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Passionate about Yoga? Here are some excellent ideas for becoming a good yoga teacher and tips on how to run your yoga classes at home as a successful business.
In today’s connected world, a good home business is just a thought away. For some, starting a home business becomes the need of the hour whilst for others it is a means of connecting with the outside world. Besides the financial benefits, for many stay at home mothers, it serves as a respite from the monotony of housework too.
Women today are getting very creative with their ideas for making money – from home based software development to more traditional options such as candle making, cooking classes, custom made gifts, and home tuitions just to name a few. Another such terrific idea for a home business is to become a yoga teacher. All you need is a strong interest in Yoga, the conviction to further educate yourself and enrich your expertise.
Read on to learn more about becoming a yoga teacher, setting up yoga classes at home and some been-there-done-that tips from people who have taken up yoga teaching as a source of income.
To start as a yoga teacher, a yoga certification course is the first and the most important factor (assuming you have a basic Yoga knowledge in place). It’s almost mandatory if you are keen to take this up as a serious income source. You must learn yoga much more thoroughly and be able to comprehend it fully. Find a mentor to direct and coach you. It is also wise to invest in some good yoga books and DVD’s.
But then, you need to jump in to coaching soon because the more you keep waiting to “know”, the more you will be afraid to get into the real world. Find out ways each time to put your learning into practice.
Practice, practice and practice some more even as you start teaching – because the more familiarity and awareness you possess, the better chance you’ll have to build a successful home business.
To begin your yoga classes at home, select a space that is spacious yet quiet. Clear up all the clutter from the space intended, to limit distractions. It’s advisable not to install studio-like large mirrors as it will lead the students more towards introspection and disturb their concentration.
Initially, avoid getting too artistic with the walls and stick to plain white ones as they give a peaceful feel. Remove carpets if any as soft carpets may not provide enough stability for certain yogasanas.
Set up adjustable lighting so that you can change the light depending on the time of the day you conduct classes or turn it low when you are meditating or relaxing.
When it comes to the necessary equipment, a standard yoga mat is the only essential piece. You can keep a few mats in stock and ask regular students to invest in their own Yoga mats too. However, depending on the clientele you may want to add some foam blocks, straps, bolsters, pillows or blankets to facilitate difficult asanas.
If you plan to use Yoga videos for instructions or want to play soothing music to create a calm ambience for meditation, you can set up a computer, T.V or a music system; however this is entirely optional. With your space all set, it’s time to look for students.
Familiarize yourself with the local fitness communities. Spread the word in your apartment association. Pin up the details of your classes on the society notice board. Print simple flyers that offer a first class for free. Distribute them at every possible place you go and leave some in places such as local coffee shops, pharmacies and supermarkets.
Offer a T-shirt or a water bottle as an incentive to people for joining your classes if budget permits. Always take advantage of free advertising opportunities such as your apartment, your child’s school or any others that allow you to put up a flyer.
Get in touch with the local newspaper if there is one for your neighbourhood – if possible contribute a piece on the topic highlighting your strengths and expertise.
Generate some buzz among your friends and ask them to spread the word. Needless to say, the best advertisement for a yoga teacher is his or her own health and appearance. A potential trainer needs to be physically fit.
Teaching yoga is one thing but making a living as a yoga teacher is quite different. This depends whether you want to pursue full time yoga classes at home or just want a little extra money for a rainy day, on a part time basis.
There is always a direct proportion between the expertise and the amount of money you can command in any business. If you have prior experience as a yoga teacher and have done a few yoga certification courses, then you have better chances of earning good money.
Some people who are in the real world of yoga share their views on what it is like to take up yoga teaching and its changing trends.
Poornima Ramakrishnan, a 38 year old stay at home mom says, “I took to yoga with a wish to stay in shape but eventually ended up being a certified yoga trainer thanks to my teacher”. She relates how she never had any plans of taking this up as a source of income until her husband lost his job all of a sudden. “I started teaching part time at Nature Cure Ayurvedic hospital and slowly got to coach a few kids at their homes. Having training has taken me a long way as now I get chances to conduct workshops in software companies as a part of stress free workplace campaigns and I am lucky enough to have staged a demonstration of yoga protocol at GachiBowli stadium on international yoga day last year,” says Poornima who offers classes in Hyderabad.
Yoga is increasingly being treated as an exercise rather than a spiritual practice. Some teachers like Abhishek Shukla lament this, saying, “Yoga calls for long practice. People these days are treating yoga as an exercise class, skipping focus on breathing and relaxation and ignoring the fact that this discipline is a way of life. It’s unfortunate that we want crash courses for everything.” He is a Yoga teacher at Yoga Vidya Niketan at Vashi, Mumbai who has been practicing Yoga for the last ten years. As Abhishek says, learning Yoga takes time and so does becoming a popular Yoga teacher.
People today tend to push themselves too hard to master a yoga posture. One word of advice for such people from Arun Pandala, a Gurgaon based Yoga teacher who has been practising for the last 20 years, “There is no competitive spirit in Yoga. The key is to practice Yoga according to your body condition, your body type, your age and your present physical and mental condition”. He is one of the senior most Yoga acharyas at the Sivananda Yoga Centre, Gurgaon.
So if you want to make it big as a Yoga teacher, don’t compromise on your training, build on your strengths and consistently work to get better at serving your students. Teach, Learn and Teach!
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