Post # 1
I’ve found myself majorly procrastinating. I completed a 200hr yoga teacher training in June 2012 and I need to attend 20 yoga classes (of the same style) before this coming June.
I haven’t done a single one!
I’ve been frustrated with myself trying to figure out why. I’m a massage therapist and most of my friends are acupuncturists, yoga teachers, other massage therapists, nutritionists, etc. and they are ALL asking me when I’m going to finish my certificate and start teaching.
My yoga teacher wants me to start and says it’ll help my business.
I finally realized why I haven’t gone to a single one. I’m normally a procrastinator, but when I’m this bad (especially with something I like) there is a reason. And my reason is that…
I’m terrified to teach!
And not completing my certificate is a good excuse to NOT get started.
So — bees who have taught or who are teaching – how did you handle anxiety? I can be a more anxious person (social anxiety) but its nothing debilitating. Its just very scary to me to be 21-years-old and telling people the same age as me or twice my age and older what to do and teaching them.
I think its low self-confidence. I always act and talk to myself like I don’t know anything and I’m just stupid and nobody will want to listen to me. Worst self-talk ever!
Tips and advice are welcome. I do NOT want to be an anxious yoga teacher for obvious reasons… doesn’t seem to go together. 😉
Post # 3
I have given presentations, led workshops (sort of like teaching, but typically just 1 or 2 sessions not a commitment to say a full semeter), and done some public speaking… in all cases it gives me the willies.
I know it is something I need to do… for whatever reason (can be career related – my volunteer life etc) BUT it isn’t easy for me.
A lot of the time tho, it ends up going well… it just freaks me out to get started (the stagefright / anxiety part for me… and YES that is seated in low self-esteem)
My secret is know the material, be prepared, and begin by NOT looking at my audience… so that I can get grounded and find my voice BEFORE I actually look up and see the crowd (can we say FEAR)
I know all the books say stuff like look em in the eye, picture them naked etc
BUT this system works for me.
I do KNOW that I am speaking because I am regarded as something of an expert / best person for the job (rarely voluteer to speak… am usually called upon because of my knowledge)… so that serves in part as my reassurance, my expertise … like certification would for you.
I would think a yoga class will get easier over time, in that you’ll see the same faces regularly, and get to know your audience and relax.
My best advice… finish the training… get your certificate. People will be coming to you BECAUSE you know something they want to know. It’ll be good for your self-esteem. SO YES DO IT !!
Hope this helps,
Post # 4
My Fiance is a high school English teacher with major anxiety. He gets sick every morning before he goes to work. But, avoiding caffeine, sugar the night before bedtime, a little St. John’s wort and he has been improving. Vitamin D also helps even out anxiety.
As you begin to do it, it gets easier, though. 🙂
Post # 5
I teach. It is scary at first but you’ll totally get over it. I’m sure you were nervous the first few times you drove too, right? Now it’s old hat.
Could you talk to your current yoga teacher and ask if you could lead a few minutes of stretching under his/her supervision? Maybe getting your feet wet will help you out.
Post # 6
I used to teach Army recruits and at first it was very daunting but I always went on the premise that they didn’t know much so everything was new to them therefore I wouldn’t look stupid no matter what I told them lol.
Like a PP said you have to know the material you are going to teach and if you have finished your certificate then you you will 🙂
Is there anyway a friend can let you practise on them, I used to practise my lessons in front of the other instructors and it definitely helps give you confidence.
Once you’ve done it a few times, trust me it’s not nearly as bad as you’ve built it up to be in your head.
Good luck x
Post # 7
I’m a substitute teacher and only sub in elementary schools. But, when I was in college, I had to teach to my peers in most of my education courses. I was absolutely TERRIFIED. I have social anxiety and am one of those people who sit in class and never contribute because I’m too afraid to speak. But I had to get past my fears and develop a lesson and TEACH to a classroom of students my age. It was one of the most horrifying experiences ever. After doing it a few times, it got easier. I mean, I still got nervous, but it wasn’t that bad.
Student teaching was the same way – I didn’t get nervous about teaching the students, but it made me nervous that my cooperating teacher and/or university supervisor were observing me. I got used to it after I got to know them.
When I’m subbing, I hate going into a classroom where there is an aide or college student that’s observing. I feel that they are judging me and recognizing everything I was doing wrong. But I force myself through it and it is getting better.
Just force yourself at first. It’ll be hard, but you’ll survive and feel so good about yourself! I am so proud of how much I’ve come out of my shell because of my career choice. =)
Post # 8
I teach at the college level. I was only 24 when I started, and some of my students were 21 or 22….and I’m not exactly the world’s most confident speaker. 😛 I was terrified, especially when I had to undergo observations by the program directors, etc. 🙂 I’ve never taught yoga, but I’ve done a fair number of classes, and I’d LOVE to go through teacher training someday–good for you!
A couple of things that could help you:
1) I used to write out exactly, word-for-word, what I thought I wanted to say. Even if I didn’t end up saying exactly that, key phrases and ideas would stay in my memory and help me if I got stuck. I’ve noticed that many yoga instructors I’ve worked with have some notes for poses and transitions jotted on a sheet of paper; you could just do something a bit more extensive. After awhile, I stopped needing to be quite so detailed in my notes anymore, and I imagine that you would, too.
2) I developed a “teaching persona”–I think that’s pretty common, actually. 🙂 I put a lot of energy into feeling as enthused as I could about the subject at hand. And then I projected that energy into the class, so they started talking a lot more. Somebody who observed me teach early on said that I was filled with “calm energy” that really created a good classroom dynamic. Trust me, that is NOT how I felt inside! But, as I got more practice, it gradually became real.
3) Start out with the activities that make you feel most comfortable. For me, that was facilitating a lot of group discussions. For you, that could be the poses that you find most calming and natural. You don’t like crow? Don’t do it. You derrive a lot of focus and energy from meditation? Start the class with a breathing and meditation exercise.
I hope this is helpful—sending you lots of good thoughts!
Post # 9
Elementary school English teacher in Japan here. For me, it was definitely a “fake it ’til you make it” thing. I had a week’s warning that I was going to be the main teacher for multiple elementary schools rather than an assistant teacher at a middle school. I was terrified. But I got the hang of it, and now it’s great. I love teaching.
Like the PPs said, make an outline or something of what you’re going to do, and don’t be afraid to glance at it if you need it. Then take a deep breath, tell yourself “hakuna matata,” and just do it. Don’t psych yourself out.
Post # 10
1) Separate the certification from *having* to teach. Give yourself permission to just get the certificate and walk away if you don’t want to teach.
2) For me, I actually allow my mind to spiral into the worst case scenerios, but I do it actively instead of passively. One thing that happens with Anxiety is that you passively sit there while the thoughts and feelings swirl around and overwhelm you. But take charge of the thoughts and walk through a couple of horrible situations, always asking yourself “then what?” or “why is that so bad?”. For instance it sounds like you are worried that as you teach an older student will suddenly stand up and angrily say, “Who do you think you are? You are an imposter! You are young and stupid and suck!!!!” So sit in that feeling–the shock, humiliation (oh no, he knows the truth, I AM an imposter)…then what happens? You go on to the next pose? You run out of the room screaming? Sit in that feeling. I find after I do that, even after the worst thing that I possibly can think of, I realize, I will survive.
PS- it also helps to know that super sucessful people also having feelings of inadequecy. Barbara Streisan (who has people regualrly pay $1000’s to see her sing) throws up before every performance from nerves. I think it was Paul Newman or Robert Redford who said something like when he’s acting he sit in terror waiting for somone to jump out and scream You are an Imposter, you dont know how to act!
Post # 11
Im an elementary gen ed teacher and I can talk to a group of students all day but put a group of adults in front of me and its a whole different story! I have an interview this Saturday for a new position called a Literacy Coach. Where I will be talking in front of adults all the time. The position is a step to administration which is the direction I am heading I should be working on my interview powerpoint presentation but on top of wedding coming up in 3.5 weeks and our report cards are due and I have 90 students so 90 comments to write I am just overwhelmed I guess my biggest advice to you would be to do the teaching the best you can and you will be fine Practice a lot before you go
Post # 12
@AlwaysSunny: I agree with that!
Also, try getting a small group of your supportive friends together and teaching a yoga class to them.
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I taught a bunch of undergrad science courses my during my M.S. I was definitely nervous the first few times! What you need to remember is that being nervous is totally normal, but like anything, you WILL get used to it and it will become easier. And most importantly: fake it til you make it! Those people in your class don’t know what they’re doing, and they see YOU as the expert. So you just have to bluff your way into looking like the expert, even if you don’t feel like it. And pretty soon, feigning confidence will turn into actual confidence.
Post # 14
I am a group fitness instructor. My certification process was 3 months – our program has the most strict training program. By the time I finally passed all the tests I was scared too. But, I am a professional. I got on stage and looked around at all the people that PAY me to teach class. They have enough confidence in me, I should have confidence in me too.
Also – my program only gives you 30 days to teach your first class. If you don’t, they pull your license. Odds are if you don’t teach within 30 days, you will never teach.
Post # 15
@YogaFaerie: Well the first thing to remember is that you’re the expert. You did the course. You have the qualifications. These people don’t know that you’re anxious. They’re there to learn from you. You know your stuff.
I facilitate some training sessions at my job (I helped develop them) and I still get nervous. Not just for the public speaking part, but the “am I really qualified to TEACH people?!” bit. It passes with time.
The first step is to just go out there and do it. If you’re prepared (i.e. if you know your stuff), you will do fine. You can see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s not like you’ll magically be the best teacher ever on your first go, but as long as you strive to improve, and try not to make the same mistake twice, you’ll be fine.
Post # 16
The best advice I’ve ever been given when it comes to teaching is to remember that you know more than your students. If you mess up, own up to it be like ‘oops remember when I said this, I actually ment that, my bad!’ Go into it prepared and don’t get freaked out if you miss something or forget something just go back to it later. I know it’s hard but don’t be so nervous, I’m sure you will be great.