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Facts About Successful Yoga Teachers (Part 4)

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
In the last part of this series, let's pick up where we left off about success as a Yoga teacher. With regard to attracting, and keeping your Yoga students, it is not easy to do both. Many Yoga teachers focus on bringing new students in the front door, without considering the more important needs of their "established students."

Do you have survey forms for your Yoga students? You should - and also give them a reward for their participation. They are helping you learn what they want, and this is something you cannot afford to speculate on. This is one of the many ways your Yoga students become your teachers.

Once you sit at the front of the class, and begin to teach Yoga classes, you can no longer visualize a class as a student. This is why I like to visit classes that are taught by my staff. This gives me a unique viewpoint, and I can better understand what a student may require from his or her Yoga instructor.

However, this is not enough; and many of us need some true feedback to clarify what is needed within the Yoga studio or ashram. You are not really a client or a student anymore, so it is difficult to visualize their point of view.

In turn, tell your students the truth about everything. Tell them about the realistic expectations of Yoga practice. Let your students know what is expected of them. Yoga students should know that they have to practice regularly. Yoga is more than a once a week commitment. How could any of us expect to make significant progress by attending a Yoga class once per week?

Keep your classes interesting. If you get a stale feeling, and feel like you are in a rut, then your students probably feel the same way.

Lastly, when you travel around town, and someone asks what you do, what do you say? If your answer is, "I'm a Yoga teacher," it may mean nothing to a person who knows very little about Yoga.

Do you teach meditation, stress management, work with kids, work with seniors, help people with ailments, teach a very physical style, or something else? What makes your method of teaching Yoga different from the rest? You are better off explaining the benefits of your particular style, than to label it "Vinyasa Yoga," for example.

If you say you are a Vinyasa Yoga teacher, you may have just said two words that a prospective student does not understand. They might ask you, "What is Vinyasa Yoga?" Also, they might just sit there nodding like they understand you, and walk away without asking, for fear that they will seem unintelligent.

Tell people what you do in descriptive terms, and make sure they understand the particular benefits of the Yoga you teach.

© Copyright 2006 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard is director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He's a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches that along with fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students who want to be a teacher.
http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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