Finding your voice as a yoga teacher takes some time and patience. Finding out who you are as a teacher after studying with many beloved teachers takes some experimentation and fine tuning.
First, keep practicing – always. You have to keep the practice fresh and consistent within your body in order to effectively convey the practice through teaching.
Teach! Newer teachers are very often a little (or a lot) afraid to put themselves out there. Most of us were nervous in the beginning. The best way to get over it is to teach. The best way to become a better teacher is to teach. When you teach, watch your students. Notice how they react to your voice, your energy and your cues.
Listen to other teachers’ teaching styles that speak to you — and those that don’t; both will inform your teaching. It’s not about one style or teacher being better than another. It’s about paying attention to what speaks to you on the mat when you are in someone else’s class. There are going to be preferences one way or another. What speaks to you will most effectively come from you as a teacher.
The field of teachers and studios is constantly changing – stay open and keep trying new things. This is partly about staying open and also about community. Not allowing your preferences to keep you boxed in. Over time, your practice evolves and deepens, and so do you! You may not have liked a particular method or teacher before, but then 5 years later, you may find you have changed your mind. Broadening your palate for practicing serves your teaching.
Prepare your classes; you might get to a point where you don’t “need” to prepare, but prepared classes are always tighter and more interesting. With planning you’ll always to pulling out the best from yourself, and it won’t feel like a half hearted attempt.
Live your life. Yoga teaches us so many wonderful ways to live more simply, lightly and truthfully. But it is also important to keep aspects of you and your life present and to not live by too much dogma. If you are trying to abide by many rules, you may feel restricted rather than expansive. In your social relationships, you risk being exclusive rather than inclusive.
Keep reading, studying, practicing and teaching — and living your life. Over time, you’ll find balance and your voice. Your voice will become clear, strong and undeniably you.