By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Some people would have you think that all of the Yoga teaching opportunities are only in the studios. If there is one lesson that I can pass onto you in this lifetime, it is to question everything. Please do not take anyone’s word as gospel – including mine. Find your answers through research. Lately, there has been a lot of misinformation about Yoga and many related issues. When you consider that Yoga sessions are taught in health clubs, church basements, kids day care centers, salons, and hundreds of other locations, where people of all ages meet, it is safe to say the 90% of the teaching opportunities are outside the studios.
Some agreements take away Yoga teaching opportunities. Most studios hire from within, and some studio managers will ask you to sign a non-competition agreement, which states that you will not take students from that particular studio. I do understand the motive behind the policy, but I have never believed in these agreements. We had a teacher, who left and lured a few of his students to his home-based studio for lower class fees. Nevertheless, I will not draw up a non-competition agreement, but I have learned to listen to my intuition.
Some of the more aggressive agreements require an instructor to teach exclusively for the studio, even if you are on their substitute teacher list. So, why would you sign one of these agreements? I ask you to open your mind and see that 10% of our field is trying to dictate policy that regards your life and the infinite Yoga teaching opportunities around you. Some Yoga instructors only teach private sessions, just like personal trainers, which requires one small room. I ask you to write down all the possibilities you can think of after you finish this article. Here are a few more ideas to consider.
Teaching Yoga at a University
Yoga teaching opportunities in a studio setting is just the beginning, when it comes to opportunities for instructors. Community centers, corporate buildings, senior centers, hospitals, and universities are all options that can be explored. The last of these can provide a fun and an energized environment with eager students. College students are among the most stressed individuals in the world, and many practice Yoga in their limited free time, already.
Just as with any open class setting, teaching at a university means that there will be students with varied levels of ability participating in your classes. Some of the students may practice Yoga regularly, while others may have never even considered it an option, until they signed up when a friend or teacher suggested it. Some students may be suffering from stress, related to their roommates or exams, and they may be less focused than your typical students at other locations. Teaching at a university can be fulfilling, in helping students overcome daily stress through practical application. Through the practice of Yoga, your students will quickly learn to apply their stress-reducing skills in real life situations. Some students may require extra help and attention. In many cases, more dedicated students may be willing to help the less skilled students in an informal practice.
College students are notoriously disorganized, which means that there may be initial trouble with starting the Yoga class on time in an organized manner. There is a possibility of students arriving late to class, whether they are required to sign up in advance or not. When students arrive late, there is often some chatter and distraction among them. This disrupts the classroom environment, and it should be handled calmly in order to bring about a collective state of tranquility and to avoid increasing the stress level in the room. It is important to remember that, while it may not always be made visible, some students definitely appreciate your classes.
Yoga teaching opportunities in universities have the benefit of providing a large variety of locations, in which Yoga classes can be taught. Most college campuses have a gymnasium, and these frequently include a large empty room or basketball court that could serve as an ideal location. Smaller classes can be held in classrooms, with desks that can move, or they can be held in the common areas of dorms. In good weather, Yoga classes can also be held outside on the college grounds, whether on a common or on a football field. The influence of the sun, and time of day, can also be factors when teaching outdoor classes.
Teaching Yoga in Community Centers
Some community centers are for housing developments, residents of the local city or town, age specific, and some are for gated communities. Community centers are among the most relaxed and fun environments in which Yoga can be taught. The students may know one another, but frequently there is a wide turn out, which results in a variety of individuals who share a common interest. Teaching in this type of setting can be difficult, due to the varied skill and knowledge levels of the students, but many are willing to help each other, as well as listen to you.
Teaching Yoga classes, in this type of setting, opens the class to anyone who signs up or arrives, depending on how it is advertised; but this also means that there will be various degrees of skill levels among your students. Some students may practice Yoga on a regular basis, but more often than not, the students will have little, to no, experience. The unbalanced skill levels mean that some students may require extra help, and teachers must be entirely aware of the abilities of all students.
Any location where people meet has the potential to be a location for a Yoga class. Look around you and see the realistic teaching opportunities in your community. All it takes is vision and the right conversation to open doors of opportunity. There are teachers who teach for years asa substitute or remain inactive on a studio substitute teacher list. They don’t look outside the box. It’s easy to follow what you are familiar with.
Surprisingly, some interns follow the wrong advice. Just like news – there are many ways to translate the day’s events. The problem is: If news is making you feel depressed, you might consider shutting it off or changing the channel. A person who rains on every parade will never see the infinite possibilities under his or her nose, even if you point them out. You can waste a lot of time and energy trying to convince people who do not want to see or listen. This is a part of life that we must accept.
From an optimistic viewpoint: The potential for Yoga teaching opportunities exists in every club, center, company, and meeting place. Yoga classes exist in public schools, private schools, martial arts studios, little league training complexes, dance schools, gymnastic academies, hospitals, condo complexes, senior centers and many more places where space allows students some time to just relax and be present for practice. Additionally, teachers who diversify their programs to meet the needs of people who need help will easily find Yoga teaching opportunities.
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4 thoughts on “Yoga Teaching Opportunities Outside The Studios”
A very thought provoking article indeed. We in India, have identified persons undergoing Teacher’s Training to become teaching faculty in Primary and Secondary schools. These institutions have responsive yoga participants and indoor and outdoor facilities for arranging weekend Yoga classes. We are training these would be teachers in various aspacts of yoga such as Asana, Pranayama, Mudras and Bandhas with an introductory meditation. The results are encouraging.
Very well written article, Dr. Jerard! The opportunities are endless and there for those who explore and create out of the box thinking. Yoga is a wonderful experience that can be done in just about any setting. You state that very well! Thanks for the article! As always, your experience and knowledge in this field is a true gem! Your teacher training is one of a kind and superb! 🙂 Truly, Sherry Longbottom, RN, CYT, CPYT, Holistic Fitness Nurse
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