What is it like being a yoga teacher?

Would you like to incorporate more yoga in to your lifestyle? Ever heard your yoga teacher talk about ‘yoga off the mat’? Sabrina Vernooy, part of our team at Equal, shares her thoughts and experience on teaching yoga and the lifestyle of being a yoga teacher.

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What is it like being a yoga teacher? Teaching is so much more than simply instructing people how to do a sun salutation. I still love teaching, even after 8 years of being a teacher.

It’s the amazing humans in my classes that lift me up and brighten my day. But for a yoga teacher, yoga is so much more than teaching classes.

The storm of people coming in after a busy workday and the ocean of calmness when everyone slowly awakes from savasana. It’s the amazing humans in my classes that lift me up and brighten my day. But for a yoga teacher, yoga is so much more than teaching classes. It is a way of life which is very conscious, reflective and very connected to yourself and the world.

In our teacher training, one of the first things we talk about is yoga philosophy, one of my favourite things to teach and discuss. One of the older yoga texts, the Yoga Sutras, was written at least 1700 years ago. In it you’ll find a number of commandments, which function as a guidebook for self-reflection. The text is quite incomprehensible to read by yourself, but the best moments in the teacher training to me are when we discuss some of them and when philosophy comes to life. What does it mean to practise real kindness?  What sort of attitude should we have to those who are suffering and harming us? How can we make the world more inclusive? It is these life changing questions that are opened up by the texts. 

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In my daily life a lot of my decisions are based on my knowledge of yoga. It guides me in keeping my physical body healthy - hopefully I can still pick up my keys from the floor when I’m 80 because I twist and move my spine on the mat. But it also makes me think and act about matters that seem to have less to do with the physical practice of yoga. It helps me to keep my cool (okay, sometimes) when I’m in a heated argument with a loved one, because yoga encourages us to be empathic and caring to those we love. It teaches me to just take an extra breath when people yell at you in traffic because you went too slow, too fast or anything in between. It energises me to make a tiny difference in the world by helping out a neighbour, because sharing kindness is one of the key elements of a yoga practice. And most importantly, it helps me in the more challenging situations. 

If becoming a better person and making a difference in the world is important for you, then doing a yoga teacher training is a great way to start. Take your yoga practice off the mat and into the world. For me becoming a yoga teacher meant reflecting on the way I live my life and constructing it in a way that I believe makes the world around me a little better. And even though we don’t talk about philosophy much at Equal, I really hope you’ll also take an extra breath the next time someone yells at you in traffic. Who knows, they might just be having a bad day. 

If you would like to deepen your yoga practice beyond the physical asanas and discover the benefits for YOU, have a look at our teacher training pages. We offer both a 200hr Vinyasa yoga and a 100r Yin yoga teacher training program. Please contact for more info.