Congrats, you’ve finished your yoga teacher training program and are beginning your career as a yoga teacher! This is an exciting time of learning, growing and sharing your expertise with your students. But to continue advancing on the path of yoga, it’s important to find a teacher or mentor who will help you along the way.
All yoga teachers benefit from having teachers themselves. This is not only important for inspiration and yoga class ideas; it’s also essential for your continuing yoga education. While yoga teachers gain a lot of knowledge from their teacher training programs, there’s always more to learn.
With this in mind, you might be asking…
How do I find yoga teachers as a yoga teacher?
I have some thoughts. As a yoga professional with decades of experience writing and leading yoga teacher training programs around the world—including my own online yoga teacher training programs and continuing education courses—I’ve learned a few things about seeking yoga mentorship. Read on for tips on how to find the right yoga teachers for you.
Tips for Finding Yoga Teachers and Mentorship as a Yoga Teacher
- Find Someone Further Along in Their Yoga Journey. The first step is to choose a teacher who is farther along the path of yoga than you are. Maybe this person is a yoga teacher with more experience teaching classes or someone who has taken additional teacher training programs or continuing education courses.
Your potential teacher may simply have spent more time diving into the yoga cannon of books (think The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Light on Yoga or The Hatha Yoga Pradipika) and practicing the wisdom within those texts. Whoever you choose to learn from as a yoga teacher should be more advanced in their yoga practice, understanding, experience and expertise.
- Take Yoga Classes with a Diverse Range of Teachers. While your yoga teacher should be further along on the path of yoga, it’s also inspiring and educational to take classes from different teachers and in different traditions of yoga. As you’ve probably learned by now, not all hatha yoga looks the same. Not all vinyasa classes are taught the same way.
It’s important to see how various people are teaching and practicing yoga, as it will help to inform your classes and approach to teaching. When we take classes from yoga teachers with a wide range of backgrounds, body types, ability levels, yoga educations, etc., we learn how to offer yoga classes that meet everyone where they’re at right now. This is valuable information.
The Importance of Finding a Yoga Teacher That’s Farther Along the Path
Although it may seem like there’s plenty to learn from your peers (especially those with different yoga backgrounds and experiences), yoga teachers need to find teachers who can help them advance. This means that your yoga teacher must know more than you.
As I mentioned previously, there is immense value in exploring various yoga classes and seeing what’s out there, but if the purpose of yoga is to find and live in our bliss, we need instruction, tools and practices that will help us get there. These are the types of things someone farther on the path of yoga can teach you but your peers cannot. Your yoga teacher needs to be able to tell you how to take your yoga beyond the mat.
You’ve Found Your Yoga Teacher, Now What?
Once you find a yoga teacher who fits the description of being farther along in their yoga practice than you are, it’s time to begin learning from them. As this yoga teacher shares their experience and expertise with you, you’ll begin to advance in your own yoga practice. This is an exciting time, particularly as you begin to see results from the new skills and education you’ve brought to your yoga practice.
Keep in mind, however, that your yoga teacher now may not be your yoga teacher forever. The traditional idea of a guru or teacher was that a student would find theirs and stick with that person for life. As modern yoga practitioners, however, this is unlikely to be the case.
Today, there are more yoga teachers with an increasing amount of knowledge than ever before. Once we’ve learned enough from our yoga teacher to become a peer rather than a student, it’s important to find a new yoga teacher that can teach you new things.
Want to learn more about finding a yoga teacher as a yoga teacher? Check out my YouTube video on the topic here.