I stepped on the Yoga mat to heal myself.
And the rest is history.
From a curious practitioner to silently brewing the dream to teach; the journey has not only seen blood, sweat and bruises but it has witnessed a path of fear transforming into hope through correct calculations.
Once I felt prepared with the knowledge of Yogic practices , my first big leap was to reach out to people. Hailing from a small city how do I make my visibilty and presence felt nationally and globally! This is where I befriended technology and social media.
Yoga is so much about connectedness—mind, body, spirit, community, breath, movement. Social networking is a natural extension of this connectedness and community. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and YouTube all represent niche communities of yoga students. I soon realised that by engaging in the conversations within these communities authentically I will have more outlets to build relationships and awareness about yoga. That's how I started my first Yoga Studio in my city.
To use social networking to promote business as a teacher, I highly recommend focusing on content. I developed a plan to capture media in such a way that it's easy for me. I figured out ways to describe my business or practice using audio, video, text, and images. This meant creating a slide show depicting a sequence, writing an essay on a point of philosophy, or offering a brief guided meditation, perhaps as an MP3 file. I always chose a medium that played to my strengths and in which I enjoyed working as well. My mantra, ''focus on contributing engaging, useful content, and you'll quickly accumulate credibility and online connections.''
As a teacher I would advise aspiring students to always mind your manners. Remember to be polite in your online postings. Approach your content in a spirit of Seva, or offering to your readers. Follow the yamas (restraints) of ahimsa (nonharming), asteya (nonstealing), and parigraha (nongrasping) by keeping your tone positive, by respecting and crediting others' intellectual property, and by cross-promoting your fellow teachers.
I am hugely in favor of teacher-student Social Networking model where you establish yourself as an authority on a subject, whether through your profile, through serving as a group moderator, or through posting content on a subject. Students then have the opportunity to engage through comments or targeted small forums, asking questions and giving feedback. The benefit of any network lies in its use. I make sure to point my potential community members to the site by mentioning it in class, in my newsletter, and on my blog and website. The real deal is finally to establish a vibrant online community. The aim is to be able to serve my students in establishing connections—to yoga and to each other—beyond the studio.
Founder, The Yoga Studio