3 Key Tips on Getting Your First Yoga Teaching Job

yoga instructor course graduate Jo yoga on beach
Jo’s Yoga Teacher Training Journey

Jo Jarden is a yoga teacher – and  Santosha RYT-200 Yoga Teacher Training graduate – who has made an amazing life for herself based on her philosophy of freedom, living simply and taking the bold choices in life. We find her passion and go-getting attitude so inspiring – so had to have her share some of wisdom on the blog! Including her top 3 tips for finding a yoga job! A must-read for those wanting to follow in Jo’s footsteps and forge their own yoga teaching path…

How did you start teaching after the course finished? What were the steps to finding work?

I knew I wanted to be a yoga teacher before I did the yoga instructor course. So I planted some seeds with gyms around the place showing them my resume, directly contacting some people and introducing myself. I had a background in personal training so gyms were an easy entry point for me.

Here’s my 3 key tips on getting your first yoga teaching job:

1. Have an open mind, take anything!

The jobs available as a new yoga teacher are often far from perfect. But I knew I had to start, in anyway possible. I had shared my resume with a few gyms before I did my course, then a few months later I had a call from the gym manager saying they required a teacher to cover for another teaching that went away. I knew if I did my best each class I had a a good chance of getting another opportunity. This eventually turned into a regular weekly teaching job! The key is to just start teaching, anywhere. For whatever pay and whatever conditions.

2. You have to really want it

The pay can be crappy initially. I live in a van so I can live cheaply and have more time to give through meaningful work. Starting as a teacher can be hard. I felt so ‘naked’ and vulnerable teaching my first class on stage at City Fitness with a microphone (not the best yogi teaching conditions but I just gave it my best!). I ruminated for days after my first class wondering how I went?!! (I know not helpful!). It’s good to have a mentor when you start out if you can. I floundered my way through it a bit – but turned out fine in the end. I think you just have to be okay with being imperfect! 5 months later I have been offered other jobs which are better conditions and awesome environments. I have just accepted my first corporate teaching job at a helicopter rescue company!

3. You’ve just gotta show people what you can do, and share your inner wisdom!

You have to believe in the benefits of yoga. What I knew deep down inside of me, was that yoga had helped me personally in INCREDIBLE ways – emotionally, physically spiritually. So, I believe you have to really believe in the benefits of yoga. To believe in the benefits you have to really commit to a practice yourself, and then the struggles of starting out as a teacher are all bearable – if you have that inner belief and trust yourself in the benefits of yoga, the rest is just part of the natural bumpy ride!

yoga teacher training graduate Jo Instructor of the Month imageJo has impressed studios and studios alike with her teaching!

What did you learn on the course which you find most valuable now you are teaching?

The sequence of teaching a class – Ive used this over and over as a template for my classes.

What did you like best about your yoga teacher training with Santosha?

Sunny was amazing at facilitating the group sessions. I appreciated her wisdom to have boundaries and pull people up when they needed to be  – this in my view is part of yoga. Knowing how to facilitate yourself, so you can facilitate others. We all have our blind spots.

Its great when a teacher can help us become conscious of these blind spots, so we can grow and flourish in our lives!! Self reflection, inner trust, boundaries  – with yourself and with others. Ah not always pleasant but so necessary. Being kind is being truthful. Ah I love all of it!

van beach nz
Making bold choices means more time for the important things in life!

 Any other words of wisdom for those following in your footsteps?

A few years go I was totally stressed and burnt out emotionally, struggling with the sudden death of my Mum – so I packed my bags and went to Bali on my own for a month. I did yoga every day and embraced the kindness of the Balinese people, read awesome self-growth books and podcasts, embraced the kindness of the Hindu culture, and stayed open minded about yoga and finding more presence in my life. I became addicted to self-growth, and I haven’t stopped since!

This changed me forever – yoga is now part of who I am. I help others through yoga, I live with a commitment to finding presence in my day, and I’ll never return to that 9 – 5 Monday – Friday management job in the city again!

The struggle is where the growth comes. The hardest part of my life is where I truly had to take responsibility for my own life and take bold action to live life on my own terms. I left my job as a National Manager of the Stroke Foundation of NZ to live a life with more meaning and freedom. It’s all part of how I developed my dream life and business.

This is my best advice I can give – be bold with your life, take action without knowing the outcome, find more presence, get out of your mind and into your body, and then you’ll believe in it so much, that giving to others becomes your life’s work. Your passion. Your joy.


Love Jo’s story and what to know more? You can read all about her well-being philosophy here at ‘Accept Yourself’ workouts for well-being – www.acceptyourself.co.nz

Jo has also been featured in the media for her amazing van-life. You might be inspired to learn more here: https://i.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/other-spaces/102010874/living-the-good-life-in-a-10000-van-


Thank you so much Jo for sharing your words of wisdom and inspiring example of how far being bold and present with your life can take you.

To begin YOUR next bold journey visit Level 1 RYT-200 Yoga Teacher training page and start the first step along your new path today.

We can’t wait to share the journey with you ❤️

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