Teachers: Here Are 6 Valuable Pieces of Advice for Your Yoga Career (From an E-RYT 500)

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When it comes to your career in teaching yoga, it’s important to seek guidance from seasoned instructors and sources so you can continue to grow.

So, we’ve teamed up with Leah Sugerman in this article so she can share her 6 best tips for a successful and fulfilling yoga career.

In addition to being an esteemed E-RYT 500 yoga teacher trainer, Leah is also a featured yoga teacher on YA Classes, and yoga editor for YogiApproved.

Nearly a decade into her yoga career with over 1,200 hours of training and almost 3,000 hours of teaching experience, Leah has compiled the best advice that she’s received and learned as a yoga teacher to support you in your own yoga teaching career.
 
 

Here Are 6 Gems of Advice for Teaching Yoga and Thriving Throughout Your Yoga Career:

When we know a little, we think we know a lot. Then, the more we learn, the more we realize how much there still is to learn. And I feel like there are few disciplines where this applies more than in the vast world of yoga.

These are just a few of the many things that I have learned throughout my years of teaching and studying this powerful practice that I feel might be helpful to you in your own yoga career.
 

1. Never Stop Studying

The moment we stop learning, we stagnate. There is no end to learning in life and the same rings true for yoga.

Yoga is such a vast and broad topic that you could literally study just one philosophy or one school of yoga for multiple lifetimes.

So explore, grow, read, practice, study, and learn from spiritual scriptures, modern-day teachers, self-exploration, your personal practice, and more.

Learn from whoever or whatever you choose, but whatever you do, don’t ever stop studying. Never think you know it all.

 
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2. Study With Expert Teachers

When you do study, study with the best. Learn anatomy from someone who knows. Dive deep into philosophy with someone who knows. Study meditation and pranayama from someone who knows.

Study with the best in their specific fields so you can really learn the depth of this material rather than the superficial.

This way, when you’re teaching yoga, you can confidently teach from a place of knowledge and wisdom, rather than simply regurgitating common cues and statements that you don’t fully understand.
 

3. Maintain Your Own Practice

At the height of my teaching career, I was instructing six to eight classes per day, six days per week. Beyond just burning out, I had no time for myself whatsoever. Needless to say, my practice fell by the wayside completely.

You cannot pour from an empty cup. And you cannot teach without experience. You need to maintain your own personal practice to be able to share the magic of this practice with others.

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So keep breathing deeply. Maintain your meditation practice. Flow through your asana practice. And live your yoga practice every minute of every day.

Don’t sacrifice your personal practice for the sake of your yoga career. It isn’t helpful for you and it isn’t helpful for your career either. It’s simply a lose-lose situation. So maintain your own practice to make it a win-win scenario.

For a limited time, beYogi is offering YogiApproved.com readers $30 off your annual premium, dropping the annual cost to $149. Learn more here.
 

4. Branch Out

Most of us found yoga through one specific discipline or style of practice. And most of us stuck within that school long-term.

While there is absolutely beauty in this, it is equally beneficial to branch out and explore other styles and schools of yoga throughout your yoga career as well.

If Ashtanga is your go-to practice, then why not give Kundalini a try? If you love Vinyasa, try out Yin. If Restorative is your favorite, then see if you’ll also love Hatha just as much. If you follow the Eight-Limbed Path of Patanjali, then maybe explore the philosophy of Bhakti, Karma, or Jnana Yoga as well.

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You don’t need to give up your favorite practice to try a new one, but you just may find another practice that you also deeply love.

Each style and school of yoga offers something unique, so branch out and explore the many different styles and philosophies that yoga has to offer. There are literally so many, so don’t limit yourself to only one.
 

5. Specialize

While it’s important to branch out and explore the many offerings of yoga as a student, it’s equally important to specialize when you’re teaching yoga.

Find your unique niche and specialize in it! Do you specialize in teaching anatomically-informed asana? Or do you specialize in teaching soothing Yoga Nidra? Is biomechanics your jam? Or are you all about the spiritual, philosophical side of the practice?

 
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What you specialize in will obviously attract different students. But if you specialize in what you truly love, then that will shine through your teachings and attract an endless number of students.

Explore for yourself and for inspiration for your teachings, but specialize in what you offer to others in your yoga career.
 

6. Be Kind

I used to think that knowing the origin and insertion of every muscle in the human body was imperative to teaching yoga. And I used to think that I needed to perfectly practice every challenging asana to teach effectively.

I even used to think that I needed to be fluent in Sanskrit as well as the philosophical teachings of the yoga practice in order to be a good yoga teacher.

I have very much changed my mind on all of these subjects. Now, I realize that nothing matters more than teaching with genuine kindness.

One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think this so aptly applies to teaching.

Whether we deserve it or not, we hold a position of power as teachers, and we have the potential to either build our students up or tear them down.

If we teach with kindness in every way, then we are truly living and breathing our yoga practice. And there is no better teacher than example.

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Follow This Yoga Teaching Advice and Watch Your Yoga Career Flourish

I hope this advice is useful to you on your path as a yoga teacher. I know that this path can sometimes be confusing, can often be challenging, and can regularly be under-appreciated.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

But I also know that this path is incredibly rewarding and that’s why we continuously return to our teachings and our studies, and especially, our amazing students.

May we all continue to learn and grow on our paths to become the best teachers possible in order to better serve our students.

For a limited time, beYogi is offering YogiApproved.com readers $30 off your annual premium, dropping the annual cost to $149. Learn more here.

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