I never really wanted to be a yoga teacher. I did my 200 hour Ashtanga Vinyassa training as a three week intensive during my summer holidays really just so that I could deepen my practice and do something a bit different with the six week break.  It was never my intention to make it a career move. So when my teacher asked me to take over a class a couple of months after I’d qualified, it took me a while to give him an answer.  And when I finally said yes, I had a good few weeks of wondering just what I was letting myself in for!

The first time I actually taught was utterly terrifying. I’d planned the class in great detail, knew my script off by heart and had lots of guinea pigs who’d kindly let me practice on them but I don’t think anything really prepares you for the first time you step out in front of a group of students. It’s just one of those things you’ve got to do. Take a deep breath and crack on. So I did. And it was ace. I absolutely loved it and, though it didn’t in any way go the way I’d rehearsed, it felt like a good class.  Even though it all went well and I got some lovely feedback from students I was just as scared the following week. If I’m honest, I still have that little bit of nervous energy before a class and I’m glad of it, I think it shows you care.

For a long time after my first class I felt as though I was kind of playing at being a yoga teacher. I still had my full time job, I was only teaching one class a week and I hadn’t yet managed to develop a consistent ashtanga practice (something I always felt was vital for my teaching but difficult to establish whilst working two jobs!). It actually took me four years to get to the stage where I felt that everything was in place to make the move from playing to professional. It’s been a gradual transition (slowly reducing my hours at work and picking up extra classes once I feel I have made space for them) and I’m really glad of that as it’s meant I’ve enjoyed every part of the journey and taken it at my own pace.

So what’s it like being a yoga teacher now? Exhilarating, energising, exciting, challenging, creative and brilliantly chaotic. I absolutely love it! But it can also sometimes be exhausting (really unsociable hours, when do you do your own practice??!!), a little scary at times (it’s a huge responsibility to have people in your care) and it doesn’t necessarily pay all the bills!

If you’re thinking of joining us on our TTC next January (and why wouldn’t you? I mean, have you seen the course? Totally awesome!), my advice would be take your time. That way you get to enjoy every step of the journey and once you arrive at your destination (whatever that might be) you’ll feel truly ready to embrace your new role. Oh, and invest in a good alarm clock. First thing (like 5 a.m.), that’s when you practice!