Amanda Kingsmith has joined the faculty of VSOHA’s 300 hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program to teach The Business of Yoga. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Marketing from the University of Calgary and has completed 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training, including the 300 hour YTT at VSOHA with Rebekka Walker.
“I am so excited to teach The Business of Yoga in the 300-hour training! My passion is helping yoga teachers discover what makes them come alive with their teaching and showing them how to turn that into a thriving business, which is energetically and financially sustainable.” – Amanda Kingsmith
How did you learn so much about the Business of Yoga?
Before I took my 200-hour training, I was working at lululemon and managing a yoga studio part-time in Canmore, Alberta. So within a week of graduating from YTT, I taught my first yoga class, and I got classes quite easily during the first 6 months of being a teacher. But soon after that, my husband got a job in Atlanta, Georgia, a city where I knew nobody. I was figuring out how to be a new yoga teacher in a new community when I realised, I hadn’t been taught how to be a yoga teacher from a business stand-point.
I started to build myself up as a yoga teacher, drawing from what I knew from the corporate world and the yoga world, and I decided to document the process through my podcast, Mastering the Business of Yoga, as a way both to learn and to teach others. Since then I have recorded over 150 episodes with yoga teachers from around the world.
Why did you decide to take your 300-hour Advanced Training?
Doing a 200-hour training opened my eyes to how much I didn’t know about yoga. 200 hours just isn’t enough time to cover everything! I felt like I needed more education about anatomy, how to watch people’s bodies, and how to interact with people in the studio. I was also falling into patterns of teaching where I was getting bored with myself. And going to other teacher’s classes for inspiration is great, but there is something powerful about learning from somebody like Rebekka who has way more experience than me.
How did the 300 hour at VSOHA compare to your 200 hour training in Bali?
My 200 hour was great, but I trained with a massive group of people. Some that I barely interacted with. I wondered, “Does this staff member know anything about me? Do they even know that I’m Amanda from Canada?”
At VSOHA, I was in a group of 9 so we all contributed a lot, which I really liked. I had high expectations going in and my expectations were exceeded. All of the staff were awesome, and within 90 seconds of Rebekka talking I thought, “this is the right place for me”. Rebekka is so skilled at what she does, and she’s so gifted at teaching teachers. It takes a certain person and personality to hold space for people doing the big growth work that comes in a program like this, and whatever that secret sauce is for doing that, she has it!
How did your teaching style evolve after the 300 hour program?
My spark was ignited again! I had more ideas of what to teach and how to teach it, and more ways of integrating knowledge and skills from the program. I was also more confident at watching bodies and offering adjustments.
The thing I loved most was our work around theming classes, which I wasn’t introduced to in my 200-hour. It helps people understand what they are doing outside of the physical aspect, and it’s a great way to connect with your students through a personal story or an aspect of yogic philosophy.
We also practised correcting anatomically incorrect poses in a teaching scenario which was really valuable to me, and something that I have used in all my classes since graduating the training.
Do you think the yoga industry in Vancouver is too saturated with teachers?
I don’t think the yoga industry will be saturated until everybody on the planet does yoga. I believe yoga can be hugely impactful to people’s lives physically and mentally. So, in order for people to experience that, we need yoga teachers doing what they are doing!
That’s why the work I do with yoga teachers improving their business is so important to me. Many yoga teachers start out really excited and eager to share. But sometimes it’s a struggle to find a job that pays enough, especially in Vancouver. And sometimes people get discouraged and stop teaching.
In order to be sustainable yoga teachers, we have to think of ourselves as entrepreneurs. What I love most, is teaching people what they need to know to create sustainable businesses. I want to empower people to determine their own worth and recognize the value of their services.
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