Yoga Teaching Tips: How to Be a Good Yoga Teacher

As a yoga studio manager and yoga teacher I have seen many highs and lows in yoga student numbers for myself as well as for other yoga teachers. These are yoga teaching tips on how to be a good yoga teacher that I have actively put into practice as well as things I wish I had learned sooner (but it’s never too late!). A few of these yoga teaching tips are an absolute must from the very beginning while others you can work on over time.

1. Get to your yoga class at least 10 minutes early and greet new students.

2. Start and end your class on time.

3. Follow up after class with new and returning yoga students. Ask them if they have questions, give them encouragement or just ask them how their day is going!

4. Remind your students often before or after class that you are available to answer their questions.

5. Learn your student’s names and use them often.

6. Smile and make eye contact, but I recommend keeping hugging down to a minimum.

7. Stay consistent. Every time you miss one of your yoga classes your student base will drop.

8. Keep terms in everyday language and clarify when using yoga terms that new students may not know.

9. Don’t preach dogma. Share stories that your students can relate too.

10. Focus on your students. Notice their yoga posture, breath and facial expressions and offer modifications to students who are struggling or who are more advanced.

11. Keep a professional yoga teaching relationship with your students.

12. Offer workshops. If you are a newer yoga teacher, just start out with 2 hours. Start promoting them as far in advance as you can. Even better: Lay out a workshop schedule at the end of the year for the whole following year.

13. Spend 1 minute after class before your students get up from their yoga mat and promote something for the studio you are teaching at as well something for yourself
(such as your amazing blog!)

15. Start a blog. Share your knowledge with your students outside of class and reach potential new students.

14. Set up a website (or convert your blog). Make sure to have photos, a bio, your schedule info, prices, location and contact info as well as pertinent information for new students.

16. You would be amazed how easy it is these days to make videos, books and audio. Get to it! Not only will your students buy them, but they will appreciate them. You will also reach and help more people. There is a good chance that you can find someone who believes in you and would be willing to invest their time and knowledge for a percentage of the profits (just make sure to cap the amount – for instance they get 50% of the profits until they reach $2000)

17. Promote your yoga classes regularly (not annoyingly!) on Facebook and Twitter and share other valuable information about yoga including quotes, links to other people’s articles, etc.

18. Seek out ways to spend some time teaching in service. Try offering a free class in the park or teaching to an under-served population. Not only will you be giving back, but you will often gain new students and meet people who will otherwise support you.

19. Practice on your own and take classes from other teachers regularly. This keeps your practice strong and your energy up for teaching yoga. When you take classes from other yoga teachers you will be introduced to new potential students. Even better…connect with 2 other yoga teachers and plan out a way to take each other’s classes regularly. Make sure to introduce each other at those classes!

20. Keep taking teacher trainings and going on retreat. That’s where we get down to the nity grity work! This also gives you an opportunity to share new and interesting experiences with your students.

21. Ask  a trusted  colleague, or even better, the studio owner, to critique your class. Let them know what kinds of things you want them to look out for. Are you fidgeting or slouching? Are you too quiet? Do you say “um” or other needless filler language.  Listen to their tips. If their constructive criticism feels right to you then work on that area. If their constructive criticism doesn’t feel right to you, thank them and chuck it! Not ready for that? Video tape yourself and watch it!

22. Find a mentor.

23. Know that you are enough. You do not have to be perfect. Just be yourself. I have heard many times from students that the teachers they connect with the most are the ones that (occasionally) share their own struggles and vulnerabilities. But keep the real personal stuff out of the studio. No complaining about your significant other etc…

24. Focus on your prosperity. Read and learn about prosperity often. Being a minimalist or being a yoga teacher in service is one thing. Being a teacher in poverty is no good to anyone.

25. Make goals each month, write them down and put them in a visible place. What classes do you want to teach? How many? How many students do you want to have in class and how much income do you want to make.

Joy and propserity to you! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment!

P.S. Read read read. Get a Kindle, pack your yoga e-books on it and take it with you everywhere so you are have regular education and inspiration at hand!

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The Wandering Yogi