Creating Class Opportunities
So you've completed your teacher training and you're ready to share the practice with students...but where are they all hiding?
The reality is there is no shortage of yoga teachers, especially in a city like London and so it can feel a little overwhelming to figure out how to stand out from the crowd. There are a ton of different ways to market yourself (more on this at a later date) but it can all take a lot of time.
So how do you get your foot in the door in the short term?
It sounds corny but USE YOUR CONTACTS... here are some ideas of what I mean:
- Did/do you work in an office that could use some workplace yoga? Connect with HR, or a team member and let them know what you have to offer.
- Do you have some teachers that you look up to that you already have a relationship with? Perhaps they are looking for assistants in their classes and events. Usually this is on a voluntary basis but it is a great opportunity for developing your experience with bodies and working a studio full of yogis. Plus, if you start to get to know the place, you might come to mind when the teacher is looking for future cover.
- Most studios have specific cover lists where you might need to do a trial to be included but there are teachers who run their own classes that might need cover from time to time. Connect with other teachers in your community - we are all working together, its not a competition and their support is invaluable.
- Set up your own classes! It sounds scary but it is a great way to get yourself out there. My first classes were ones I set up myself. I hired the event room at a club for £40 an hour on a Monday night (you can find somewhere cheaper, look around!). It was smelly, the floor was sticky and it was really dark but it was the most fun way to get people doing yoga. I drew on support from my friends by asking them to come to the first one, but they loved it and kept coming back. I charged less than a studio and some weeks I made a loss when numbers were low but other weeks I made a really great hourly rate so it evened up over time to a really great earner as well as the best way to create a community around the practice. It also meant loads of guys came along because they weren't put off by the female dominant environment of a yoga studio and there was a really great, non-judgmental vibe. Those classes really did so much to make me as a yoga teacher and I couldn't recommend it more. I've actually started something similar on Friday mornings 7.45-8.45am at Bonds.Hackney. Come along to see what it is all about! And if you don't have a whole load of spare mats, one option I recommend is investing in a few, then offering them at an additional fee of about £1-2 to people that book in advance and encouraging people to bring their own. Less mats for you to lug about and a much lower financial investment!
- Reach out to people for 1-2-1s. Its a totally different way of teaching and a great way to develop your understanding of what different people want and need from their yoga practice. Look to friends, friends of friends, parents' friends, ex-colleagues etc. And check out all my tips for working with private clients here.
Remember not to underestimate the value of experience. Some times you might accept to teach for a lower fee/on a complimentary basis if there is something to learn from it. BUT don't let that leave you being taken advantage of. There are more and more people turning to yoga every day so don't feel as if you are being lost in this space. There is a teacher for everyone and a student for every teacher. Some people will love you and some people might not connect with your style. Keep looking, keep exploring and get yourself out there. Spend time chatting to people at studios, be part of the community and most importantly be yourself. An authentic teacher stands out, so trust in yourself and know that it will all happen in good time!