5 Tips for New Yoga Teachers


As a new yoga teacher, it can feel overwhelming as you begin to teach your own classes. You could be experiencing a variety of emotions across the spectrum as you enter into this new chapter of your life. Teaching yoga, and teaching in general, could be brand new for you. New things tend to push us outside of our comfort zone and with that could come a level of discomfort, learning, and growth. What follows though could be a fulfilling career sharing a practice you love. Here are some tips as you navigate through the beginning stages of being a yoga teacher.

1. Keep tending to your own practice

This is the first tip because it is so important. Your learning does not stop after teacher training. As humans we are meant to continue to evolve, which means that our level of growth and therefore our teachings should evolve and deepen as we do the same. Yoga is meant to guide us through the layers of our being to realize the true self. If we do not continue through the study, practice, and application of yoga (all 8 limbs) our teachings will become monotonous. Furthermore, our well of inspiration will most likely dry up. Tending to your own practice both with teachers, coaches, mentors, peers, and on your own will keep the learning, growing, and giving going.

2. Take the sub opportunities

A woman in a purple top and purple leggings subbing a yoga class with students sitting around her taking notes

Do not shy away from sub opportunities. Most new teachers start by subbing classes. This is helpful for you as the teacher to practice what you learned in your 200 Hour YTT and to connect with the studio’s clientele. It is also beneficial for the owners/managers of the studio to see if you are a good fit for the community as a teacher, and it is an opportunity for the clients of the studio to begin to get to know you (you will need people to attend your class once you are a regular teacher on the schedule). While subbing a class can bring up a plethora of emotions, it generally cannot be avoided. It is helpful and actually necessary for all parties involved.

3. Continue to practice your teaching skills

A male yoga teacher continuing to practice his yoga skills by instructing a student to get into tree pose

Just because you have finished your teacher training does not mean that you should stop teaching to your family, friends, co-workers and anyone who you have the ability to teach! Teaching is a skill like any other, and when you stop practicing the skill can become forgotten. I recommend trying to find sub opportunities right away once you finish your training if you are intending to teach. For a variety of reasons, that may not happen so you must continue to practice. Even if you are actively subbing classes, it may not be frequent or consistent so continuing to practice your teaching skills is a must.

4. Remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes


Mel Rodriguez, yoga teacher, falling out of a yoga pose in the woods to show it's okay to make mistakes

You’re not perfect and that is OKAY. You might forget part of your sequence, you might mess up the rights and lefts, your music may stop in the middle of class, or you may not say a cue as clearly as you wished. Remind yourself that it is all part of the process. Every single person makes mistakes in all fields. I can assure you that most yoga teachers have done all of the above, even with experience. Mistakes are how we learn and in fact, how we get better.

5. Accept that you are a beginner

Mel Rodriguez, yoga teacher, in Warrior II pose in the woods

It could be easy to wish that you were years down the line having gotten over the nerves of being a new teacher with a flourishing clientele and career. But wishing you were somewhere else other than where you are now is a waste of time. You can envision it and accept that you are a beginner. Why not choose to be grounded in where you are right now? Stepping into this and owning this will help you teach from an authentic place at any point in your teaching career. You might as well start now.


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