Interviewing for Yoga Gigs

Some more thoughts on my experiences as a new yoga teacher.  I’ve now had a bunch of “interviews” for teaching positions.  Quotes, because some of the experiences were far from you might expect.  They were all great, and I learned something from every one.  In no particular order (and FYI, they all went very well – gangbusters the last few weeks):

The Full On Audition:  As far as structure and expectations, I liked this one the best, actually.  Before the audition I was informed that I’d be teaching a :30 minute mini class, and that I should do some kind of centering, a variety of standing and seated poses, a guided savasana.  I liked knowing what to expect going into it.  It was one on one.  Fortunately, I’d taught a bunch of singles over the past few months and gotten over the awkwardness of the single.

The Job Interview / Audition:  Beforehand I was told just to be prepared to teach some vinyasas with poses mixed in.  What really happened was I sat down and talked with the owner for almost a half hour, getting to know that person and telling that person about myself.  Not even all yoga talk, just person to person talk.  After that, I started teaching some sun salutations, gave the owner a down-dog cue s/he hadn’t heard before that s/he said s/he really liked, and that was it – 3 sun sals.

Timing Is Everything:  This studio is owned by a local health club.  I had an appointment with the health club fitness instructor manager, and we sat down and talked about my style of teaching for about ten minutes.  No “audition” because at the time I didn’t have a lot of experience.  Was told to keep in touch periodically.  About three weeks later I dropped a quick email to the manager that I was teaching a local community class and inviting this person to attend.  I’ll be darned if about an hour later s/he emailed asking if I could cover a class that Saturday; then an hour after that if I could cover a class the next Tuesday.  Turns out, three teachers had just quit and they couldn’t find last minute subs.  Obviously, that turned out well.

Just For Asking:  So I was at the health club that owned that studio doing paperwork to get paid, and I asked that person how do I get on the sub-list for the health club’s yoga classes?  S/he replied, “I can put you on it right now” and that was it.

The Relationship Gig:  I had developed a friendly relationship with a fellow yogi who also owns a studio, over the last year or so.  Just “how’s it going” sort of stuff, and we had practiced in the same classes.  I had kept this person updated of my TT and teaching progress.  Out of the blue last week, s/he called me and asked if I could teach some classes.  Just like that.

I think it’s pretty cool all the different ways this has gone for me.   All of these interviews came about from contacts I had been making – none were what I’d call “Resume submissions.”  I was also pretty explicit in asking for help as a new teacher.  I guess the take-away is just be friendly, talk to people, and don’t be afraid to ask.

7 thoughts on “Interviewing for Yoga Gigs

  1. Good post. I’ve been teach for 8/9 years all at the same studio, so haven’t needed to go job hunting. Soon my wife and I will relocate to another part of the country. I expect to be an itinerant teacher in the new location, and your experience is useful for me. Thanks.

    • Thanks Bharat. My thinking is to have as many studios as will have me – from a lawyer’s perspective (me) one does not want to have all one’s business in one client, in case that client leaves or whatever. Also, the studios in Chicago don’t necessarily want to have just one instructor – variety for the students.

      Keep in touch re: your relocation, I’d like to hear how you did it and how it went. I’m thinking of moving out west in the near future too. My plan is (a) tell everyone I know well in advance; (b) tell them exactly what I’m looking for; and (c) ask if anyone has any contacts in that area, and ask for introductions.

      • I’ve been in touch with a couple of teachers via email for a while, so I sorta know a couple of teachers. I found them through the YA registry. And I try to keep up with what’s happening at our destination using the web. Even so, I think I’m going to have to land before I can really do any figuring. We’re going to Las Cruces, NM. There are 100K people there, but the yoga scene is pretty small. So, opportunity!

        • Wow, Bharat, that’s south! We’re heading to Santa Fe this summer, thinking about possibly relocating to Albuquerque NM area but I’m pushing for more mountains and milder climate. I’m also thinking about a smaller market like you are. Opportunity, plus I’m just sick of the big city.

          • I’m sick of freezing my ass off in Maine. Mostly, though, my wife’s parents are in LC and we’d like to be close to them. I’m retirement age and looking forward to the simplicity/poverty that comes with living on SS. I don’t know much about what awaits; but for some reason I know it will be good.

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