I would like to introduce you to Sam, she is 19yrs old, living in Edmonton AB, and has a full time job as a yoga instructor.
I know what your thinking after that intro, a “full time yoga instructor, is that a job?” It sure is, and I am excited to share with you my struggles and successes in this business of yoga as an instructor.
Lets start from the beginning. At the age of 13yrs old I started practicing yoga on a dare. My parents were practicing at a hot yoga studio for a month straight, and had convinced myself, and two of my brothers to join them. After practicing for 90mins, in a 40c room, with 25 people, I knew what my life goal was, to instruct and teach yoga. Of course it took me a while to get there, but I made it.
Once I had taken my teacher training in Mexico with Tony Sanches in 2014, taught 30+ classes as a free-intern, taken an online anatomy course and completed my recertification for First Aid, I was a full fledge certified yoga instructor. By the time I completed the above I was 18yrs old, and had started teaching at three studios. It may seem shocking that I somehow was teaching at three studios right away, but I was lucky. All three studios I started working at knew me, and were willing to take the risk of letting me teach and instruct. Now aside from the struggles of talking in front of 5-35 people per class for 60-90 minutes, I was in love with my job. After a while I started to feel more comfortable in classes. Some said they didn’t notice I was nervous, even though I would be shaking the entire class.
In the first few classes I taught, I noticed a stigma. I wasn’t sure what it was, until it hit me. I would often be asked by a student “who’s teaching class today?” and I would gleefully respond “I am!” and they would either give me an interesting look, or just said “Oh” in discomfort. You see, in the world of fitness and yoga, most instructors are 25yrs of age or older. My age really bothered a lot of students in their first classes with me. Even if I was teaching the class just the way they wanted, the number 18 seemed to stick in their minds like gum on a shoe. Most people thought I was the receptionist, or a karma cleaner. After being told by a student that she would not take my class because I am too young to teach, I felt the weight of my youth fall upon me. It was ok if they thought I was too young, but at least most took my class and gave me the chance to show them how I instruct. I realize there are struggles in life, and I don’t want you to believe I am complaining, just sharing those I work through.
Having completed teaching and instructing yoga in multiple ways, at four studios and one gym, and I still love my job. There are new students every so often a bit wiry of my age, though I try not to let it bother me. Now I am on my way to achieving my goal of teaching and instructing around the world, as I book my first flight to teach intentionally.
In the end of it all, you can’t let the negative get you down. I am living my dream, and not just because I was lucky, but because I was willing to be disappointed when some studios I contacted didn’t respond, and kept trying. I think anyone can achieve their goal wether it be ordinary or not, so long as you never give up.
I want to thank all who have supported me along the way, my family, friends, the studios and students who share their practice and space with me.
You can find Recycled+Life's Products at The Collective St. Albert, and you can find out when and where her classes are below!