We’ve reached the end of my blog tour of the contents of my book, “Stretched, Build Your Yoga Business, Grow Your Teaching Techniques.” Today, I’ve posted for you the picture of my bookmark. This is one of the fun things about writing a book; some of the creative collateral that you can make to go along with it. A good friend of mine did the bookmark and my boyfriend took the cover and back cover photos. I’ve found that you really need, especially as a self published author, to lean on friends and family to help you in the creation of the book. I reviewed a virtual proof of the book cover this morning and it looks great. Once I get the hard copy proof and confirm the cover looks fine in print, it will be ready to go. My projection is it will be ready next week.
This book is for yoga teachers who work independently, don’t own a studio, but work full time or wish to work full time as a teacher. It’s for teachers who have completed their 200 Hour training or could be a great way for someone to get an idea of what it’s like to teach yoga before they invest all the time and money involved in the training. I wrote it to focus both on the business and teaching side of yoga because I have found that they each have their own set of unique challenges. I have also found that it’s harder to get business information about teaching as the trainings are focused so much on the teaching side of things. Along with that, the challenge for teachers is in making enough money and figuring out how to do that. I wanted to write a book that outlines a process for determining how you will make enough money for you, how to set your rates, how to find business opportunities, how to build the infrastructure of your business and how to make that switch to teaching full time from whatever job you hold now.. should you wish to do that. I also wanted to share information about using social media, marketing yourself, building your network and all the specialty pieces of yoga that I’ve gone into; things like working with private clients, teaching people with injuries and medical conditions, learning anatomy and applying it to teaching, teaching children and corporate classes.
On the teaching side, I wanted to focus more on the second phase of teaching.. that which begins from the moment you graduate from your initial training and begin teaching. This is when the task of “pulling it all together” arrives and you begin to apply all of what you know thus far to the practice of teaching. It’s also when lots of things come up that you didn’t anticipate and when you’re asked to manage many different situations that could be happening all at once! The teaching chapters of the book were designed to go “beyond basic training” into topics that include a more comprehensive application of teaching knowledge. Topics include things like themes for classes, applying fundamental principles of yoga to your teaching, managing challenges in the classroom, assisting and using key language in teaching. These are the tools of someone who has learned the basics and now is moving into the next phase, which interestedly enough, goes on for many years.
I have been teaching since 2002 and worked for myself, without the financial support of another job or source of income, for almost four years now. I can say that it is very hard to make things work financially as a full time teacher. In my experience, which only recently included taking on a part time job at Athleta to make a little extra money each week, I’ve found that there are many variables that can affect your income flow. There has been much written of late as to the challenges of teaching yoga full time, mainly from a business point of view, and while I won’t go into that conversation in depth here, I will say that it is very true that working as a teacher can be hard from a financial perspective if it is your ONLY source of income. By the same token, with sacrifice and much planning and hard work, it can be done. For some teachers, they have been able to create a multifaceted schedule that involves enough opportunities so that money is not a problem. For some teachers, it is harder to find this broad base of opportunities. Everyone’s experience will be different.
The other aspect of working as a teacher that I have found illuminating is that it takes a LONG TIME to build a reputation and a solid business. This is by no means a quick thing and unless you’re lucky enough to land that big client or that well known private student- maybe a rock star or movie star- and through that, get big exposure and validation, for most of us, it will be the daily work of showing up and doing your best. I can truly say that working with integrity in ALL that you do: your work with students, your interactions with teachers and studio owners/teachers, your correspondence with others, your punctuality, your attention to detail, your willingness to go the extra mile… all of that goes a long way when it comes to your reputation. If you stay in your own lane, true to yourself and keep these quality steps in mind, you will build a solid business and an authentic teaching career. I almost hate to say “career,” because teaching is really first a labor of love and a “career” second, but if you do it full time, it IS a career and thus, should have a business side to it as well.
I can’t wait to share this book with you and hear your feedback and thoughts.
Next UP: How you can buy “Stretched: Build Your Yoga Business, Grow Your Teaching Techniques.”