”Any yoga teacher who wants to can make yoga a lucrative career by learning how to network and how to build the right connections.”
Ellie Aaron had a calm energy as she described the skills she’ll be helping yoga teachers build at Office Yoga Teacher Training in New York this Fall. Aaron, who has been teaching yoga for almost ten years, began teaching in offices five years ago. Her career as a yoga teacher started like most: Running around from one studio to the next. Often, she’d be teaching the 7am classes, where she’d have much rather been sleeping.
“It’s the most fulfilling career I could have ever chosen. Every day I make a difference in the world. A big one. I’ve helped thousands of people develop yoga practices that have shaped their lives for the better in a multitude of ways. But it’s not always easy.”
She has a good point. Pay is fairly low for studio classes, and the physical strain of teaching 10-20 classes a week is a lot on the body, even if you’re in your twenties.
“While we’re supposed to calm everyone else down through downward dogs and sun salutations, many times we’re worried about how to pay rent and when we’ll get to practice yoga ourselves. It’s unsustainable for any teacher, as it was for me. Enter office yoga.”
When she started teaching in offices, Ellie’s career really began to shift. “I’ve been very lucky to teach for all the major office yoga companies in NYC. I’ve also grown my own corporate clients,” says Aaron.
The benefits of working in offices have been profound. Aaron noted how the students are always extremely grateful and gracious. The pay is way better, and the time commitment is generally more manageable.
“I’ve been with certain companies for almost 4 years. And the relationships I’ve formed through these connections have been beautiful. The corporate environment is often one of high stress, and to be able to give them the gift of yoga practice, and have them feel re-energized and more focused has shifted the company culture in these offices.”
As an office yoga teacher, the key part of the job is to provide an easily accessible yoga practice that can be taught in any space, where any person with any level of experience can access the class, and get a wonderful experience.
Below, check out a few easy yoga poses to teach at an office:
Chair Pose: Bring your feet hips width distance apart. Bend your knees sit back like your sitting in a char. Lift your arms (like you just won a race). Keep them beside the ears. Celebrate this fierce pose. Hold this for three breaths.
Twists: Sit in a comfortable position where your feet connect with the floor. Inhale and lift your arms up, exhale and bring your right hand to the outside of the left knee. Take two deep breaths here, keeping your hips connected to the chair, while you twist from your belly and chest. Inhale and bring your arms up, exhale and twist to the right, bringing your left hand to the outside of the right knee. Take two deep breaths. Repeat twice.
Side Bends: Inhale reach your arms up, exhale side bend to the right. Take two deep breaths. Inhale reach your arms up, exhale side bend to the left. Take two deep breaths. You can lean against a table to make this pose deeper.
Seated Pigeon Pose Variation: Sit up tall - Bring your right foot up and cross it over your left knee. Breathe into your right hip. Repeat on other side. Variation: If this feels to challenging is to simply cross your legs, and breathe.
Photos by Edel Singh, @edelsphotography. All photos taken at Hub Seventeen at Lululemon Flatiron in New York City.
Lauren Coles is the Founder of Daisy Office Yoga in New York City, where she brings yoga to people at work. She believes in the power of yoga to improve people’s relationship with their minds and bodies, and hopes to encourage more yoga instructors to pursue a career in the office yoga industry.