About teaching and learning Yoga in Bali
My favorite position ever landed was at a small retreat center on the south coast of Bali. Bali has truly magical energy, and especially for yoga instructors and yogis alike, I recommend journeying to Bali to either teach or participate in a teacher training. For whatever reason - Bali attracts a specific type of person. The kind of person who is ready to delve deeper into their yoga and spiritual practice. The sort of person who would prefer to connect with others through dance, cacao, and eating organic foods, rather than drinking at a bar. Not to forget the beautiful nature and variety of open air shalas that invite you to do your practice. If you don't know where you want to go next - definitely put Bali at the top of your list!H2:
If this sounds like something you’d like to experience and if you're curious to know how to go about teaching internationally, here are a few of my best tips for you:
Move into Fear
The very first and most important thing for you to do is move into fear. I know this might sound contradictory to some of you. But really, the only thing that might be holding you back from leaving where you currently are and entering new territory is because you're too comfortable. I see this in new yoga teachers all the time -- they finish their 200hr teacher training, and it takes them years to finally start teaching.
The first thing I always tell new teachers is to begin teaching ASAP -- like, yesterday. Yes, it is terrifying to get in front of a room -- I mean, after all, teaching yoga is basically public speaking, but even more difficult because you're instructing them how to move their bodies. You need to be acutely aware of your language, cues, body language, tone of voice, and presence simultaneously. It's not easy being a teacher. It is easier to stay the same. It's more convenient to stay comfortable. But we yogis did not choose the easy route, did we? We are here to grow -- to evolve -- to be uncomfortable. Whether it's from trying out an inversion that intimidates us, or asking for a pay raise at our job, or traveling alone to a new country -- that's what makes us yogis unique. We are interested in evolving ourselves! So do yourself a favor and do the very thing that scares you.
How to search for international jobs
So, now you've decided to move out of your comfort zone. Congratulations! The next step in teaching yoga abroad is obvious, finding the job. Luckily, there are loads of online resources to help you do just this.
My personal favorite is YogaTrade.com. This is an incredible platform that connects yoga instructors with hotels, studios, and establishments all over the world who are looking for yoga instructors. It's a great and easy to use platform, with new listings every day. Using YogaTrade, I've found teaching jobs in amazing places. Such as in a boutique hotel on the quiet east coast of Bali, a treehouse community in the rainforest jungle of Costa Rica, a surf hostel in the best surf town in Sri Lanka, and at a permaculture farm in the South Pacific of Costa Rica.
There are so many opportunities here, and you will feel (joyfully) overwhelmed with all of the fantastic places you could potentially teach at. The deal is usually 'trade' work, so you get free accommodation and food in exchange for a class a day. But the deal is different with every organization, and it just depends on what you negotiate with the person hiring you. There are also many paid opportunities listed.
Another great way to find jobs is through different Facebook groups. There is a great group called 'Yoga Jobs Around The World', with lots of information and job listings daily.
Market yourself and build a personal brand
Now you've applied for the job -- but how do you land the said job, especially if you're a new teacher without experience? Well, you can start by learning how to market yourself and start establishing yourself as an authority within the yoga space. One way you can do this is by promoting your knowledge and expertise in yoga.
Whether by putting yourself out there on Instagram, through inspirational yoga photos and wisdom or by starting a blog. Trust me, I know what you're thinking -- "oh great, just another yoga girl on Instagram -- real original! (eye roll)" I used to feel the same way. For years I taught yoga and didn't share that side of me on my social media. But guess what? As soon as I broke through that resistance and started sharing this spiritual side of myself -- people began to reach out with gratitude.
I realized it was selfish to keep it all to myself -- and to promote myself in this way is benefiting others. After all, us yoga teachers know how much the practice can shape and change our own lives -- so why not inspire others to do the same?
Not to mention, when applying for jobs, many places ask for your website or social media to get an idea of who you are. If you're trying to market yourself as a yoga teacher, it is probably best to have some related content showcasing your yoga wisdom. You can start small by promoting yourself on your social media. Maybe work your way up to building your own personal blog or even get published on other top-tier, relevant publications such as Yoga Journal, Elephant Journal, or other yoga-related publications to establish yourself and build credibility.
I have a 1:1 coaching course where I walk people through the process of getting published on top-tier publications as well as several retreats , so reach out if you have any interest!
Own your title as a Yoga Teacher
Teaching yoga isn't something you 'do'. It's something you 'are'. Even if you're not currently teaching yoga, I recommend claiming your title as a yoga teacher and tell everyone you know. This will put the energy out into the world that you are a yoga teacher, and what you start to powerfully claim as true, the universe will respond and give you back that exact thing. Plus, letting people know you're a yoga teacher will get the word out there - you never know when your name could be passed or mentioned as a qualified yoga teacher, and the perfect teaching opportunity could present itself to you just from word of mouth. When people ask you what you do, tell them, 'I'm a yoga teacher" -- WITHOUT any hesitation. As you become confident in claiming this as a part of who you are, the universe will respond vibrationally by also seeing this as a part of who you are, and this is when you'll start to attract relevant opportunities into your life.
Promoting your classes
Now let's say you've landed the said job. Congratulations! But -- how do you capitalize even more on the opportunity, not just monetarily, but experientially? Well, you want as many people in your classes as possible, so you can start building a following, a presence, and have more bodies in your classroom to serve! How do we get more people? Again -- excellent marketing skills. Wherever your new yoga job is, go explore the town. Invite people at the local coffee shop or the local fruit market. Create events on Facebook, and search through your location on Instagram to find people in the area, and reach out to them personally. Create posters or fliers, and hang them around town. You're in a new location and have the wonderful opportunity of not knowing a soul, so it's essential to put yourself out there.
Just do it!
Lastly, my encouragement is to get yourself out there and do it. Even if you don't land a job yet, oftentimes you can show up to your desired place and search for yoga jobs in person. (It really works!). Yoga is rapidly growing in popularity, and almost every place (especially in tourist locations) is looking for yoga classes and instructors. Even if you're teaching donation-based classes on the beach or in a park, if you're determined to teach yoga internationally, it can be done. I have found teaching jobs before by simply showing up to a new place and chance meeting the right person at the right time. Don't wait -- pick a point on the map, and go!