A new year will bring with it lots of people committing to a resolution of trying yoga/coming back to yoga/commiting to yoga. This New York Times article is a great beginner guide. Not too flaky and vague but not too overwhelming and intense either. The perfect balance. A good read for any one new to yoga and looking for clear information to set you on the path.
I read ‘May I Be Happy’ in paper format when it was first published and it makes for a great, down to earth read about yoga. The author describes her journey of self acceptance and ultimately happiness. If you’re not a sit down and read a book type then this is a great listen. Now available – if you go the amazon audible route you can sign up for a month for free!
I love Deva Premal & Miten’s music. Most of my class playlists have one or two of their beautiful tracks. I encourage you to do some research if you haven’t heard their music yet. Good news for those of us in the US or Canada as Deva Premal & Miten will be on tour in May 2019. Take a look at their tour schedule for dates and venues.
If you haven’t listened to any of J Brown’s Yoga Talks yet then I can recommend a listen in. He talks to some very interesting yoga people and in this particular podcast he speaks to Annie Carpenter of Smartflow Yoga. Their discussion about 200hour teacher trainings is particularly interesting for anyone considering taking a training or for graduates of 200hour trainings and teacher trainers.
How about a little treat for your new year’s practice? Manduka has a sale on a number of their yoga mats. As a Yogi who loves a bargain but who doesn’t love spending hard earned teaching earnings on expensive yoga products, there are some great deals here!
Yoga teachers are often expected to know the answers. But part of being the teacher is maintaining humility and knowing that you are also the student who doesn’t have all the answers. It is important for yoga teachers to keep learning.
As yogis we are always learning. Whether we’re tentatively stepping on to a yoga mat for the first time or practicing with five decades of varied and constant practice under our yoga belts, we are always learning.
As yogis we are always learning
I began teaching in the early 2000’s having been a student for more than a decade. During that time yoga had been growing year on year and attracting new yogis in droves. I studied and attended Anusara teacher trainings and began teaching regular vinyasa flow classes at a couple of great studios. But then, something shifted. Not the yoga or the students or the studio but me – the so called ‘teacher’.
As my life had evolved I found myself at a point where I had stopped studying and my personal practice had slowed. My teaching was relying on well used sequences and themes and student numbers became more and more unpredictable.
the practice that I loved had stalled simply because I had stopped being a student.
When I recognized this the penny dropped! My ability to continue teaching the practice that I loved had stalled simply because I had stopped being a student. Yoga is an ongoing practice which is why it is so important that yoga teachers keep learning.
I currently practice with a wonderful Iyengar teacher who, after class, will always say, “I hope you’ve learned something” and invariably I have. Whether it be more understanding of the sit bones lifting or an aspect of yoga philosophy, I can always agree that I have learnt something. And this is one of the keys to being a great yoga teacher – ongoing study. As only by having an open mind and a student’s approach to teaching can you fulfill the role of teacher.
5 Great Ways to Keep Learning
Experience learning once more.
Attend classes or join meditation groups with other teachers. Enjoy the benefits, once more, of practicing and studying in a situation where you are not responsible for leading the class. Be open minded to all of the possibilities and take from the teacher and experience what speaks to you.
Be the student
Start at the beginning and get back to basics. Can you afford to pause on teaching or reduce your schedule to complete or repeat a teacher training from your own school or from another school of yoga? Perhaps you could expand you training into another area of yoga that interests you such as restorative or prenatal. Or maybe focusing on meditation or yoga therapy could provide the inspiration you crave.
Start at the beginning and get back to basics
If time and finances are in short supply which, of course, for most of us they are, explore workshops and shorter, intensive trainings, either in a studio setting or online, to help with your learning and fire up your enthusiasm.
Be a Reader.
Take time to read, and I mean really read, those textbooks that you’ve invested in over the years. Go back to some of the yoga classics for asana and philosophy or explore the sutras or meditation in more detail. Take a couple of hours to actually read those yoga magazines piled on the coffee table. We’ve all subscribed to them over time but do we really get round to ever reading them?
If you’re not a paper person take time to listen to podcasts, watch videos and read posts on the many well respected yoga blogs and websites available.
Introduce creativity into your life. Take a look at other practices such as mindfulness, ayurveda or massage therapy. Take inspiration from other complimentary activities and see how these new experiences influence your approach to yoga and teaching. Embrace new creative experiences and feel the benefit of learning from new activities.
Take inspiration from other complimentary activities
Explore other creative pursuits in whatever form they might appeal whether it be journaling, jewelry making, baking or knitting. Getting the creative juices flowing helps to encourage new ideas and learning.
Self study (svadhyaya)
Take a moment, from time to time, to study yourself….honestly! Answer simple questions with honest answers to decide whether you are still working in harmony with your expectations and hopes of a yoga career. Does teaching still bring you the fulfillment you’d hoped for? Ask yourself the question ‘are you following the right path or is it time for change?
Wherever your study takes you the most important thing is to continue your yoga practice with a sense of wonder and a beginners mind. You’ll never know what you might discover.
Please know that I am an affiliate and may make a small commission, at not extra cost to you, on any purchases you may make via this blog post 🙂
A yoga teacher’s teaching schedule can be a hectic one, particularly if you teach at several locations. Logging hours & earnings and maintaining a timely invoicing system is critical for your teaching and business success.
Keep track of your time & money
I have taught in both part time and full time capacities and found that even with a couple of weekly classes it has been critical to keep up with my timekeeping and invoicing. I created this yoga teacher timesheet template to efficiently keep track of those critical teaching hours and earnings.
Using this dedicated timesheet is simple and manageable. It is an easy way to keep track of your monthly hours and earnings. Below is a detailed example of how to use the timesheet (please note, the locations, dates & numbers used here are for demonstration purposes only!)
Use a dedicatedtimesheet
Date & Notes: At the head of the timesheet is clear place to note down the date for quick filing and a space for noting down those scribbled reminders.
Location Key: Create your own personal location key for easy reference to the many locations and venues you teach at during the course of a month.
Log your teaching hours & student numbers
Hours teaching: Accurately track the hours you are actually spending teaching in class. Class durations vary at different locations and understanding how your time is being used helps give a clearer idea of your hourly rate.
Class style & type: Note the class styles you are teaching and whether they are regular classes or substituted.
Student numbers: Keep a detailed log of student head count for those yoga locations where payment is based on student attendance. This also gives you insight to understand how your regular classes are growing.
Invoicing & cashflow: Summarise earnings per month for each location and create an easy to refer to record of monthly invoices and values. Similarly, you can use the timesheet to keep up to date with payments as they are received and your overall cashflow.
Monthly summaries: Completing your monthly timesheet summary will create a useful log of your teaching hours and earnings. Simplify your end of year taxes by totaling up your teaching earnings every month.
This yoga teacher timesheet is available in two versions at my etsy store, yogaskinnystudio. One is specifically designed for part time yoga teachers teaching a couple of times a week. Another longer version is for full time yoga teachers with a bigger teaching schedule.
The start of a New Year often brings with it new intentions and decisions for change. What better than some life inspiring books to help you as you embark upon your 2019 journey. Here are 5 inspiring books well worth a peek.
Well, who hasn’t heard of Elizabeth Gilbert? Launched to success with her classic ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ (I bet you’ve read it. If you haven’t, then get to it) Big Magic is her uplifting exploration of the role of creativity in life and why we should just go for it.
Creativity is within each and every one of us. We just need to face and overcome our fears and embrace the creativity that is buried within each one of us (regardless of whether we feel we are creative )
Whether you are making art, writing books, crafting dreams or living each day with more creativity, inspiration is there for the taking. We just need to be curious and willing to embrace our hidden creativity.
‘forget about perfect. We don’t have time for perfect’
In a world caught up in the perfect Instagram photo, Big Magic explores all of the possibilities that are open to us. There is no better time to start your creative journey than right now. It is time to quit waiting for everything to be just right. As Elizabeth says in the book, ‘forget about perfect. We don’t have time for perfect’
Arianna Huffington wrote Thrive following a personal experience when her own health scare forced her to put her life in balance.
Thrive came about following her collapse brought on by exhaustion and the subsequent questions she began to ask herself. She was successful and wealthy but her health was paying the price.
Her conclusion was that money and power alone as evidence of success are out of balance with life. Life needs a third facet, or ‘third leg to the stool’. That ‘third leg’ she describes as well being and the need to reconnect with ourselves and those around us. When this balance is in place we then have the opportunity to truly thrive.
Donna is a globally recognized yoga teacher and author, well respected and loved in the yoga community. Bringing Yoga to Life is a must have for anyone interested in the practice of yoga in all its forms – not just the physical. If you’re looking to study and understand yogic philosophy in daily life, this is an inspiring read.
a yoga practice is a life practice and not just a physical workout at the gym
In the book she discusses the teachings of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali’s classic yoga text. She describes how a yoga practice is a life practice and not just a physical workout at the gym. With several decades of teaching experience, she shares her wisdom and spiritual practice.
This is a book well worthy of shelf space for any yoga student or yoga teacher wishing to understand yoga philosophy in as much depth and detail as physical yoga poses.
Cyndi Lee is another well respected teacher of the yoga world who incorporates the teachings of Buddhism into her practice. May I Be Happy is Cyndi’s personal memoir exploring her lifelong cycle of self judgement and her journey to self acceptance.
As with any journey, it is the experiences and people she spends time with that shape her way. It is a memoir well worth reading for its honesty and humor.
This is one of the most dipped into books I’ve ever owned. My copy has more notes, highlights and underlining scribbles than a kids coloring book.
If you want to explore ‘living your yoga’, then this one’s a keeper. It is a very useful and easy to understand read that discusses the concept of ‘living’ your yoga. The book is broken up into three parts discussing yoga within yourself, yoga & relationships and yoga in the world.
Judith writes about everything from discipline and faith to compassion and suffering through to service and love. She discusses topics with lots of reference to Patanjali’s wisdom. This is a perfect addition to any yoga teacher’s box of learning tools as well as for those interested in the spiritual life.
Invest some time and pennies in some inspiring books for your 2019. Which book will you choose?
Please know that I am an affiliate for Etsy & Amazon. This means that I may take a small commission, without any cost to you 🙂 from any purchases you make directly from the blog posts on yogaskinny.
The holidays are a sneaking up on us already and its time to get going with those gift lists but what do you give that yoga loving loved one in your life? How about a little inspiration with these handmade gifts for yoga lovers.
Here are a few ideas from Etsy, the ultimate handmade gift resource, for beautifully crafted gifts that would compliment any yogi’s practice.