Thinking of Teaching Yoga?

Bruce Mackay
Oct 23, 2020 11:29:56 AM

In the late '60s / early '70s there was a small group of laid back hippies hanging around Hawaii spending most of their time surfing.

One day they stumbled across a guy in the park doing some impressive movements with his body. They were mesmerised, the guy was strong, agile, focused and made these advance movements look effortless.

At the end they asked the guy what it was he was doing?

He replied "yoga".

They were fascinated and asked if he would teach them, but the guy declined.

Slightly miffed, they asked why not?

"Because yoga will F*** up your life. Once you start, you will never view life the same again!"


One of the group, David Williams, was hooked. A few years later he travelled to India where he eventually ended up being the first American to study with Pattabhi Jois, the infamous Ashtanga Yoga 'guru'.

Not everyone's introduction to yoga is so dramatic, but there is no doubt that for many, it is a life-changing experience. So it's hardly surprising that students look to progress to teaching their passion.

But when is the right time to make the switch?

Traditionally the goal was not to teach but to reach enlightenment. To achieve this required strict adherence to the practices and if you were lucky the guidance of a 'guru'.

Things are very different today, but it is still possible to learn, grow and share.

The Secret Sauce

The real key to success is to ask yourself these three questions in this order:

  1. What do I want? (What's the outcome I want?)
  2. Why do I want it?
  3. How do I achieve it?

What do I want? (Object - Vision)

Be as specific as possible - generalities will confuse you.

Clarity is Power!

I remember many years ago setting up a workshop with a Senior yoga teacher whose goal was to be the most recognised female Teacher on the planet and appear on the cover of Yoga Journal.

After years of hard work, discipline and focus, she achieved both goals!

Most people aren't looking to go that far but just saying you want to teach yoga is too vague.

An example of being specific might read:

I want to teach yoga classes twice per day, five days per week, between the hours of 5 pm -8 pm and earn £2000 per month.

Once you have established the 'what' move on to the 'why'?

Why do I want it? (Purpose)

The 'why' is your emotional connection to the outcome.

It is what spurs you to take action.

The purpose is more potent than the object.

Whatever we focus on, we feel and what we feel drives our actions.

So in the above example, you might say:

It is so I can give up my current job and be able to spend more time with my kids during the day while teaching what I love - yoga, at nights.

How do I achieve it?

Manifesting your vision becomes much easier once you are clear on the 'what' and 'why'.

An excellent first step is to ask your existing Teacher if they feel you are ready to embark on a teacher training journey. 

Be clear that you want honest feedback along with advice and what you can do to get prepared.

See if your existing Teacher is willing to mentor you or prepare a personal program to get you up to speed. It may include a series of private lessons or increasing your practice schedule.

If you do not have a regular teacher, take some time to research and attend classes of teachers in your area. Find a teacher that you have a rapport with.

A feeling of commonality creates rapport. In this instance, perhaps the love of yoga and a desire to lessen the suffering of others.

Remember we are drawn to people similar to us or are how we would like to be.

Be patient but remain focused on the outcome and how your life will change once you achieve it.

Raise your standards and learn something new every day.

Immerse yourself in every aspect of yoga and study with the best teachers on the planet (past and present).

Once you start, don't let anything stand in your way

Strive to breakthrough and live an extraordinary life doing what you love.

Enjoy the Journey!

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