what is a traveling yoga teacher?
If you practice yoga regularly at a studio, you may see a few instructors come and go in the span of a few months to a year. When I first started practicing I enjoyed seeing new teachers arrive as they always had so much new information to bring to their classes. For every new teacher I met, my personal practice jumped up to new heights.
But how could we have gotten so many talented teachers for such short stays? Were they being tested or let go? I was really curious what was going on in the background. Then one day my studio owner introduced a new teacher as a traveling yoga teacher and it all clicked. These lucky individuals were traveling as much as they wanted doing just what they wanted where they wanted. How could I get in?
first thing first: learn to teach
Wanting to travel the world as a yoga teacher, the realization eventually hit me that I needed to learn how to teach yoga. Crazy how that works out, huh? So my travels would have to be postponed a little bit, until I got a teacher training under my belt. Unless…. I take my teacher training in an exotic location. Traveling and learning how to teach all in one. Sure enough, just a month later evolation yoga was hosting a yoga teacher training in Costa Rica and I was going.
To date, I haven’t found words that sum up my training. Astounding, gorgeous, life changing, vibrant, exciting, and jam packed full of knowledge I never knew was around me. We practiced in some of the most beautiful places on earth and then spent the rest of the day learning the dialog, teaching each other or talking about yoga philosophy surrounded by bliss. It was everything you want a life to have. With such a great start to my traveling-yoga life, I just wanted more.
making the leap as a traveling yoga teacher
I don’t know how most people get their start as a traveling yoga teacher, but it probably is something similar to how it happened to me. I was getting a little bit of teaching in as a new teacher when Mark, lead instructor of the evolation yoga teaching team, asked if I wanted to try a new spot. He knew of a studio that needed a short term teacher in sunny Florida. Since I was a graduate of evolation yoga, he quickly got me a spot at the new beautiful studio.
I lived three blocks from the Atlantic and one and a half miles from the studio. Had food and housing taken care of and got to teach one to two classes a day with days off if I wanted. And this all happened just 4 months after my teacher training with evolation yoga.
It was probably the best way to kick my teaching skills up to the next level. I had a lot of free time to focus on my practice and teaching, both in the studio and on while relaxing on the beach. All of the friends I was making were either teachers or students at the studio, which meant we were all motivating each other to go to the next level. And I got to witness a new studio right after it opened. Seeing from the inside what teachers and studio owners need to do to make a studio thrive. My whole stay was focussed on yoga from start to finish.
When my contract was up and it was time for me to go to the next place. I turned to evolation as a resource to continue my travels.
travel with evolation
A lot of people hear an interesting quote said at every evolation training, “you have the option to return to future teacher trainings (of the same level) at no cost.” Something along the lines of “yep, done, there, so on it, sign me up,” went through my head the first time I heard that line. The chance to soak in more yoga philosophy, surrounded yourself with elite teachers who want to better those around them, practice all the time, and all while traveling? So there.
I ended up spending some time as an evolation groupie, which got me through Europe and then landed me with an extended stay in Santa Barbara, California just in time for TheHotTT.
seeing the world as a traveling yoga teacher
After California, it was time to start again. With a little bit of investigation, Costa Rica seemed like the spot to be. I learned yoga is exploding internationally at the moment. Studios are spreading all over areas of Europe, Australia and Central America. Areas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua as well as places within in Indonesia, namely Bali, are growing so fast that they are in desperate need of yoga teachers.
A few days later my girlfriend and I were set up with a studio in Costa Rica, had flights books, and got ready for the adventure of a lifetime. We stayed and taught in surf camps, luxurious resorts, remote islands and breathtaking studios. We taught every day, created successful campaigns to get studios’ yoga programs off the ground, and introduced countless people to yoga over the course of four months.
The most rewarding part of every location was the obstacles we had to overcome. Teaching every day in new studios to people who have never had a yoga class before gave us amazing livelong skills as teachers. Teaching on the beach or next to rushing rivers let us play with our projection. Meeting elderly people who have never attempted yoga helped us see what modifications are best in many situations. And working at a newer studio with no client base gave us a chance to see what programs would bring travelers and locals alike.
traveling with yoga
Being a rather new traveling yoga teacher I’ve found that yoga will take you as far as you let it, both internally and externally. Yoga can help you settle where you are or open you up to places you would have never imagined. Wherever you want your path to take you, yoga will always be there to support you. As for me, I’m already gearing up for my next yoga trip.
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Ryan took his first hot yoga class in Berlin and just a little over 6 months later he made the plunge to become a qualified yoga teacher. Less than a year later, with valuable teaching experience under his belt, he took TheHotTT 500 hour course to become a 500 hour yoga alliance registered yoga teacher. He's originally from Austin Texas, but moved out to live, work and study with Mark & Zefea in Santa Barbara in 2013. Since joining the evolation collective, he has traveled around the US, Central America and Europe to teach and help at various teacher trainings. To see a few things that he has done, head to YogaDuo.com.