while (like.. months of teaching) to teach from a calm, relaxed headspace that is capable of keeping track of a flow on its own. Those first weeks or months, you might find that you are teaching from a more excited state of mind, and notes can help anchor that mind into the moment as well as give you a little extra comfort. I personally love using yoga-glyphics because it feels like a mini-practice when I’m writing them out since I have to think of the body movement. They are also easier to look down at and keep track of as compared to a list of poses. See my example below of a simple, 45 minute beginners’ yoga class.
VBD = vinyasa belly down
𝄇 = repeat on side 2
BOM = Back of Mat
FOM = Front of Mat
3. Jump In and Try It
Think back to your first time trying yoga. Remember that stiffness? That clumsiness? That confusion? You’re going to go through those same stages with teaching. So jump in. Find a studio you’d like to teach at, take classes, and stay after to talk to the teachers. Ask them if there are certain classes that the studio would like to add or if there is space for another teacher. You can always start by offering a pop-up class at the studio or offering to audition via a free class. Ultimately, we all start somewhere and that somewhere is usually a little rough, so don’t get down on yourself. Your teaching, too, is a practice
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