There are so many benefits to having a yoga mentor to help you on your teaching journey. We laid them out in our last post, and if you are convinced, here are the 5 steps to follow so you can find a yoga mentor that is perfect for you.
1. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOGA NICHE YOU WANT TO EXPLORE
Many teachers have a focus: alignment, trauma-informed yoga, teaching to special populations, yoga fusion classes, etc. Before you find a mentor, you need to determine which niche, or niches, you want to focus on. If you don’t know which focus resonates with you yet, start experimenting! Write down a few of the niches you want to explore, and find a few teachers in your area that teach those classes. Using the process of elimination, go down the list until you find an instructor whose style, energy, and presence piques your interest in each area. You may have to go through this process several times to find the right person, but be patient. You will find a yoga mentor that is meant for you.
2. DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP
Just because you go to one class of the teacher you like doesn’t mean you jump directly into asking them to be your mentor. As with every relationship in life, it takes time to develop a rapport. In order to find a yoga mentor that matches your needs, you need to start attending the chosen teacher’s classes regularly, introduce yourself to them after class, and make it clear that you are a new graduate who is eager to find a yoga mentor and learn everything you can from them. After taking several of their classes, and solidifying some type of relationship, use your own judgement to gauge when the right time is to ask them if they do mentorships. If they say yes, move to the next step! If they say no, you can still attend the teacher’s classes (since you did like their style, energy, and presence), but you will need to find another teacher who has the time in their schedule for a mentorship.
3. DISCUSS THE MENTORSHIP WITH YOUR NEW MENTOR
Ask your new mentor if you can take them out for coffee/tea (or other beverages!) so that the two of you can discuss the mentorship in detail. Ask questions such as: what will be required of you during the duration of the mentorship, how often do you need to meet in person, how often should you be attending their classes, and any other questions you want to discuss. Keep in mind – the mentorship needs to make sense for both of you. If you have other obligations that will restrict you from meeting up regularly, try to reach an agreement that makes the most sense for both of you.
4. ASK THEM HOW THEY WOULD LIKE TO BE COMPENSATED
This is probably the most important. Your new mentor is taking time out of their schedule to mentor you – make sure you show them that their time matters! Some teachers may not want anything as they simply enjoy mentoring, but there are others who wouldn’t mind a little extra money for their time. Even if your new mentor doesn’t bring up compensation, you should. As mentioned earlier, a mentorship should be mutually beneficial.
5. DIG DEEPER INTO THE NICHE
Once your mentorship starts, don’t expect to simply do what your mentor assigns you and leave it at that. If you are serious about learning more about your niche and improving your teaching, you have to do more than the work your mentor gives you. Study on your own time, too. For example, do an online search for books in your chosen niche that you can read in your free time, or look for blogs to read online. The deeper you dig into the subject matter and practice it, the faster it will come together on the mat.