Are you curious about becoming a full time yoga teacher?
The following is a Q & A featuring the interviewer, Jenny Michele, business professional from Baltimore, MD and the interviewed, founder of Explorations of Self, Alana Victoria Roach as she explains what her journey has been like since she got her yoga teacher training certificate in 2011.
What were you looking to accomplish when you started your career teaching yoga?
World peace and healing for all.
How many hours did you work per week when you started? I taught anywhere between 15-25 hours a week after teaching for just a few short months.
After becoming certified, was it a struggle to find work? No. I was driven and the Universe co-conspired with me to bring in teaching gigs. I have taught everywhere from studios to college credited courses to retirement communities to kids yoga. You name it, I’ve done it. If you’re open to deepening your own skills as a teacher, and driven to find the work, you will flourish as a teacher. You must be willing to put in the action, though!
How many hours per week do you work now?Depends on what I have going on. Ideal work week is about 15 hours a week, but there have been weeks where I am crunching for a promo or teaching a festival or leading a retreat where I have to be on all the time so you’re talking 12 hour days, BUT, I love what I do and I don’t consider it work necessarily. It’s just disciplined action to achieve goals, help others, enjoy abundance, and play!
How did you build a following? Getting emails from every class I taught. Always ask if people want to sign up for your email list. Talking to your students before and after class. Maintaining your social media presence. Have a website to direct people to.
How did you network? Teaching everywhere I could.
How did you push through fears? Just do it. Once you start it, the fear subsides and you become a conduit for the Divine. It’s all about service.
Were there poses you could not do when you started? Yes! Your practice will grow as you teach. You have to remain a student of yoga when you become a teacher. A wise mentor once told me to, practice as much as you teach. It makes you human to your students when you can’t do all of the poses, but I would suggest to teach what you know. As you grow in your practice, teach what you learn.
I recently read the ” 7 Truths About Being A Yoga Teacher That No One Will Ever Tell You” by Edward Vilga and he wrote that centers insist teachers follow a strictly vegetarian diet.. Is this a truth for you? I LOVE a vegetarian diet, don’t get me wrong, but, no. I suggest you fuel your body with medicinal food. That means cutting out processed junk and fueling yourself with really good whole foods. I eat a largely vegan diet but in recent years have learned to listen to my body, which sometimes, craves fish, steak, chicken. I suggest students listen to their bodies. Eat organic. If you eat fish, make sure it’s organic and wild caught. Don’t eat too much of it. If you eat meat, make sure it’s grass fed and was not treated with hormones. Don’t eat too much of it. Fill the rest of your diet with organic (Local if possible) produce and cut out the processed junk all together. You’ll live a healthy and happy life if you do this. I am an advocate for being vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, and carnivorous, just as long as it’s benefiting the person eating it while keeping the animals and the environment in mind. I always thank my food, where it came from, the sunshine, soil, farm, handlers, you name it, I thank it BEFORE I consume. I pray over my food to lift the energy of the ritual. Whatever you eat, you take in the energy of that thing. Sending your food good vibes and gratitude helps to commune with that food and that creates vibrancy and synergy within your body. I am also an advocate for eating mostly vegan because the Earth needs it now more than ever.
What inspires you to keep going? The feeling I get every time I teach. The incredible testimonials I receive after I lead a yoga retreat or teach an event or class. The outpour of people who say how inspired they are because I’ve created a business that was founded on passion, belief, happiness, love, purpose, and faith. The inner knowing I have that I am meant to trail blaze a lifestyle that is meant to inspire others to live a life that dreams are made of.
I want people to feel good, dive deep within themselves, and ask this question on a daily basis, “Am I following my heart?” That is what keeps me going.
It’s not a choice. It’s my PURPOSE. When you follow what you love, the Universe will support you to create it. Trust the process and don’t give up!
Do you still lift and do other types of work outs? Absolutely. I have been cross training for almost a decade. Lately I have been really intro HITT and Crossfit style work outs that leave out the Olympic Lifting for the most part and have a big focus on form to avoid injury. Cross training keeps my body strong and balances out my 6 day a week yoga practice. I cross train at least 3 days a week.
What is your least favorite part of the training/ job? The spiritual ego!
What is your favorite part of the training /job? Helping others find true inner peace, good health, happiness, purpose, and connection.
Owner & Director of the Explorations of Self Travel Community
Mother, Yogi, Business Owner, Dharma and Meditation Instructor, Surfer, Artist, Singer, Life and Nutrition Coach, Social Media Marketing, Lover or LIFE.