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As a yoga teacher, the world of social media can be a daunting one. There are many varying challenges you will face and questions you will have to ask yourself, some of which include:
Whilst social media is an exceptional way of capturing an audience, how do you make sure you capture the correct audience? All of the above challenges arise during this process, and speaking from personal experience, it’s all bit of a learning curve.
If you're new to this world, perhaps start by checking out other yoga teachers and seeing who inspires you, then you can follow them and like and comment on their content, to build an online community. Think about how you feel when standing in front of your yoga students, what it is that your trying to teach, and how you want them to feel. I know when I’m standing in front of my class, I want to welcome them and make them feel safe and secure.This is automatically achieved as I soon as I greet them with a genuine smile... There may be the yogis who are dedicated to your classes and will attend like clockwork and have their designated space in the room, there may be those who drop in intermittently or those who go through a phase of coming and then time lapses between the sessions, and then there are those who have never tried yoga and now you are solely responsible to deliver a class that will do the practice of yoga justice. Inspire each one of them, without intimidating them !
I would say my take on yoga and the way I wish to deliver this beautiful ancient discipline is by making it inclusive ... this means it is not exclusive for the young, beautiful, physically strong and acrobatic yogis ... yoga is for real people with real issues and everyday challenges. It’s not about the perfect bodies and perfect poses, it’s about the individual and where they are at on this journey we call life. Yoga is therefore a very unique practice (if we say it’s an individual practice), no two people are on the same journey, and whilst we may cross paths ... our journey is our own.
What I want students to ask themselves is that if this journey is unique, how can it then make sense to compete with others ? Or to compare ourselves? These are the very things which can make us feel inadequate and then deter us from embracing this beautiful journey that we are on. Yoga has no prerequisite, so why are we asking people to be physically fit or mentally strong before we arrive into a class ?
Now, the challenge is how do I relay all of this onto my social media platform? Being a British Muslim teacher, the first thing you will notice is my appearance is unique. Being a woman who likes to take care of my appearance and look after myself may also send out a message which some may perceive as taking away from the message of what I actually do. I guess the question is: can you post images that are visually attractive and at the same time send the message from the soul of what yoga is, and what the experience of yoga is with you when they join you in class. As a yoga teacher you have to ask yourself how to build trust with complete strangers, and how to make them feel safe and secure without feeling judged, criticised and inadequate..
I guess the reason why I’m writing this, is to really share with you what I’m facing each time I post. Social media has become a place of portraying perfection, the image with filters and capturing the pose at just the right point. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with pretty pictures, we all like looking at pretty pictures, but what's most important is showing the process we are all going through, and did you know that the physical practice of yoga is only 1/8 of what yoga really is about? I want to be able to share the 7 other parts of yoga, to get people to understand that it’s about the mind, body and soul connection.
I’m interested in what followers would like to hear about, learn more about, and what the real challenges are that people face when thinking of coming to a yoga class. I want you be able to inspire, educate and welcome everybody into this wonderful ancient art known as yoga ..
Yoga has been a valuable tool which has aided me through ill health, emotional difficulties, grieve, loss, post pregnancy blues and accepting the changes my body goes through ... its aided me to find my self, my voice and my calling to life !
I feel blessed to have the privilege to share that I am not perfect, and that’s the true beauty of it all. We are all perfectly imperfect and it’s all about finding acceptance in that and bringing out the best in ourselves and others through positivity. This doesn’t mean life is going to be a bed of roses, we will all be challenged, but having the tool kit to help you deal with those difficult times is what my objective is ...
Love and peace.