Yoga With Leo

3 Myths Yoga Teachers Must Stop Believing

Yoga TeachingLeo CheungComment

The yoga community is huge, millions of people are practicing yoga today. And although it's widespread across the world, there are common threads of beliefs that float around from circle to circle. I've bounced around with ears open to observe what people are sharing, and then I bring it back to myself to see how that sits with me. These "myths" are my own perspectives based on my experience of interacting with the yoga community and I welcome your comments as my mind always requires daily stretching.

Myth # 1: Yoga Teacher's don't make good money

Sure, I'm not rolling on the floor in 100 dollar bills, (I'd rather keep it in the bank anyways), but I can still afford a green smoothie from time to time. I'll agree, there's a lot of yoga teachers who are running around from studio to studio and teaching as many classes as they can to pay the rent (I've been there, and to an extent still doing it). But if I continue to do this, then yes, as a yoga teacher I'm not going to make "good" money. But the myth just isn't fully true because there are yoga teachers who do make good money.

You don't have to sell your soul or wear clothes you don't wanna wear, you just have to provide value. The more you give, the more you get. What job out there makes good money, but doesn't require hard work, that doesn't require your full attention and an all-encompassing heart. 

There are many teachers doing this for a "living" and so let go of the belief that yoga teacher's don't make good money. Holding on to this myth was a great excuse for me to not put myself out there. As many poses there are invented in the past decade, there are the same number of opportunities that you can create. Just don't let this myth hold you back from trying. Invest your heart, your money (energy) and your time into your work and you will be rewarded. 

Myth # 2: I can't find Teaching GIgs, it's too saturated

5 years ago if you asked someone in a major North American city if they have done yoga before and they said no, you would be shocked. That's the same now, but with being a yoga teacher. EVERYONE is a yoga teacher, and that's great! A family member wants to do yoga - awesome, pull out a mat and teach them Trikonasana in the living room. There are always opportunities to teach, because there are always people wanting to learn! 

"But I want to make money teaching yoga!" OK, refer to myth #1, you can quit your day job, you just need to eat, breath, sleep yoga. It's not a 9-5 job, but it's still 8 hours a day, half of it on the computer or out networking at the studios/cafes. There are many yoga teachers certified to teach, but there aren't many that are seriously committed to teaching yoga as a full-time job.

So the real question that needs to be asked when you're a yoga teacher with the consideration of looking for opportunities is, do I want to teach yoga for fun or as a living? The difference is one is a hobbyist and the other is a self-employed entrepreneur. The great thing is both are exciting!

MYTH # 3: YOGA IS ABOUT COMMUNITY, NOT COMPETITION

In the highest ideals of yoga and humanity, we strive for community. And, in our modern manifestation of practicing yoga postures in an economic environment where money is exchanged, there is competition. There is competition between studios, between styles of yoga, between yoga teachers, between instagram superstars, and... honestly, it's kinda fun! It's a game that's fun to play, and I'm not here to crush anyone or take anything away. I'm interested in creating competitive advantage - "offering consumers greater value by providing greater benefits and service."

We're in the service industry, so I'm constantly asking myself - how can I provide a more valuable experience to the consumer (students)? And as part of the yoga community, I'm big on sharing my "competitive advantage," because if it helps you provide better service, then we are in collaboration in achieving a similar goal - helping others live a better life.

Am I in competition with you for the class at peak times? Yes, of course I'd like to have a busy class. But if you're teaching it and the students love you and keep coming back because they benefit from your offering, then I want to come to your class and learn from you!