Life as a yoga teacher can be lonely. I know that's hard to believe as it looks like we spend most of our time with a group of students. Certainly it's true that we all love the classes and the chat with students about what they like/don't like and different things we can do in class.
We also meet other teachers and chat at workshops and on-line.
However, we generally work alone in writing our class sequences and running our businesses. If we are ill, or take a holiday, it can be a struggle to decide what to do - do we cancel the class or see if we can find a teacher to cover?
Last year I went on a Yin Yoga Teacher Training course and met a wonderful group of yoga teachers. One of them was Alison of Foxwood Yoga. We immediately discovered that we had the same approach to our teaching. We have a different background and went through different styles of training but our fundamental approach is that our classes should be inclusive and welcoming to all.
Instagram is full of pictures of yogis holding glamorous and difficult poses which can put some people off yoga. In fact, yoga is a journey and wherever you are on the journey you can benefit. For me the journey is more important than the destination, which is why I love a yoga flow moving slowly into and between poses and savouring the bits between where we work out how to listen to our body and adjust as we move. It's not a competition to get into the most challenging versions of a pose.
Discovering we lived only 20 miles apart, Alison and I found ourselves discussing the difficulties of working alone. We started thinking how we could work together - maybe cover each other's classes? So after the course we went along to (and sometimes assisted at) each others classes, met our students and agreed it would be fun to provide each other with class cover.
It's been great for us. We can actually plan holidays or courses (Allison is currently on a month long training course in Thailand and I'm planning a month in Australia later this your - oops don't think I've told her yet!) without the guilt-monster stopping us and confident we are leaving our students in the hands of someone we trust and that they know. Being ill is no longer such a panic (as I recently discovered when suffering a nasty bout of this horrible bug doing the rounds). Of course, we can't always cover for each other but it certainly helps us plan better.
It also means our students are being taught by teachers who know them and know the venue. Happy students and happy teachers!
We are now thinking about running some joint workshops. When Allison is back from Thailand we'll be releasing details. Sign-up for blog posts or follow me on your favourite social media platform (I'm on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) for details when they are released.
So, in the words of the late Bruce Forsyth "Life can be terribly tame, if you don't play the game with two" - OK I know that was about pottery and glass blowing but for me it also applies to teaching yoga.
Author: Sally Pearce (sallyjaneyoga)