World traveller Adi shares her tips and advice on how to make it as a travelling yoga teacher
Many of us have found solace through our own personal yoga practice. We cannot imagine early mornings without meditating, chanting and practicing our asanas. Yoga has helped us reevaluate how we nourish ourselves, effortlessly transitioning into a more conscious diet and eco-friendly lifestyle. It has enabled us to control the thoughts that we have in our minds to create our own reality. We have not only seen the physical benefits it brings, but also continue to revel in the spiritual awareness it has brought us. It has saved our lives.
Our passion makes us want to share yoga with the world. We believe that every soul will benefit from this ancient practice. With a tiny tinge of wanderlust in our veins, we leave our comfortable lives and fly off into the great unknown. Afterall, who hasn’t dreamt of teaching in various destinations around the world? From cosmopolitan cities to ultra luxe ski resorts to idyllic tropical destinations, does the glamour of travelling as a yoga teacher live up to the reality?
What’s it really like to be a travelling yoga teacher?
You will learn to live off a suitcase
After a few months of traveling, you may even learn how to fit your entire life in a 32-litre backpack. In my case, I travel with a 28-litre backpack and I always feel like I can live with less. You have no room for anything else other than the essentials: some yoga gear, a pair of bikinis, travel sized toiletries, a book or journal and of course, your precious travel yoga mat. You will stop the mindless habit of buying unnecessary things. There’s not much space for buying souvenirs from every country you visit, so you’ll settle with cheap little trinkets to remember places that have been memorable to your spiritual growth.
You will stop obsessing about the salary
It’s no surprise that yoga will pay less than your old corporate position, but the job satisfaction is incomparable. Once you start life on the road, you will accept whatever salary or donations come your way and learn to live with it. There is no turning back, and you wont want to anyway. I once had a job offer from a popular travel company in Melbourne, Australia to work as a travel writer. The hourly pay was equivalent to a day’s work in Indonesia. I chose to receive $20 per day teaching yoga, instead of $20 per hour working behind a desk. I was too focused on strengthening my yoga teaching skills at that time and I have never regretted my decision.
You wont think of it as a job
Bringing your students into a deep state of Savasana might just be one of the most rewarding parts of the job. When you see firsthand the physical, mental and spiritual benefits that yoga brings to your students, you’ll start feeling quite invaluable. Finally, you’re getting paid to do something that actually helps people and make them feel good about themselves! Whenever I tell people I teach yoga, they usually want to try it out for themselves and ask me for a class. But even though they are willing to pay, I always tell them to just buy me a meal instead. I find that energy exchange is so much more rewarding than monetary gain.
It will expand your world
You teach one, maybe two classes a day, then you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want! The whole world is your playground. You will have so much time to pursue your other passions, learn the local language or explore that whole new world around you. Maybe finally get certified in Thai massage, sign up for a Mandala workshop or a raw vegan cooking course. You will meet and attract the most interesting people too! You are only limited by your energy and imagination.
You will get creative
Being in a constant fulfilled state of bliss, combined with lots of time in our hands definitely brings out our creative juices. You might find yourself writing, drawing, taking photographs or expressing yourself like you never have before. You feel so much more open and receptive to the vibrations around you. Tune into these energies and just let yourself go with the flow. You’ll be surprised at what you can create, even out of limited resources.
There will be a lot of distractions
Because your students love you, you will get invited to every lunch date, dinner party or weekend road trip. Your itinerary might be filled from morning ‘till night time. If you’d rather stay at home and catch up on some reading, do exactly that. Learn to conserve your precious energy. Don’t feel pressured to say yes to everything. Keep yourself healthy and make sure you don’t lose time for personal practice!
So are you ready to take your yoga mat on the road? Here are some tips to get you started:
Write a yoga resume – Mention your educational background briefly but focus on your yoga credentials and what kind of yoga you prefer to teach. Include relevant skills such as Reiki, massage, bodywork or acupuncture for instance. List down workshops and retreats that you have participated in or helped organize. Add at least three personal references that will reply immediately if they are contacted.
Create a yoga blog – Our yoga journey is such an interesting process. Sharing our story with others will leave people wanting to get to know us more as a person. Add some links to teachers, books or documentaries that have changed your perspective. Post your schedule so people know where to find you. Go crazy with photos of yourself striking poses around the world.
Show off that Sirsasana!
Give out calling cards – It might be old school, but it works! Listing down your social media outlets will make it easier for others to contact you or get updates on your schedule. Create a simple calling card that shows your personality. You never know when it’ll come in handy.
Get yourself out there
Let people know that you want to travel the world teaching yoga! Register with YogaTrade, Yoga Travel Jobs or Workaway to find opportunities around the world. Volunteering work usually requires one month commitment, while paid yoga jobs require six months to a year contract.
And most importantly…
Expand your network – Find your tribe and keep each other up to date as to where you are and where you plan to travel. Yoga teachers always help other yoga teachers find new opportunities. There are countless opportunities around the world, plus so many styles and variations of yoga nowadays. We do not have to compete with each other as there is room for everyone to succeed.
So take your pick and hopefully see you on the road!
Bio: Adi is a yoga teacher, travel blogger and artist. Her viral blog “Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels” has been translated into 33 different languages and counting. She is currently exploring Latin America, currently exploring the edges of Costa Rica. Read her blog on Love the Search.