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When the Time is Right

I have been practicing yoga for more than four years. I am just making the steps to become a teacher and will be qualified in three years' time, but I am confused by the many opinions about "waiting" longer than that to begin teaching. While I respect the advice, teaching is in my soul and blood, and I feel that I don't want to wait anymore. Any advice would be great.
— Clare


Read Ana Forrest's response:

Dear Clare,

I am not sure what you are referring to when you say "waiting." Waiting for what? I'll assume you feel you have to wait until you've completed your teacher training before you lead a class. If you are currently in a teacher training program, a significant part of that program should be teaching you how to teach. Experience can come from many different places—not only a formal class. If you take regular classes at a studio, it can be educational to observe and take notes while another teacher is handling a class. Assisting another teacher during a class is also a good opportunity to have hands-on experience in a class without holding the energy and responsibility for the entire class as the teacher. It's also a good idea to take classes with other teachers and in other styles of yoga to learn about the differences in language, technique, and instruction.

While it is important to understand many things in and about yoga—such as anatomy, class sequencing, working with injuries, the asanas, and, importantly, the breath—a consistent personal practice, taking private lessons or classes from qualified teachers, and your own study will provide you with a good foundation. If yoga is in your blood and you are passionate about teaching, continue with your program, become certified, and teach!

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Reader Comments


I recommend using a neti pot to clean and warm your nasal passages. You're not supposed to use it if one nasal passage is blocked, but you may find that using it one the open side unblocks the other.


I want to do Pranayama every day. I feel the best time, to do, for me, is in the morning.

But every morning, one of my nostril is always clogged and is hard to breathe thru blocakage. By 0800 hrs both work fine and I am leaving for work.

I canít slate the required 3-4 hrs break from food, any other time than morning.



Clare, like harmony who commented above, I too felt as if I was not "worthy" to teach when I first had the desire to do so about 7 years ago. I had done several teacher trainings, but due to my maily life as mom of three young kids, could never get away for more than a week or two a year, so I just "chipped away" at my first 200 hours for 5 years or so. Still, during that time, I marketed myself to teach at a local college, and my first teacher began to have me sub classes occassionally at her studio. (While subbing is a hard way to start teaching, because most students are devoted to their teachers, it's also a good way to get a chance to teach or a foot in the door with a studio, especially if you are a regular student there or have done a teacher training through the studio.) After five years of teaching, I am much more comfortable and confident teaching, and have found my own voice in my classes. Like practicing itself, teaching well just takes time - and practice. Make sure you have a daily practice, that you continue to study, not just asana, but all facets of the yogic practice, read as much as you can online, in yoga periodicals and literature, and study as often as you can with a teacher who inspires you. You will find your own voice and your confidence in teaching. If you are present, hold the space for your students, and speak from your own place of stillness, you will become a good teacher.

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