I once had a full-time job that didn't involve wearing stretchy pants every day. But I knew it was time for a change when I was faced with a medical issue and my first thought was, "Well, if this is happening, then I can quit my job." Which isn't the case due to the US health care system, of course!
I knew that if my first reaction was that I wanted a way out of my job--even if it meant being really sick--something had to change.
Fortunately, the health issues weren't as serious as they could have been, and I gave notice at work a few months later.
When I'm balancing all of the things that I do (teaching 9 classes a week, working 20 hours a week for a nonprofit, and running and growing my new business), I have to make sure that I'm making self-care a priority. For me, getting enough sleep and having at least one day completely off a week--usually hiking, so that I can get away from technology--are super important!
I've tried to set up my schedule so that I have blocks of time for each thing.
I work on my business in the morning, for the non-profit in the afternoon, and then I teach in the evening. I've found that the more I have to transition from job to job during a day, it's more difficult to get into the right mindset.
And I try to leave myself at least 30 minutes in between gigs so that I can reset.
After teaching in three different cities, I can't emphasize enough the importance of building relationships in order to grow your class schedule.
Don't try to take shortcuts there!
Take the time to attend classes at a studio and feel the vibe there and whether it's a match for you. Take classes with the owner and get to know him or her.
Get to know other teachers--without thinking about what they can do for you!
I teach four classes a week at a gym here in Seattle, and I landed those because another teacher from the gym attended one of my auditions at another studio and recommended me.
You'll also learn a lot in the process of practicing with a lot of different teachers in different spaces. And of course: don't be afraid to be you. There are studios and gyms and students who need YOUR unique voice. The more you practice and experience and teach, the more you'll know what you can give.
Also: Advice for New Yoga Teachers (from yoga teachers)