As of January 2017, I have been volunteer teaching at a womens-only gym in the city of Boston. The members are warm, friendly -it’s the perfect place to smooth out those awkward gitters that all new yoga teachers seem to have when they first start teaching. In essence, the weekly class had become a stage where I can experiment with the skills I am learning as I am learning them in training. As a hands on learner, I am immensely greatful for this experience. With hundreds (maybe thousands) of new yoga teachers hitting the workforce each year, securing this position was honestly a stroke of luck. Thank you, Universe!
I have also been sending out applications and using my rusty networking skills to cultivate additional opptunities for myself. Somehow, I lined up two auditions at a nearby gym and a brand new yoga studio near my home.
In the most humble way, I say I am usually a good interviewee -not amazing but generally pretty good. I attribute this to my ernest interest in determining if the position is a good fit for me as well as winning over the interviewer, especially if I will be directly reporting to this person. Who wouldn’t want to cultivate a healthy relationship with their boss? In my experience, it has to start on day 1.
While interviews are generally uncomfortable, auditions brought my level of anxiety and insecurity to another level. At a standard interview (non-yoga), I generally come with questions about the position, benefits, etc., but these are questions I’ve developed through experience. Having limited understanding of what it’s like to work at a gym or studio or auditioning for a job, I had no idea what to expect. Though I prepared to demonstrate my understanding of yoga, I forgot to prepare to demonstrate my personality (silly mistake!). I left the faculty knowing I hadn’t done my best but knew what I needed to do in order to make the next audition go better. After preparing responses to the questions listed below, the 2nd audition went much better and I walked away feeling like I was a realistic candidate for the open position. Now all I can do is wait, send good energy into the universe and attend classes at the studio to ensure I leave a lasting impression.
Here are some tips I’ve prepared to help you at your first audition:
- Prepare a 10 to 20 minute creative flow that you know by heart and deomstrates a good range of poses, queues, modifications, etc. Be prepared to possibly get your time cut short if the recruiter or talent scout is running low on time. Ensure you have a playlist that matches the tempo and theme of your flow.
- Prepare your yoga resume. In my Google search, I was able to find plenty of examples to get a sense of what informtation should be shown on the yoga resume and what information I might want to transfer from my regular resume. Some ideas: Styles of yoga you teach, paid and volunteer teaching/assisting experience, current place of employment, ceritifations, education.
- Research the studio or gym online and on social media to get a sense of their culture, offerings, schedule, mission, and other staff
- Attend a class (preferably more than one) before the audition. If the classes are not public, hopefully you will be asked to attend a class at the audition to get a sense of how the existing instructors teach as well as the existing clientele.
- Prepare your availability (think about what you can realistically commit to for at least a year)
- Prepare answers that reflect your own personal way of teaching yoga: do you give physical assists? Do you incorporate dharma? Do you use oils, chimes, chanting? Do you have any special way of closing the class?
- Prepare questions to understand the culture of the studio to ensure it’s a good fit for you: what style of yoga do they teach? What is their client base like? What size classes do they typically draw? Pay scale and substitute policy? Liability insurance?
I would love to hear about your first experience auditioning for a yoga instructor position. Please let me know in the comments below.