I am of the belief that teaching yoga is a calling, something that most of us who have chosen to do it felt drawn to, knowing it is not a traditional career path. I am also of the belief that you do not need to make teaching a full-time job in order to excel at it, in other words, many brilliant teachers keep their day jobs. However, if you have made the choice to earn 50% or more of your yearly income through your teaching work, there are some things it can be helpful to know. Things that can support you in streamlining your efforts in regards to the business aspect of your teaching work, while also helping you to navigate decisions as to who, and what, and even where you should teach, based on a clear understanding of who you are as a teacher.
I do not claim to have all the answers in this regard, but I have been working as an independent teacher for over fifteen years now and I have learned some things along the way. This course is where I will share with you everything I have learned and will introduce you to some fabulous people who can help you to move forward with your own teaching aims.
I am a woman who wears many hats. I identify as student, seeker, and storyteller, mother, mentor and magic maker. I have been teaching yoga and meditation since 2002 and love to support others on the path of self discovery through practices of personal ritual. My lifelong curiosity with nature's rhythms has led me to my studies in Ayurveda, Western herbalism, and various earth based wisdom traditions. I also bring a love of myth and story to my work as I have found symbolism to be a powerful teacher. This dance of seasonal reverence, yogic sadhana, mythic story, and kitchen medicine lie at the heart of all that I share.
How Is This Course Delivered?
Each week a new lesson will be published on Wednesdays. You can move through the lesson at a time that is convenient to you. The lessons are a mix of audio presentations, supportive handouts and worksheets and some short video tutorials.
There are weekly Live Q&A sessions in our private Facebook forum, if you can't make them live you have the opportunity to send in your Q's and watch the replay. I am very active with support and coaching all the way through the program.
What Will We Cover In This Course?
Each week will have a different focus related to the business aspects of teaching yoga and many of the lessons will include a guest speaker or expert on that topic, as well as bonus material. Below you can find a short list of the weekly break down.
- Week 1 Defining Success: identifying your ideal students and teaching scenarios, doing an honest financial assessment, clarifying your aim, and creating your personal definition of success
- Week 2 Setting Our Foundations: business basics, insurance, identifying essential forms & policies every teacher should have, web presence, social media, bookkeeping & business structures etc
- Week 3 Crafting Our Vision: identifying your creative goals, honoring your unique gifts as a teacher, how to step up to what you are being called to do, naming your demons and working with doubt, making shit happen/manifesting your creative vision
- Week 4 Teaching Workshops & Retreats: designing amazing workshops, contracts & collaborations, marketing strategies, review and student feedback, pros and cons of local vs international retreats, straight talk about challenges and risks associated with retreats, resources, and tools for getting started
- Week 5 Self Care For Yoga Teachers: what it means to hold space for others, the value of creating clear boundaries, how to manage your energy wisely, establishing your non- negotiable self care practices and more
- Week 6 Teacher Training: comparing various teacher training models, getting started as a teacher trainer, questions to ask yourself before starting a teacher training, tools and resources for teacher trainers
- Week 7 Creating Online Content: comparing various models for teaching online, identifying whether or not online work is right for you, simple resources and tools for getting started
- Week 8 Wrap Up & Action Steps: outlining your goals for the next year, creating concrete action steps, identifying additional resources or support you may need, moving forward
Other topics that we will discuss through various means will be – navigating ethical decisions, student-teacher relationships, competition & collaboration, self-care, personal practice and its value for yoga teachers, acknowledging our limitations, how to create and support community, and more!
While I will share a lot of information with you in this course, I want it to also be a space in which we can come together as peers and have frank discussions about the real-life joys, challenges, and responsibilities of being a yoga teacher.
"Natalie's online course for the Professional Yoga Teacher was worth every penny. It far exceeded my expectations in what was offered and what I learned. The interviews with others in the industry (or in roles that support yoga teachers) were so invaluable. I have renewed energy for my career and am excited to take my teaching to another level as a result. I seriously can't recommend this course enough."
"Natalie's Professional Yoga Teacher Course has been incredibly inspiring to take part in. The lessons provide a clear and thoughtful path to growing a strong yoga business from the ground up. Her clear, concise, teachings are complemented by excellent interviews and how-to videos where we can learn from experts on a wide range of topics, and inquiry questions for journal reflections, so that we can work through the thoughts and ideas that may be blocking us, or clarify visions that feel a bit scattered. The live chats and community forum feel so positive and supportive. It is so wonderful to be able to share with and learn from others who are walking a similar path. As a relatively new yoga teacher, I feel I have material to work with for years to come. The value of this class was way beyond what I imagined, and Natalie is a true joy to learn from!"
"I recently had the privilege to participate in Natalie's online Professional Yoga Teacher course. Although I was originally unsure if an online format in the are of business and professional development was appropriate for my very visual and kinetic learning styles, I was quickly convinced and I became naturally very engaged in the content and in the delivery of this course. The weekly modules were diverse, interesting and very intelligently put together. Furthermore, Natalie's guest speaker topics were very insightful! I am grateful for the clarity this course has provided me with both at a personal and business level."
Dede Monette Founder of Tofino Yoga
"This course is designed for everyone who wants to truly evaluate their current perspective on being a full or part-time yoga teacher, managing or owning a yoga studio or simply creating and starting something new they have never dared to do before. Natalie's experience and knowledge of running her own yoga business are beyond impressive and the greatest thing of all - she shares it all with YOU! All the do's and don'ts all the tips and tricks...everything is played out in front of you...and now it is your time to put YOUR puzzle together and realign with the values of what you want to create for your future, a future of being a yoga teacher and staying a student at all times."
Daria, Founder of DTouch Yoga
"I am thrilled with the clarity and insight I feel around my teaching practice after completing this course. I feel more confident and authentic connecting what I want to share with what I value the most, and even better, I have a structure for how I’d like to offer my teaching to my students. Natalie’s guidance is, as always, so inviting and encouraging, that I was able to reset and continue the movement towards my goals whenever life seemed to have other plans. I feel more ease in my work/life balance and excited for the future. This course is a substantial offering with excellent value, and I highly recommend it for any teacher at any stage in their career looking to find a clear path ahead."
Andrea Ting-Letts | Brand Your Bliss & Infinite Bliss Yoga
For professional yoga teachers, “finding your voice” means defining who you are and what makes your offerings distinctive. More importantly, “finding your voice” means understanding WHY you have chosen the teaching path. I am passionate about empowering my fellow yoga teachers to understand your WHY so that you can find your authentic voice, and create a personal “brand” that looks, feels, and sounds undeniably YOU.
I draw from my 20+ years experience as a customer service trainer, sales & marketing specialist, branding & communications consultant, business development manager, yoga & fitness instructor, and serial entrepreneur. I live, work, learn, create, nourish, flourish, connect, and play in Victoria, BC.
Rachel Scott | The Art of Education
In her fifteen years of experience, she has managed studios, mentored teachers, created training programs, coached faculty to excellence, and personally led over twenty 200-hour teacher trainings. As the Director of Teachers College for YYoga for eight years, she has created a suite of teacher training offerings, including their keystone 200-hour. As a consultant, she harnesses her knowledge of educational design and structure to help inspired yogis share their voice through their educational offerings.
You’re the expert, she’s the nerd, and together you create educational awesomeness. BA Columbia University, MSci Instructional Systems and Learning Technology, E-RYT 500.
Mands Burnette | Burnette + Co.
Mands has been helping small business owners how to successfully grow their businesses for a decade. Teaching entrepreneurs how to build and develop their business is her jam! She has a background in business + formal education design. Mands is an expert in eCommerce, Social Media Marketing, systems + automations and Customer Experience.
Mands is packed full of knowledge + ready to give you all the tips, tricks + actionable steps that you could ever want to grow your business. She’s a firm believer that you can have everything that you’ve ever wanted in business (and life), you just need to know the steps to apply to get there. Growing your business doesn’t have to be hard, as long as you are focused on the right things, taking actionable steps and have the right systems in place.
Cory Sterling | Conscious Counsel & Yoga Law
Cory is a corporate lawyer whose practice has it’s home base in Vancouver BC, but whose outreach is international. His unique approach to serving and educating clients is unprecedented in the legal world. He speaks to us about some of the most important topics every yoga teacher needs to consider such as sole proprietorship vs incorporation, contractor vs employee and the value of waivers and insurance. Cory is masterful at education and loves to support people in understanding the law so that it can work for them and support them in creating a business that is alignment with their values.
Nicole Marcia | Fine Balance Yoga
Nicole Marcia will be a guest speaker on the topic of holding space and true self care for professional yoga teachers. She has taught therapeutic yoga classes and offered individual sessions to trauma survivors struggling with trauma and addiction since 2004. She also trains yoga teachers and clinicians in the trauma-sensitive yoga theory and techniques required to support trauma survivors in their healing, long-term stability and recovery. In 2009, Nicole was awarded a master’s degree with a specialization in yoga therapy from Lesley University in Boston, MA. She serves as the director of training at Yoga Outreach, is a faculty member at Ajna Yoga and the Vancouver School of Yoga and a curriculum developer and instructor the Langara College Continuing Studies.
Jacky Challenger | Coastal Bliss Yoga
Jacky is a yoga teacher and studio owner, who also has experience as studio manager and bookkeeper. She is going to share with us her experience and knowledge on all of these topics, with a focus on the importance of setting up a proper bookkeeping system and knowing your financial situation. This is an area where many yoga teachers and even studio owners feel challenged and Jacky will help us to get clear on what our actions steps need to be to move towards greater financial clarity.
Rebecca Marshall | Haven Yoga & Wellness
Rebecca is an inspired yoga teacher, the founder of Haven Yoga & Wellness, and a passionate heart-centered businesswoman. She holds an MBA with dual undergrads- BS in both Marketing and Organizational Communication (focused on Interpersonal Relationships within a business based environment) and will be our case study in Lesson 1, sharing her story of the building and running of a business built on a deep understanding of the importance of core values.
Urszula Lipsztajn | Urszula.co
Urszula Lipsztajn is an international life coach, guide, speaker and author at urszula.co. With over 10,000 hours of people development, she now runs an impact business specializing in self-actualization. She integrates mindfulness, yoga, and positive psychology as pathways for personal development and whole life fulfillment. Urszula has worked with hundreds of leaders and entrepreneurs from every sector, and for awesome brands like lululemon, Arc’teryx, Yoga Outreach, and Semperiva Yoga. In my interview with Urszula we focus on the topic of creativity and fear- and it’s awesome!