Making the Leap into Teaching
Just like everyone comes to yoga through their own individual path, all our students approach teaching in their own unique way. Some continue practicing and learning before they make the leap to teaching, many start with family and friends and others find that they can’t wait to jump in to taking classes. Diaz was one such graduate who was born ready to begin his yoga teaching career! We chatted to him about his time on the Santosha Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training, and what inspired and empowered him to dive straight in to sharing his passion with others….
What attracted you to attending a Santosha Yoga teacher training?
It was a true love calling, my heart was craving for a deeper study and understanding about yoga. I logged onto the internet and started searching, and I thought to myself if I ever find a YTT that will suits my needs and my time I would just follow that direction and let the unknown unfolding to a whole new experience. And there was Santosha Yoga, when I reached for a hand, they opened their arms to welcome me to their family. Felt blessed and grateful, opened a new journey for me and the rest follows.
What were the main things you took away from your training?
The awareness that everyone is built differently; what you do for your practice is totally different from what you deliver for your class as a yoga instructor. There are so many little details I didn’t know before this training that need to be taken into consideration for alignments that will be beneficial to our body. Also on the awareness of breathing that interlaces to move from one asana to the other. Through my training, I took some of technical aspects on giving instruction and direction to students while maintaining my language as simple and fun for them to understand.
Was there anything that surprised you about the training?
Yes. Bad surprise was it was harder than I thought, having to wake up so early. But the lesson here is to accept rather than to go against it. There were days I was totally feeling like a zombie from lack of sleep. But when I accepted it and just followed my body tells me when I should switch on and switch off it was actually surprising that I don’t hold much anger for something that was a bit foreign to my habit. This I still do daily whenever I feel tension raising, and I can handle the situation much better.
And of course the biggest good surprise and the best gift from my training was when I was able to let all my guard down and be humble to cry again after years in which I didn’t cry – from the simple purity of Anu, a staff member from the yoga center who touched all of our hearts. It was just beautiful and I never felt so enlightened.
You taught yoga straight away! Tell us how that came about?
Well I am always in love with teaching. I’ve been teaching design and creative industry to college and universities since as long as I remember, nearly 18 years now since I started my career. With this passion I have with yoga, I just can’t wait to share that feeling with others, burst of energy from when you start stretching yourself on the mat to warm up and flow to eventually reach your peak pose and in the end to let your body let go of everything, it’s just fulfilling and at the same time liberating.
I started to teach my partner, then friends, then colleagues, then word of mouth spread, some hotels and yoga centers offered me to teach their guests. To me it is exciting and delighting every time I deliver a class, not to mention bit nervous also thinking what if I mention ankle as elbow, and elbow as knee? Funny things happen in yoga instructing really, but we just laugh together and the most important thing is we build that positive energy and your students feel re-energized right after they finish your class, it is always a tremendous happiness for me to see them leaving with big smile.
What advice would you give to someone joining us on a training and wanting to jump straight into a new yoga teaching career?
I would say, no rush! Teaching itself needs some familiarization if you’re not a teacher before – all the jargon and instructions, to actually doing demonstrations in front of the class, instructing, checking your student’s alignment at the same time as telling them when to breath in and out. It’s a whole lot of things to get used to! Deepen your practice, dedicate your time for yourself to follow where your intuition would bring you through your practice.
Find the most comfortable way for you to express your practice and to your ‘art of teaching’ method, there’s no rules or black or white, it’s about your own journey. A journey that you will share with others that will be useful for them. And do not think about money when you start teaching, because when you start teaching that is actually the real training that you can take to improve your teaching skills. So take time, and when it’s time to start a business, you will know 🙂
Diaz is an Indonesian based yogi, stylist, designer, photographer, illustrator and all round creative dynamite! He graduated form the Santosha Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training in February 2016, and now teaches throughout Indonesia. You can find out all about Diaz’s many skills (and admire his awesome talent) via the links below: