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First Steps to Becoming a Yoga Teacher

yoga trainers in lokhandwala andheri west

Yoga Teachers in Mumbai

At Wellintra as of the year 2016 we firmly believe that we are at the starting point of the single largest fitness movement in India’s history. More people than ever before are signing up for fitness training of varied disciplines and intensities and more professionals and fitness enthusiasts are hanging up their corporate boots and embracing a career as a fitness instructor. And why not? With rising incomes and with stress and pressures at an all time high, people are realizing that there is indeed more to life than climbing up the corporate ladder by sacrificing your precious health and time. More people are running marathons than ever before. More people are doing yoga than ever before. And in cities like Mumbai, there are now as many aspiring yoga trainers as there are aspiring actors! In recent years we have been privy to the phenomenon of the YTT (The Yoga Teacher Training Course) what with an ever increasing number of mostly women and some men registering for YTT courses and entering the market as yoga instructors. That makes Mumbai and cities like Delhi a highly competitive market for personal trainers. So how do you make yourself stand out? Let us make it easy for some aspiring yoga teachers to understand how to launch yourself into this exciting career.

Let us reiterate first that a career as a yoga instructor is a very unique path and is very different from becoming a teacher at a local school or joining a gym as a personal trainer. Unlike being a gym trainer there are fewer definitive credentials and mandatory guidelines for becoming a yoga teacher not just in India but all over the world. Being a yoga teacher is more like being a professional artist! Of course one needs the basic technical trainings but more than ever what separates the successful yoga trainer from the others is your personal interpretation of yoga, perspective, expression and your communication skills. The technical knowledge that you have must be complemented by your creativity as a teacher and of course you must have an authentic voice. This is what separates your average yoga teacher who just teaches classes to the yoga teacher who creates a rich and fulfilling career. The first official step to turn your yoga practice into a professional career is to attend a ‘teacher training course’ where you receive a ‘teacher training certificate’ at the end of the course. But before your first teacher training, we think it is important for you to first have a good grasp on your own practice. This does not imply that you have to be amazingly flexible and be able to do the most astonishingly difficult yogasanas out there but rather that you must have a good understanding of most of the poses that you practise in your particular favoured style of yoga. After finishing your teacher training course, create a nice resume, a couple of good photos, a description of your class and start advertising your services. Call us first though!

Basic Steps To Becoming a Yoga Teacher

  1. Establish a good practise routine with your favoured yoga teacher and take his / her class as often as possible.
  2. Maintain a good grasp over your own practise.
  3. Read a lot.
  4. Attend and complete a teacher training Program with a teacher who really inspires you.
  5. Put together a nice resume and always keep it updated.
  6. Have some professional photos taken – both headshots and full body pose shots in nice scenic locations. This cannot be overemphasized. Most yoga trainers we come across fall short in this department. They will spend Rs. 1,00,000/- on a YTT and then take some terrible images of themselves with a phone camera for publicity and they expect to be taken professionally by the fitness industry! A good set of photos will add to your appeal as a professional yoga trainer and will create a good impression among clients as well as agencies like us that promote and pitch yoga trainers to our many clients.
  7. Write a detailed biography of yourself as well as a shorter one and have them both available in 1st and 3 rd person.
  8. Write out a nice and thoughtful class description that explains your style of teaching.
  9. Always speak from the heart!

Some Do’s and Dont’s

Do

  • continue to take classes, workshops and trainings. You will always be adding to your knowledge.
  • practise on your own at home. Individual practise will improve your creativity wrt. sequencing, pose variations and will help you become more articulate about yoga.
  • have your own foundation sequence that you must know like the back of your hand. You will need it for auditions, photo shoots and for days when you are not at your best.
  • practise teaching your friends and family and get their feedback.
  • have a confident, reassuring and firm voice without fumblings like ‘um’, ‘uh’, ‘oops i meant..’
  • try to become more comfortable with a degree of silence when you teach.
  • make eye contact with your students.
  • learn how to teach mixed levels of students right from advanced to beginner. You must be able to offer easier modifications as well as advanced variations.
  • keep practising always.

Dont

  • get demoralised or demotivated by someone else’s standards or guidelines. Teaching yoga is your own personal art form.
  • just repeat the sayings of another teacher without crediting them.
  • go through the sequence of motions like a robot without channeling the flow.
  • worry too much about mixing up your left and your right because it happens to the best of teachers!
  • try to say everything about a certain pose when teaching that pose.
  • try to say every little thing you know about yoga in one session.
  • get too emotional about the number of attendees in a class because this can detract from your teaching.
  • rush into class if you are late. Always arrive with grace and calm.
  • compare yourself with other teachers because everyone is on their own path.
  • expect yourself to be perfect which is an impossibility in itself.

Author

Atin Dasgupta is the founder of Wellintra Fitness and is an artist-entrepreneur who makes music and builds businesses in his spare time!

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