Have you ever put those dreamy photos of yoga teachers leading classes on a perfect palm tree shore, a whimsical villa among the rice patties, or in a super green healing sanctuary on your vision board? If you have ever found yourself wondering how to navigate landing one of those opportunities, this is for you.
Teaching yoga in other countries has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my yoga journey. Travel or yoga alone brings so much expansion and enrichment into your life. Combining the two amplifies your personal growth and development in ways you never imagined. There are are two different methods to snagging a yoga teaching job abroad.The first method entails showing up and seeking out places to teach once you arrive. The second method is to search online and set up the job prior to arrival. Here are some guidelines to put an end to the fantasizing and move forward with making it happen.
Method 1: Show Up in the Place You Want to Teach
In any field of work it is more beneficial to speak to the managers in person, see the facilities in real life, and stay a few days in the community to get a true feel for the job. Showing up and shaking hands is always and will always be more memorable to an employer than an email pitch read through a screen. So if you are ready to book the ticket, reduce your load down to a backpack, and throw yourself into the culture, these are some steps to take on what to do next:
Step One: Allocate Two Weeks of Money to Traveling and Networking
This method requires you to save some money before you can start making money abroad. Research the location you are traveling to and figure out how much money you will need for two weeks before you find a job. Allot around 2 weeks to staying in a community and hunting around for a position.
Important items to have ready before you arrive:
- Business cards
- Practice your 2 minute pitch about yourself on family and friends
- Have an active social media or blog/website
- A compiled list of studios, hotels, resorts, surf camps, etc. in the area that offer yoga regularly.
Step Two: Book Your Ticket Abroad
They say that if you want success, the power of association is key. Showing up in the place you want to teach and surrounding yourself in the environment will increase your chances of success. Now it may sound frightening and uncomfortable to take time off, pack your bags, and arrive somewhere jobless. Yet, this is actually the best option out of the two.
Step Three: Show up and Be Present
As soon as you land, start chatting with everyone you meet and tell them your mission. Someone is bound to have a contact for you or give you a lead on where to check out. In your first week, take as many classes as possible. Show up with business cards in hand. Stay after class to talk to the yoga instructors, managers, and receptionist.
My suggestion for the after class small talk is to tell them you just arrived in the community and are looking for a position. Even if that specific place is not hiring, ask if they recommend checking out any other places or if they know anywhere hiring. Typically people in yoga communities are kind and helpful, so the odds are in your favor to get connected. It is handy to leave a business card at each place you make a contact. If the place does not have a position open currently, they still may use your contact and reach out when they need a substitute instructor.
Step Four: Take a Job or Continue Networking
In this process, you will get even better at networking and pitching yourself. This learning curve is extremely valuable in the business of yoga. If you do all of these things, you are bound to find a job in the two week timeframe. In the off chance you did not find a job, maybe this specific market is already saturated. But the chances are you probably gained valuable insight on neighboring yoga communities you could check out next. You had the experience of really putting yourself out there and the next time it will be much easier.
Method 2: Securing a Position Before You Embark
Below are the three different resources I’ve used to find yoga jobs abroad.
Option One: Yogatrade.com
The most common resource is yogatrade.com. A wide range of retreat centers, hotels, hostels use this as a job board. You can search for opportunities by country. Email all current and past openings that sound interesting to you. Contacting the opportunities, even if they are filled, could open a door for a spot on the substitute list or a lead to contacting another facility.
Option Two: Workaway.info
This has a wider range of work exchange opportunities. There can be options such as a local family may be looking for a private instructor in exchange for room and board. A vegan cafe may be looking for a teacher and a cook in exchange for accommodation and a little pay. Jobs found on here are typically exchanges, not paid positions.
Option Three: Use Social Media to Direct Message Studios
An additional way is to look up places that offer yoga online is through social media in the area you are interested in working. Directly send them an email introducing yourself along with your resume and some photos. It also helps if you have a website to show your credibility.
Once you find a place and they are interested in hiring you, ask to schedule a skype or call with them. On both ends, each of you should want to legitimize the position and each other before flying half way across the world to work there.
Things to keep in mind…
This method is more difficult because you rely on a digital platform to connect. In my experiences, challenges have arisen from issues such language barriers, WiFi availability, and lifestyle.
Keep Emails Short and to the Point – You are likely to be contacting someone whose second language is English. It can be difficult for anyone to read a long descriptive email is especially challenging in a language that is not native to the reader. Be precise and cut out any extra irrelevant information. I personally have sent pitches for yoga or my blog that I did not get a response to due to an overload in lengthy English emails.
Don’t Get Disappointed – The speed of life and responsiveness is not the same in all areas of the world. In many other cultures, people are not as chained to their inbox and devices as we are in the West. Don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to get a response to email. It is still possible to land a yoga job before arriving to a community, but these are things to take into consideration as you start your search.
Your dream of teaching yoga abroad is very tangible. I hope this article can serve as a roadmap for you on the soul seeking journey to achieve those goals.