Becoming a certified yoga teacher may make you realize that you’ve barely scraped the surface in the vast expanse of the yoga tradition (asana, and sutras, and pranayama, oh my!), and now you’re expected to get up in front of a group of people and teach them how to yoga? If you’re like most newly ordained teachers, this expectation can make you either freeze with overwhelm or feel like an imposter who doesn’t deserve to teach anyone.
A lot can be said for being humble, and it is important to recognize when you don’t know something about yoga. However, it is untrue that you have nothing to offer. You did the work for 200 hours; you do know something. Every teacher has something to offer, and while you’re trying to find your yoga-teaching voice, stick with what you know. If you stick with what you know, and speak to things you’ve personally experienced, you’ll come across as knowledgeable. Because you are. Not everyone has had the same experiences as you have, and when you are authentic, it shows. People will be drawn to you for what you know. Never doubt that your “best” students will find you when you teach what you know and love. It’s all about sharing and connecting.
Now, when it comes to the nuts and bolts of teaching, it will take experience before everything feels natural. The way you use your voice, the pacing of your class, the sequencing, watching how the students receive your instructions and modifying on the fly, all these skills come with practice. If you want to improve upon these skills more quickly find a mentor who’s willing to review and discuss your classes before you teach them. Better yet, have your mentor attend your classes and give you feedback. While this method can be intimidating at first, it’s invaluable in becoming your best-teaching self. Good luck!