The Two Biggest Challenges For New Yoga Teachers

I’ve written quite a lot about what it’s like to be a freshly qualified yoga teacher - and interviewed other teachers too.

Plus, we teach business skills to our teacher trainees. For some people, especially those who already work in fitness, the transition can be quite smooth. 

But for most new teachers, getting those first few gigs can be tough. 

There are two main challenges to getting started, and they kind of feed off each other.


Challenge 1: Finding the confidence to actually teach

It’s the NUMBER ONE biggest hurdle most new teachers face. They slog away to qualify, then they freak out that they don’t know enough to keep people safe in class. And what if someone asks a question they can’t answer?

I will let you in on a little secret:

I still sometimes feel this way, but with experience has come the willingness to say ‘I don’t know’. It’s totally ok not to know everything, and remember: you know (a lot) more than your students do. All that’s required as a teacher is to know a little more than your students, and to care! That’s a very solid foundation to build on.

Also remember that people are sovereign.

If you have offered options and asked people to move in safe ways, someone might still hurt themselves. This is life, and human bodies sometimes go out of whack. You are not a superhuman, and you are not able to crawl inside other people’s bodies to keep them safe. That would be beyond creepy…

The last issue in the confidence equation is the worry about people not liking your classes. 

Some people won’t. That’s ok, because some people will. Let’s call them your tribe, even though that word kills me.

Finding your tribe is what you use your marketing for. And that’s challenge number two.


Challenge 2: Marketing yourself

It tends to come as something of a shock that for every. single. class. you apply to teach, you basically have to go through a full job interview. Sometimes you have to test teach even. For every class. 

Plus, if you are wanting to run your own classes, you have to do a bunch of small business stuff that you might never have done.

The potential for rejection is high.

It’s hard on the self-esteem if you don’t get a gig or not many people come to class.

Come sit with me, I will tell you another little secret.

Persistence. You need to persist. Not everyone will like what you do, and it’s going to take practice for you to learn how to attract people who will enjoy your classes. What language to use and what photos tell your story.

Our graduate Freya from Twisty Yoga is doing a very good job with this, I think.

You aren’t going be a good fit for every single yoga studio or gym, and that’s ok too.

If constructive feedback if offered, take it and work on those areas. If not, you just didn’t click. So you are a step closer to finding out where you will click.

If only a few people come to class, keep showing up, create regularity.

You need at least six months to assess whether something is going to work or not, and Spring and Summer are always best for starting new ventures because that’s when people are motivated.

Pretty much everything about this gig is a learning experience, and approaching it that way makes it easier to deal with the learning CURVES!