So You Want to be a Full Time Yoga Teacher...
More and more often, I speak to people who want to leave their corporate career to become a full time yoga teacher. This often means taking a big risk, a pay cut, and venturing out into what is becoming a highly competitive industry. No big deal....
So how do you know if you are ready to take that kind of leap?
As with anything in life, this is a question that only you can answer for yourself. But I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this that might guide you through decision making process.
1. Consider your finances.
Ok. Yeah. This is boring af when you are looking to follow your passions. But it is super important to remember as you move forward in taking this leap. You should have enough savings to get you through a few months of not taking a significant income. That way, you won't be forced to take jobs that you don't like or don't want. It also means you can do things like network, which involves practicing at studios (not cheap), connect with fellow teachers and studio owners. Plus you will want to keep educating yourself as a teacher.
You don't also have to take a deep dive into teaching. You could also work out some kind of slow and planned entrance into teaching. This also means that you could go part time at work, or take a part time, freelance job on the side. You could also work in hospitality two days a week. But taking the path that is most supportive and most realistic of your situation is the one that will have more long term viability.
2. Be super passionate about teaching.
Teaching sounds great. But let me tell you, it's exhausting. It's a scary thing that I had to force myself to do in the beginning. Public speaking is one of people's biggest fears. This means that teachers often go into flight or fight response, and teaching can really stress the nervous system in the beginning. It's also long hours and you will find yourself teaching weekends, late nights and early mornings when you first start.
I am not saying this to dissuade you. I am saying it because if you are quitting your corporate job, I want you to know what you are getting yourself into. Yes. There is an element of freedom in teaching. But if you want to make it sustainable, you also have to treat it like a career. This means passionately and relentlessly pursuing it. If you want to teach bad enough, and you are willing to do what it takes to achieve your teaching dreams, you will make it happen.
3. Reverse engineer your life.
This is a big one. Plus, it's really fun (thank you Pintrest)! Consider what you want your life to look like. Here are a couple questions to get you started:
1. What are the current things that you love about your life and your job?
2. What are the three things you wish you could shift or change?
3. What do you want to feel and experience in your life?
4. What are your most important values?
After you answer these questions, break down the steps you can take to achieve those things. For example, if you want to spend more time with your child, and you want to feel more connected, how many hours a week is your work week? If you want to travel and teach internationally, what are some ways you can start connecting with studios outside of your hometown?
I really believe that all things are possible in life. Sometimes dreams take a little bit more work. I want to finish with a quote from the Alchemist, one of my all time favorite books.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with eternity.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist