Since I was a kid I always knew I wanted to teach, but I didn’t know it was going to be yoga
Learning to be a yoga teacher was much more informal back in the day. Teaching often came about through the mentoring relationships where your teacher asked you to start teaching. This is the way I became a teacher. My teacher asked me to take over his intro to Ashtanga classes. I was studying to get my Master’s Degree in International Relations, but jumped at the opportunity to teach yoga…
I’ve practiced and taught yoga all over the world for nearly 20 years.
The most satisfying component of these travels are teaching training programs, which help new yoga teachers thrive in the modern world of yoga.
But, unfortunately, most new teachers aren’t prepared for the realities of making a living as a yoga teacher.
You see, people often become yoga teachers because:
- They love practicing yoga
- They imagine having a job travelling the world and living decadently in Bali with endless coconuts
Teaching yoga seems like it will be a stress free job travelling the world—a no brainer!
This is an illusion which many yoga teachers come to realise soon after they’ve started teaching.
Sure you may eventually travel the world, but the hardest part of being a yoga teacher is this: being a yoga teacher changes your relationship to your own yoga practice. The bottom line is that your yoga practice won’t feel like yours and yours alone any more.
Ironically, many teachers decrease the amount that they’re practicing because yoga starts to feel like work—not a sanctuary. I focus on helping teachers stay connected to their practice
One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is helping teachers stay connected to their practice. Without an ongoing connection to their practice, yoga teachers will burn out more quickly and lose their passion for yoga.
I also make it a point in my trainings to teach students how to pace themselves in their career.
New teachers aren’t prepared for the amount of work that goes into becoming commercially viable. In fact, they’re often caught by surprise the volume of work and stress that come with the job.
The idea that you’re going to live a life of leisure and wealth is a strange misconception that sometimes exists in the yoga community. Take young lawyers for example, if they’re looking to make partner in a firm, they know they’ve got at least 9-10 difficult years ahead of them to make it work. But in the yoga community, sometimes people don’t acknowledge the long road of challenging work.
Since it’s essential to stay connected to your practice, I use myself as an example and tell my students why how I have managed to maintain a home practice for so long. I do this, basically, by indulging myself with the posters that I love.
The simple, basic and clean practice which makes me feel at home in my body.
You don’t have to be a superhero, you don’t have to be everything to everyone.
All you have to be is honest, present and to do your best knowing that as a teacher you’re enough.
Written by: Jason Crandell
Named “one of the teachers shaping the future of yoga,” by Yoga Journal, Jason has been an in-demand teacher at conferences around the world for more than a decade. Considered a “teacher’s teacher,” Jason has taught on countless teacher training faculties, leads trainings globally, and regularly presents teacher training content at esteemed conferences
Jason is featured in the photo wearing our Dharma Pants