A Day in the Life of a Yoga Teacher

Have you ever dreamed of leaving your job behind and becoming a full-time yoga teacher? While this is a noble calling for those who feel drawn to it, there are many common misperceptions about the yoga life. It is still a job, and there will be daily duties and tasks that do not necessarily match your dreams. Exactly what a day looks like depends on where you teach, whether you own a studio, and how far along you are on your personal yoga journey. However, the general breakdown tends to be similar for most full-time teachers. Here is an idea of what to expect.

Daybreak

One of the most important things that any yoga teacher or serious practitioner can do is to live your practice authentically each day. As a full-time teacher, the majority of your time will be spent in service to others. Many yoga teachers find that the early morning hours are the best time to focus on deepening their own practice. Breath exercises followed by a heart pumping routine can be an excellent way to start your morning. Some people like to spend time near the water or in the woods, while others prefer to stay closer to home. Be sure to leave time for a healthy, fulfilling breakfast before you begin your teaching day.

Morning Classes

Morning yoga classes often start very early, especially if the majority of your students work 9 to 5 jobs. The type of classes you teach depends heavily on your personal style, the studio you work for, and your students’ needs and desires. You might even find yourself juggling multiple morning classes, each with a different emphasis. Yoga teachers need to be well-prepared, confident and comfortable moving seamlessly from one style to the next.

Lunchtime

Some yoga teachers take a long, relaxing lunch to decompress and get ready for the rest of the day. Others find that lunchtime classes are extremely popular. Some even conduct corporate classes during this time, traveling to a major downtown office building. However you spend the middle of the day, clear enough time to eat a nutritious lunch and center yourself.

Afternoon Business

Some teachers spend the entire day on classes, but most have office duties to attend to during normal working hours. If you own your own studio, you are responsible for either handling or delegating everything from payroll and accounting to marketing. If you work for someone else, you might be assigned a share of the business duties. If you are independent, providing services at many different studios, there is the constant hustle to find new opportunities and get your name out. Many yoga teachers find that dedicating the early afternoon hours to email, phone calls and other desk work, and then running errands, helps to break up the day and retain balance and serenity.

Evening Classes

Yoga students who are not naturally early risers often prefer evening classes. Depending on your students, you might find that some of them have difficulty transitioning into practice after a challenging day. Some teachers like to offer outreach classes to the general public in the evening, which are open to those of any skill level. Others prefer to help students burn off steam with high energy power yoga. Exactly what you teach depends on your personal interests, your studio, and the needs of your students.

Winding Down and Lights Out

After the last class of the evening, it is common for teachers to be both hungry and tired. Plan ahead for dinner rather than trying to choose healthy options when you are already exhausted. Then find a way to intentionally wind down. Many teachers struggle with shutting down mentally and physically after a busy day. The evening hours are an excellent time to connect with the more relaxing aspects of your practice such as meditation and gentle stretching poses. A warm bath and soft music can also help you wind down.

Of course not everyone is the same, and what works for one teacher might not work for another. If you are not a morning person, don’t try to force a high energy wake up routine. You do not have to get out of bed at the crack of dawn to be a good yoga teacher. Some people do their best office work late at night rather than in the afternoon. Some prefer to get up late and teach their first class at noon. Be authentic to yourself, your practice, and your students’ needs, and everything else will fall into place.

 

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Jutima Chombhubutr is the co-founder and VP of Centered Yoga, a yoga teacher training center on Koh Samui island, Thailand. She is also certified yoga teacher & mother of two residing in Atlanta, GA. Learn more at www.centeredyoga.com.

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