Expand Your Teaching

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Read Annie Carpenter's response:

Dear HKD,

Cultivating a local community of students is like making sourdough bread: It takes a long time and gets better and better as the starter—or class—ages. It's deeply satisfying, over the years, to watch students grow in their own practices and to feel the community expand and support itself. As teachers, our own consistency and passion are reflected in the depth of our homegrown "yoga tribe."

Traveling as a teacher has different demands and rewards. While it's exciting to take one's ideas and experiences to a wider audience, it is a bit more like making a quick bread: sweet and fun, but not lasting. If you can revisit several communities, you'll begin to cultivate the feeling of a yoga tribe in these other venues. Design a workshop that creates a feeling of connection and belonging—many of the students may be traveling to it as well.

Two specific things come to mind if you decide you truly want to take your teachings on the road. One, build your network: Use any social network sites that are available and comfortable to you to advertise your local workshops and reach out to include new students who aren't local. For example, when there are new students in your classes or workshops, ask them if they would like to be on your email list. Getting to know students in different regions will make it easier for you to take your teachings on the road.

Second, connect with other teachers: If there is a master teacher who knows and respects you, let him or her know that you'd like to try teaching at other studios. Ask the teacher if there's a studio or two that would be a good fit for you, and if he or she would be comfortable recommending you as a workshop presenter.

Finally, remember that traveling is hard on us! Most of us have a tried and true routine to our lives, which supports us in our practice and renews us so that we can give and share our love of yoga. When you travel, make sure you give yourself enough time and space for your own practice, which may need to include more grounding and restorative poses and perhaps more meditation, to counter the effects of travel.