When your passion becomes your career, people follow with sentiments of encouragement, happiness and admiration for having the courage to leave the ‘corporate’ world behind to make a living doing what you love. The famous quote that fills our Facebook timeline that reads “Do what you love and love what you do” is inspiring and leans to feelings of longing when one is unhappy within the chosen working field. Like anything that you dream of having or living, it requires participation and hard work and being a Yoga teacher is no different at all.
In fact, making a living as a Yoga teacher is far more challenging than many believe and opposite to thinking it is merely a life of leisure prancing on a Yoga mat teaching others to do the same for physical well-being. If anything, following your dream job requires far more hard work than just showing up and doing the work for a guaranteed salary at the end of the month. Not every teacher can afford to have their own studio, or is willing to compromise integrity by teaching mindless Yoga moves to the masses, so making it on your own proves to be much more challenging.
It requires enduring perseverance, regular reminders of faith in your abilities and the process, strength, patience and constant reminders to be ever so grateful for the people who believe in what you do, why you do it and support you on the path. I’ve been teaching for almost 11 years and more so than not, I received non enthusiastic responses to my statement that I teach Yoga for a living. It fitted, (and still does for many people), a hippie like, not–to-be-taken-seriously–career category. Teaching Yoga is so much more than showing how to do poses and to feel good on the outside.
- mental stamina and focus to teach the right class for the people present
- to be mentally aware of and prepared for the physical and mental conditions that your students have and to teach accordingly
- to be emotionally available and compassionate to your students because you are facilitating healing and therapy on the mental and emotional level just as much as the physical, and
- To be physically able to teach even when you, yourself, aren’t feeling that strong.
- Teaching Yoga requires mental, emotional, intellectual and physical ability all at the same time either to one or to many individuals at a time.
The reward for seeing how the gifts of Yoga help people on every level is beyond measure and to be able to facilitate this process is magical. This reward is one of the reasons I keep going on this teaching path because, in all honesty, it has been very difficult to make a living on my own and, together with the support, loyalty and genuine friendship of my followers and students, I am given further reason to continue. Yoga truly does show you who is authentic and who speaks their truth, and it opens your heart to the real meaning of gratitude.
I have been gifted with incredible friends and clients whose kindness and support of my work go beyond words. The fact that these special beings form part of my work is a massive blessing in my life and their presence on this Yoga journey they choose to share with me impacts my life invaluably.
I’ve come close to giving up this career to go back to full time employment to secure that guaranteed income at month end, the 13th cheque and paid leave, (which becomes non-existent as a self-employed Yoga teacher), in order to have financial freedom, but then the Universe throws me a message that this is what I am meant to be doing. I’ve told myself and know in my heart, that the day teaching Yoga is no longer my first passion, that will be the day I will stop teaching, I will return to being only a practitioner and I will find other work to do. So may the passion continue to burn in my heart for many asanas to come!
For now, I write this to outline the journey of my Yoga career and to express my deepest gratitude to the people whose lives have been impacted by my teaching because without you, you would not have blessed my life with your energy and the precious gifts you have imparted to me.
Namaste – The divine light in me truly honours the divine light in you!