We’ve all been that new teacher, so excited and eager to teach and grow. For many of us that process has been made more difficult due to lack of conscious teacher mentors. Going through teacher training and having a teacher trainer is simply not enough. In my fifteen years of experience and over 10,000 hours of teaching I have compiled some suggestions on ways we can help each other and encourage a new generation of yoga teachers.
Experienced teacher mentors for newcomer teachers.
Become a mentor and make the transition into being a yoga instructor easier for someone else. Take someone under your wing. Proactively reach out to your mentee and offer support, as a newcomer may be intimidated and hesitant to reach out first. Give them an open forum to ask questions.
Share your resources and knowledge. Focus your social media efforts first and foremost on education.
Make a free offering. It isn’t simply karma yoga, but overall sharing yoga with the world that makes for a better new yoga teacher population. The best teachers are educators who give freely like Sadie Nardini, Jason Crandell, and Rodney Yee.
Teach fewer classes.
We can make huge improvements by reducing teacher burn out. Too many of us teach too many classes, reducing the quality of each offering. Once remembering your sequencing becomes a challenge, you are only half present; your students deserve a better practice. A sign that you may be teaching too much is when you are too busy to be a student and take class yourself.
Take responsibility for the professionalism of yoga as a career.
The more we hold ourselves up to a higher standard of integrity, the more others will appreciate what we do. If we lack professionalism we cannot expect to create a positive universal reputation. Stop expecting Yoga Alliance to have to do it all themselves.
Appreciate each other and ourselves.
Put in place a purposely planned self-care program. The more time you make to receive and demonstrate self-love, the easier it is to take a few minutes a week to support and appreciate fellow teachers. This need not be made visible in social media as an effort to appear more yogic. It has to be done quietly without any expectations or motivation for receiving credit. Reach out to a fellow teacher through a thank you email to show them that you see their effort. Use professional language when commenting on social media sites. Make your outreach meaningful and spiritual. ABOVE ALL, take each other’s classes.
Showing up on the mat is one of the easiest ways to show your appreciation for fellow teachers. Let’s make this a yogic (r)evolution of sharing, collaboration, education, professionalism, and appreciation promoted by us as an entire tribe. Let’s not leave anyone out, because as teachers there is an implied belonging to the same tribe. Yoga is, as we know, all-inclusive.
Love yourself, love your day, love your life!