Most of us remember our first encounter with yoga as transformational, challenging, or even daunting.
For many beginners, this practice can be intimidating given the many misconceptions circulating around:
- Yoga is only for the flexible
- If you can’t do advanced poses or hold your body weight on your arms you’re not doing real yoga
- Yoga is only for the thin
And then what happened on your journey after you got a little more familiar and comfortable with the practice?
You probably experienced what’s known as the yoga high at least once, right?
That expansive feeling that results from tackling challenging poses, sticking with it when you want to quit, and all of the endorphins and feel-good chemicals that course through your body once you’re done.
Maybe you also experienced the physical healing effects of yoga.
Did your aches and pains start to feel less intense?
Did your sleep improve?
Or did your anxiety seem more manageable after some time of practicing?
If you experienced any of these side effects, you probably fell in love with the practice.
And then your desire to deepen your practice likely grew along with your desire to share it with others so they too can experience the healing and transformation first hand.
7 Things You Must Know About A Yoga Career:
Whether you just completed your 200-hour yoga teacher training or are still on the fence about it but are considering a career in the yoga industry, here are 7 things to keep in mind as you travel on your path… no matter what direction you decide.
1. Get clear on your Why (Sankalpa)
In Yoga, a Sankalpa is an intention created through the heart and higher mind.
It’s a vow we dedicate ourselves to.
It’s not the mind that’s channeling your heartfelt Why & Intention, it’s your heart and your spirit.
Yoga isn’t just a potential business venture – it’s above all else a spiritual practice that helps you tap into your soul’s guidance and inner wisdom.
There is something specific you’re here to do that only you can do.
Asking quality questions can help you listen to your intuitive voice deeper:
- What quality or state of being would you love to embody in your own life and for others?
- What do you want to feel experience more of?
- What are you inspired to create?
2. Choose a niche and point of differentiation based on your Why.
Here’s a hard truth:
We can’t be everything to everyone and still remain true to ourselves.
Being a jack of all trades won’t help your yoga career – it will only drown you out amongst the sea of others who are also on this path.
Based on your Why and Life’s Sankalpa – the big overarching theme and intention you’ve created for yourself ask yourself the following questions:
- What about my personal story and journey sets me apart?
- What life lessons have I learned that I can help others with through yoga?
- What is a painful, urgent problem I can help others overcome based on my life lessons and story?
- What painful, urgent problems am I most inspired to help solve?
3. Make your practice (Sadhana) a sacred priority.
We teach that which we most need to learn and master ourselves.
No matter how long you decide to teach yoga for or how successful you become at it remember this:
You’re a student before you are a teacher.
As a student of yoga, your regular practice (sadhana) is the birthplace of your most creative and inspired ideas.
Consider it sacred and a priority.
Now, a sadhana can take different forms – it doesn’t have to be rigorously physical or only asana-based.
The true practice of yoga is actually so much more than the physical poses so be sure to incorporate the other limbs and practices otherwise your practice will be incomplete.
Other forms of yoga practice are:
- Breathwork (pranayama)
- Sense withdrawal (pratyahara)
- Kriya yoga that includes Tapas (self-discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study), and Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender, devotion, & dedication)
- One-pointed focus
4. Start small and be realistic.
It’s important to set realistic goals and have realistic expectations as you embark on this journey. No one is an overnight success or sensation, even if social media makes it appear that way.
Being real with yourself helps you stay grounded, motivated, and inspired.
Taking small steps instead of giant leaps, in the beginning, helps you hone in on your craft.
Dreaming of opening a studio?
Do some research and find the ones you most feel at home in.
Visit many studios and study them – what do you like and dislike about them?
Study the behind the scenes operations of the studio and walk inside perceiving it through the eyes of a teacher and potential future entrepreneur.
Which studios seem to be successful?
Can you take the owner out to lunch or coffee and interview them to learn about their journey?
Can you find a job in that studio to learn how they run and administer their business?
Taking these vital steps before spending your own money or borrowing money to get a fast start is a wise investment of your time, resources, and energy.
5. Keep an open mind and an eternal student mentality
As long as you remember that you’re a student first, you’ll keep sharpening your teaching skills too.
An eternal student mentality keeps you humble and always looking for fresh ways to execute your strategies.
Your journey will likely unfold and look very different from what you initially thought or had in mind – and that’s ok.
Maybe that dream to open up a yoga studio turns into opening up an online yoga school. Or maybe you started off wanting to teach ashtanga but ended up teaching prenatal yoga.
Stay open and nimble.
Trust the process and have faith that your journey will unfold for your highest good.
6. Do a SWOT analysis to discover hidden opportunities and strengths
In the business world, a SWOT analysis helps you to discover your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
This helps you have a clear view of the path ahead and a balanced vision.
Our brain and its reticular activating system (RAS) scans and finds only those things we expect to find.
Our brain is wired that way and that can sometimes lead to missed opportunities and the inexpression or under-expression of our strengths and talents.
7. Be patient and understand this is a life-long journey with many transformational phases.
This is a constantly unfolding and ever-evolving journey.
It will very likely take much longer than you expect it to.
There will be highs and lows.
Moments of success, fulfillment, and triumph, and also moments of mistakes, trials, and lessons.
The yogi learns to embrace it all and understands that neither is good or bad.
The yogi takes it as feedback and is humble enough to pause, reset, and circumvent if needed.
You are a brave yogi.
The world needs your light.
There are specific people who are experiencing specific pains and problems that you are very equipped and meant to help solve.
Above all else, focus on them and not on yourself.
Focus on being of value.
There will be hard times and hard work ahead but everything worthwhile and meaningful requires facing and transcending the hard.
You got this.