I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to “work” at this playful thing called teaching for 30+ years now. A friend of mine calls what we do “Plerk”. Play + Work. I totally agree.
One of the things that has given me longevity, and has kept me from instructor burnout, is what I call Teacher Cross Training. Much like you telling your students/clients to cycle on Monday, lift weights on Tuesday and practice yoga on Wednesday, cross training is good for all of us. It keeps our minds and bodies fresh and helps us with the creative process that makes us Extraordinary!
My weekly teaching schedule currently consists of 9 Yoga classes, 3 Indoor Cycling classes, 2 Boot Camp classes, and 1 Step Aerobics (yes, step!) class. I’m not saying you have to learn to teach, or even take step classes to be a good yoga teacher, but I am saying there are crossover principles that make you good at whatever you teach. Here are some examples:
- The breathing practices done in yoga are a great principle to teach in cycle classes
- The mental focus taught in cycle classes can be adapted to a yoga class
- The attention to core strength in a Pilates class is helpful to a cyclist
- The powerful motivational cues we give in Boot Camp classes can be used in cycle classes or even yoga classes. Just change the tone and tweak the message to fit your audience and theme
- The rhythm required to teach step aerobics is helpful in teaching cadence drills in a cycle class
- Balance poses taught in yoga can help with body awareness and agility
The list could go on and on.
Get out there and explore. Look at it as research and development for your business. Take (or teach) other modalities, and be open to learning something from each. Bring the best of what you learn back to your students.
I would love to see more of us actually making a living at this activity. And to do that, we just need to expand our view of what it is that we’re teaching.
At the end of the day, whether our students are standing on a step, pedaling a bike, climbing a rope, or lying on a yoga mat, we’re simply here to help them live more Extraordinary lives!