Fear After Teacher Training
Teaching When You Don’t Feel Ready
Whether your teacher training was a month of intensive learning, or a longer period of consolidation, I’m willing to bet it’s pretty common for most new yoga teachers to still feel some nerves before (during and after) you teach your very first class. Amongst my fellow teacher trainees and the wider yoga community I have heard many a newly graduated yoga teachers speak about not feeling ready to teach for reasons that stretch far and wide. If this is you, I’ll bet that you can bust through these ‘reasons’ and make an absolutely wonderful yoga teacher. Here’s why, and a few little pieces of advice of how to bust through your fear from my personal experience of going from teacher training to seven regular yoga classes each week (and then some extra with covers).
I’d like to start with feeling nervous. Nervousness is fantastic because it tells me that you respect and care about what you have learnt and the practice that’s integral in your life. I would actually be a little concerned if you exuded over-the-top confidence without any second thought about the importance of what you’re doing. Nerves = good.
If you’re concerned or intimidated by the images that you see of other yoga teachers in books, magazines and on social media, then let’s nip that one in the bud right here. I don’t know about you, but one of the most poignant things that I have learned from my teachers and my own yoga practice is that yoga isn’t about what it looks like. To sum it up nicely with a quote from BKS Iyengar: “The study of asana is not about mastering posture. It’s about using posture to understand and transform yourself.”. Yoga is the practice of a lifetime so if you’re waiting to find asana alignment perfection before you teach, then you’ll be waiting a long time and so many students will miss out on the gifts that only you have to give. There is magic in learning and growing alongside your students.
There are just two of a plethora of reasons that might be holding you back on starting your teaching journey - I’m not going to tell you what’s challenging you, but rather encourage you to journey inwards. After all, all the answers we seek can be found within - a favourite piece of wisdom I love to share with my students. What is it that you are truly fearful of? Just as yoga asks us to observe without judgement, I’m asking you to sit with your most fearful thoughts surrounding teaching yoga. Write them down, write a stream of consciousness, allow your thoughts to flow freely from mind to pen to page. Read it over, and check back in with yourself. How can you practice self-compassion so you can enrich the lives of others? Go and do that.
So how do you actually overcome the fear? Remember what’s important. Start small. Explore and re-discover what carried you towards teacher training in the first place. Ask yourself why you love yoga, and how you think every single human on this planet can benefit from the practice. Then take a moment, sit with your breath, allow yourself to ground, and step forward and teach the class. It’s not going to be perfect, it will take time, refinement and growth and even then there will be plenty left to learn. Take your first step.
Kaycee is a yoga teacher and wellness mentor based in Sydney, AUS. She carries 20+ years of deep connection to movement and the human body from her history in elite gymnastics, physiotherapy and exercise science, and professional dancing and singing. She loves to guide individuals through deep exploration of their life and yoga practices both one-on-one and in a group setting. You can connect further with Kaycee on her website www.kayceepaget.com, on Facebook Kaycee Paget | Yoga & Wellness, or instagram @kaycee.wellness