I have resisted blogging about this for a while – mainly because I want my blog to be a positive space, and this is kind of a negative topic. But it’s been frustrating me, and I think it’s time to ask my blog friends for some advice : )
I decided at the end of July 2009 to register for Level 1 teacher training. So I spent the month of August contacting every gym and fitness center in town, asking if they’d have any yoga positions open in the fall of 2009. I sent lots of emails and made lots of phone calls, and I found two gyms that seemed pretty excited about me teaching, as well as a couple of “maybes”.
My Level 1 training was at the end of October, so about midway through that month I got back in touch with everyone who seemed interested. This time, I got some lukewarm responses and went in for an interview at one gym.
By the time I got back from my training I was doing my community service teaching, which took me through the beginning of December. During that time, I focused my efforts on the two gyms I thought were my best bets, and working with my local parks and rec department to get something going.
It’s now early February, which means I have been working on starting a class for more than 6 months. Both gyms that thought they’d have a class for me have fallen through. There are lots of gyms in town that used to offer yoga but are now replacing it with BodyFlow. The more I talk to group fitness directors, the more it seems that Les Mills and similar programs are taking over the world. My local parks and rec department is very willing to promote a yoga class with me, but we are both at a loss about where to hold it.
It seems so easy – all I need is a few feet of open floor and some willing participants – but the logistics have proven to be somewhat of a nightmare. Finding a rent-free space hasn’t been as simple as I thought, and none of the gyms are hiring at the moment. On a whim, I posted my information on an internet board at work, just to see what happened.
In the past month, I have been contacted by two women, one in my town and one in Bloomington, where I work, who are interested in organizing informal classes. These would be classes consisting of their friends, held at their homes, in church basements, free community center space, etc. I am thrilled about the possibility, and really hope it will work out. I’m hoping this is the way to finally get some teaching going. But I have to admit, I wish this process were moving a bit faster.
Is this a pretty typical experience? There were 12 people in my Level 2 last month, and I was one of two who didn’t currently teach a class. Is it just that this community isn’t very yoga-friendly? Bloomington-Normal has a combined population of over 125,000 people, and one yoga studio. What’s the deal with that?
Thanks in advance for what I know will be thoughtful advice and encouragement, and keep your fingers crossed that these two possibilities work out!!