Are you wanderlusting for an experience abroad? Why not teach yoga as part of that? It may be easier than you think!
Tori Young is an American yoga teacher, and she completed my Bikram instructor training in 2010. Since then, she has taught in five different countries, including India, Singapore, Mexico, Luxemburg, and her current home base in Barcelona, Spain.
Over the years, she has experienced different cultures, met amazing people, and, as a foodie, enjoyed every bite along the way–from curry puffs in Singapore to the tapas in Spain. The following are a few of her tips for turning your wanderlust into a wander-fulfilling real-life experience and teaching yoga abroad.
6 Smart Tips for Teaching Yoga Abroad
1. Learn the language. Getting a working knowledge of or fluency in the local language(s) where you’d like to teach is huge. It allows you to navigate your way through the country more efficiently and communicate more effectively with your students. Don’t be discouraged if your language skills are weak (to non-existent)! I feel truly fortunate to be an English speaker since English is widely spoken across the globe. Many yoga schools cater to a very linguistically diverse student population and may choose to offer all or some classes in English. This can be a great opportunity for English-speaking teachers to teach abroad and, once there, work on acquiring or honing their language skills.
2. Networking is very important! Stay in touch with your fellow teacher trainees and other teachers you meet along your path. Your fellow teachers will often look to fill teaching positions by reaching out to people in their circle of contacts. Posts placed on social media platforms have been responsible for most of the teaching positions I have had.
3. If you’re interested in teaching in a certain country, do your research first and contact the schools well in advance. State your availability whether that be short-, medium- or long-term and include a copy of your teaching certificate when applying. Once a country is on my radar or if I see a job posting that looks interesting, I contact the school(s) to express my interest and request information. I usually have a position secured before arriving in the country.
4. If possible, be flexible with dates. While waiting to be placed on the schedule in Guadalajara, I found a school in New Orleans in need of a short-term teacher. So before heading to Guadalajara, I spent an incredible two weeks working wonderful students and eating fantastic food.
5. Also, consider teaching abroad while traveling. Before traveling to India, I reached out to a school in Mumbai to see if I might be able to teach during the few days I was in that city.
6. Once you have secured a position, be sure to discuss work/visa requirements with the director of the yoga school to avoid any paperwork hassles.
Experiencing students’ generosity and kindness and witnessing their practices evolve are the most rewarding parts of teaching yoga anywhere. An opportunity to watch students grow their practices in a different language and/or cultural setting can make that experience even more meaningful as a teacher.
So what you are waiting for? Your short-, medium-, or long-terms teaching opportunity may just be right around the corner and it may be much easier than you think!
All you need is an open heart.
What do you think? Are you up for exploring yoga in another country?
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Photos: Tori Young