Ok, so you received the certification and said goodbye to everyone at the yoga teacher training. Now what? How do you get started as a brand new yoga teacher?
At True North Vinyasa, we spend quite a lot of time and effort the last week of training on branding and business. For example, we invite a professional photographer to take profile pictures so you can get started right away with a website and social media. If you are serious about wanting to teach yoga, we firmly believe that it's good to get going right away after graduation. The closer you are to that time you were eating, breathing and living yoga for weeks, the stronger you'll feel as you start off teaching "real students". To give an idea of how this can be done, we'd like to share two stories from our 2018 groups of trainees.
This is Anna Rigner. She took our 200 hour vinyasa teacher training in April 2018. Eight months later she is teaching five classes a week at two different studios in her hometown Stockholm, Sweden. Immediately after returning home from the intensive training in Portugal, Anna spotted a post on social media about a project called Hej Främling (translates to Hello Stranger). The organisation offers free yoga as a way of networking for refugees, immigrants and Swedes. Anna contacted the organisation, got a meeting and was teaching the following week.
– I was nervous but excited to start teaching for real. It was a very good environment for me. People showed up in jeans, some spoke no Swedish or English, and the whole arrangement was very unpretentious.
Shortly after, she contacted a studio where a friend was teaching, offering her services. After a phone interview, Anna landed a four week substitute gig. She got lucky, they really needed her right away. After the four weeks, she was offered to take over the class, and one thing led to another.
- It was actually easier than I thought to get going. I worked hard and said yes to everything, organised three events with other teachers and just sort of did it. My advice to other is to throw yourself out there before you start doubting yourself!
In addition, she is involved with two other teachers from the April 2018 True North Vinyasa group. With Leslie in Maine, USA and Kit in Lisbon, Portugal, this trio is about to launch retreats under the name Simply Rewind later this year.
You'll find Anna's classes at Studio Levels and World Class in Stockholm, and on her website at
Our thoughts on Anna's story: In the training, Anna stood out. She was a serious student, and took every chance to learn. She kept a low profile but we quickly realised she was making plans for the future. During the training she had a good idea of where she wanted to go with her new profession. Anna is soft spoken and humble, strong and bright. We always knew she would work her way into the yoga teacher's world.
This is Emily Hayes. She took our 200 hour vinyasa teacher training intensive in November 2018. Two months later she's teaching 2 classes a week with fully booked classes in her hometown of Ennis, Montana. Emily signed up for the training early, half a year before starting. She knew when she signed up exactly what she wanted and why.
She was already well established as a massage therapist in her small town, which has a mixed crowd of locals and seasonal tourists, running her business out of a space where her friend offers yoga. Her friend's classes had been fully booked for years, and together they made a little plan to offer more yoga. Upon returning home, Emily offered a handful of free classes in December, with a recommended donation for the food bank. She did it as a way of spreading the word and get to practice teaching right away "without feeling pressured to make sure people got their money's worth". Her strategy, which was to get new people on the mat who didn't already have a practice, worked well. Her beginner's series filled up the same day she posted it on Facebook.
– So far in class I’ve had metal workers, a distiller, ranchers, the high school shop teacher, a cowboy, retired folks, and hospital employees. Many of these folks had never stepped foot on a yoga mat before, much less joined a class. I’ve been blown away by the response to my new classes; it’s a good time to be a teacher as yoga is now mainstream enough that people have heard of it, and are willing to try it. It also helps that I’ve been in this community long enough to know a wide variety of people, but it’s still amazing to see them actually show up in class.
In Emily's case, the small town where everyone knows everyone might have been key. New yogis might have been drawn to her because they knew her and trusted her. Even the fact that she was a new teacher might have worked in her favour. And teaching beginners, though a huge responsibility, can be a good way to sharpen your skills as a new yoga teacher.
– The teaching gets a little easier every time but I still have butterflies in my stomach for that first minute. I always start class with some deep grounding breaths because it helps me too!
Emily's career got started so fast she hasn't even gotten her own website together. For now, if you pass Ennis Montana, look her up via www.earthstarmontana.com
Our thoughts on Emily's story: Emily is an excellent example of the old branding trick of having your WHY in place. Coming to Portugal, she already knew who she wanted to teach and why. She could've probably written a list of names of people she was targeting, because she lives in a small tight-knit community. During the training, she was able to tailor everything we brought up to benefit her idea of a beginner series of classes she called "can't touch your toes yoga". Emily was a super dedicated student and taught an amazing last final class. She's entirely herself, always. We had no doubt she'd get the metal workers to come to class.
Articles about the world of teaching and living Vinyasa Flow Yoga by Elin Jensen and Lisa Andersson Rhodiner