Hot on the heels of teaching my first class at Om Yoga Show, I wanted to share 10 quick insights for any yoga and meditation teachers thinking of embarking on this adventure themselves! for those that don't know, the Om Yoga Show is an event run by Om Yoga Magazine, its the biggest yoga, wellness and wellbeing event in the UK each year show run in London and Manchester, I also believe there have been a few Glasgow shows too. I went to my first Om show almost 10 years ago, long before I became a teacher, the events have grown massively in these 10 years and I was delighted to teach an open class at this year's event. Want to be part of the fun? here are some ideas!
1) Apply every year with a variety of offerings - talk, class, workshops. I have applied every year to teach at Om Show since I passed my teacher training. Anyone can apply to present here , as Om mention, priority is given to stall holders, which is a sure fire way of getting a teaching and workshop slot. But for me personally, not really wanting to have a stall, it took much longer for me to get a teaching space. But applying is simple so I kept at it!
2) Go to anything/everything! If you are teaching an open class, you won't get paid BUT you can gain great value, not just the physical act of teaching a big group at a big event. But also taking advantage of everything on offer at the show. I went to workshops and talks on chakra meditation, essential oils, finding your power animal, sequencing yoga classes, connecting to your inner goddess, and pranayama, all for free or for a few pounds. It’s a great chance to dip your toe into all sorts of modalities and be inspired!
3) Be prepared to switch up your class - My class was packed and it was quite late in the day, I realised after a few rounds of sun salutations that not only were people tired but space was scarce! so I knocked off some of my sequences and brought everyone to a longer meditation. Its great to have a plan - but have some backups ideas too!
4) Speaking of back up.... Bring as much as you can to support your class running smoothly, notes, props, music. For example, my phone couldn't connect to the (quite old) PA system at the show, but I had bought my small but mighty Bluetooth speaker with me to play music just in case there was a problem. So I didn't have to go without my music! So sit down and make a list of anything that might go wrong (e.g there's no mat, the mic doesn't work, the music stops) and how you might deal with it - I don't want to scare you but if you just take a little time to prepare you will know how to deal with any issues that come your way!
5) Come bearing gifts! Obviously, personal choice and not everyone might want to do this. But people at the show are taking in a lot - classes, teachers, food, it's overwhelming! so I wanted to make it a little easier for people to remembe me, and connect with me - so I gave out simple goody bags with a crystal and my business cards in, in a little green bag. So if anyone wants to email me they can, and they have a little reminder of our session :)
6) Keep it simple, not necessarily easy, but simple! The show is noisy! and the open classes often packed with people spilling out into every space available. So while I fully support a challenging strength class, bear in mind that students might not be able to see or hear you clearly, or have a lot of space. So just keep this in mind if you are planning a fast, complex flow!
7) Plan your journey and give yourself enough time - Om is tiring! Do your best to give yourself time and space, time to relax after your session and also time to explore and enjoy being there! Check the timetables and highlight a few things you'd like to see and do.
8) Chat to everyone! Like in point 2, the value of teaching at Om is not monetary but from learning, experience and connections! talk to students, and other teachers, talk to people at interesting stalls - you can make all sorts of exciting connections.
9) Seek out bargains - The stalls at the show are great places to find bargains - especially for things you use regularly, such as blocks, blankets, singing bowls, incense. I love 'toesox' (grippy yoga socks) and I found them at half their usual price at the show and in fun colours I hadn't seen before. I also found a few stalls selling essential oils, at one stall Lavender oil was £28 and I found it nearby for £5 (check its 100% natural and organic essential oil if you can, price does sometimes reflect quality) so there are bargains to be had!
10) Grow and learn! The show is a whirlwind of noise, business and manic-ness. but also of joy, laughter and connection! I was so nervous to get on stage, but it was an amazing experience and would happily do it again!