Five reasons to become a yoga teacher
Yoga-teaching is seen as ‘living the dream’ to many people, because they will be focusing on doing the thing they love every day, and (hopefully) getting paid for it. Some are lucky enough to travel the world doing it, teaching in paradise locations. Whilst as a career choice it’s not all palm-fringed beaches and namastes at sunset, yoga teaching has many benefits that you may not have even thought of. Here are five of the main ones…
1. It is immensely rewarding
Essentially, every time you take a class, you are helping people. You are helping them towards the goal of finding the unconditional and uninterrupted joy that lies inside them, and they may not even know that it’s there yet. Even if you see a student only once or a few times, you may set off a chain reaction that results in them seeking out a yoga teacher wherever they are in the world to continue their journey, even if they don’t do it straight away. My own journey was started by a very spiritual Italian yoga teacher here in Goa. She made me realise that despite what I thought were my physical limitations, I could feel good about myself through yoga. Imagine being able to pass that feeling on?
2. You look at other people in a new way
Your yoga teacher training course will result in you being able to truly see another person, and experience being properly seen by them. When teaching students, you will be amazed at the uniqueness of each person in front of you, not just in their ability to adopt asanas in very different physical ways, but in their very presence. Their unique responses to your cues will give you an insight into the human condition and give you the ability to live a more harmonious and empathic life outside of the studio or shala. Nothing makes you view the world in a wholly different way more than a yoga-teacher training course – it’s the ultimate life-altering experience.
3. It’s the ultimate flexible-working life
Yoga teaching isn’t a 9-5 career unless you want it to be. You can choose how classes work alongside your personal life and you can create your own weekly schedule that works for you. If you love to travel, you can migrate like a bird from season to season at yoga centres around the world, or you can work locally in a variety of spaces. Of course, you may have financial concerns that push you to make decisions early in your career that are not ideal, but the yoga teacher training course will help you understand that you have the freedom to choose your own path in life, and that these early decisions may help you in the long run to achieve your dream. The path never ends once you start on it.
4. You don’t need to worry about work-life balance
You don’t need to worry because it’s already built into the work. Some teachers do end up teaching too many classes at the start of their careers because they are concerned about maintaining a a certain income, but they soon realise that they are losing the very thing that made them a good teacher in the first place – an ability to step back from the grind of everyday life and have a different perspective on the world. At first you may find yourself teaching too much and neglecting your own personal wellbeing, but you will eventually come to realise that the wellbeing you are creating in your students stems from you maintaining your own.
5. You realise what is important in life
If, like me, you come from a corporate career into yoga teaching, you realise that everything you did before was largely unimportant. You may have run around for decades trying to get a promotion, earn more money, lead an extravagant lifestyle with a big house, expensive car, an endless wardrobe and luxury holidays. Once you’ve reached the other side of your yoga teaching course, you realise that all you did was run around chasing a dream that never existed. You have the ability to reach your true potential and to access the happiness that is already inside you through yoga, and you can help others to do the same. Before I started my yoga teacher training at Sampoorna Yoga School India I met a German lady on the beach who talked to me about how she had opted out of her corporate career and everyone back at home thought she was mad to come to India and just ‘exist’. She told me to think about my career in terms of a return on investment – to ask myself what the true cost of it was to me, not just in terms of maintaining an extravagant lifestyle in a big city but the physical and mental cost to myself. I realised, even as she spoke that I was always in the red and I made decisions that have changed my life for the better. Perhaps you can too.