That is the question that came up in my course work. What kind of yoga teacher do I want to be. My answer is really simple. I want to be a teacher who gives students their power back to heal themselves, to become confident in themselves and to use their knowledge as a foundation for when life get’s a little crazy because we all know that it does.
I worked up the courage to step out of my comfort zone to ask to observe classes, I have opened a new Instagram account even though I loath having to use those outlets to gain traction ONLY because it makes everything feel like a competition and I feel like that pulls me away from my goal.
I know Yogi’s come from all walks of life and different cultures so I respect that but it is a little off putting when a yogi gives off disgruntle vibes that make you want to run the other way. I can’t say for sure if this teacher was just having a bad day but I do know from taking her class before even coming to the point of needing observations to fulfill the requirement for my credential, that THAT teacher is what I don’t want to be. She acknowledged new students in the class and I don’t know if it was half hazard or just a poor choice of words, but to make the new students feel better about their abilities, she cut the whole class down by saying, “don’t worry if you don’t get it right, no one here ever does”. I was really shocked by that.
Nevertheless, I ended up asking if I could observe her class and I decided that she is everything I don’t want to be and it is no wonder some people turn sharply away from Yoga if THAT is what they get. A boot camp style, military drill. Now I am all about boot camp style training when necessary but I can’t see a place for it in Yoga. It’s hostile and belittling.
On the other hand, another teacher was the exact opposite and I do want to model myself after her teaching style. Her class was full, receptive and even clapped and thanked her at the end. It was inspiring.
Now what is my problem? My mind is stuck between, do I want to work at one of the only two studios in town, do I want to open my own studio (if I could even grow enough of membership to keep it open), do I want to go the social media route and let advertising pay so that I can offer up free lessons KNOWING that not everyone can afford to attend the high price of studio fees, don’t feel comfortable in front of other people for their own personal reason, or just prefer to acquire insight to use in their own classes or practices? I think I hit a new record for length of a run on sentence.
I have always wanted to do everyone out of service. I have never felt comfortable taking people’s money for things they should be able to have access to for free and truth be told, I would be so happy to just teach because that is how much it has given me. I have always had trouble with self promotion because it’s just weird to intentionally sell myself to gain interest. I don’t feel like an “imposter” as I have heard this term come up many times already since deciding to take classes and I feel like the marketing aspects really are the bane of ability to forge ahead.
I will get there but HOW I get this is the problem. I think my husband would be upset a little if I put my money towards school and decided that I didn’t want to take people’s money. For him, it’s not about the money per say but that he believes that I am worth the money and the effort I put in. From the required reading book, the authors says that to not charge a fee is like selling other teacher’s short because they need it to make a living. So when yoga teachers offer their services for free, it makes it harder for them to ask for their fees to pay their bills.
I grasp the concept and don’t want to undercut others so what should I do? Hop on board the ‘sell your body’ wagon to get the money to make classes free and accessible to fulfilling my desire to offer it as a service and still bringing in some money to give back to my own family? Do I ask for donations? Do I ask or such a nominal fee that it seems desperate? How does the saying go “you get what you pay for”. At least that is the perception of it.
Should I try to work at studios where I have to fit my life into commercial interests and be at someone else’s command and authority instead of my own and my students but have a paycheck? Sigh… I don’t know. Marketing has never been my thing.
Maybe I should go old school and just make some business cards, make videos on a YouTube channel and do private lessons or group private lessons? So much to think about and it’s only 5:30 am. I am overwhelmed with some of the assignments I need to do and I am kicking myself in the ass over a conversation I had yesterday that really was weird KNOWING I need to let it go because it is taking up way to much space in my head.
What things do you like to see, what would be ideal for you? Let me know in the comments if you want. I really don’t know.