You’ve completed your teacher training, sun salute in your sleep, and yet it is still straight up scary preparing for your first audition to become a yoga teacher. Like everything in life, if you are prepared, you will be confident, and do great. Yoga teacher training directors and hall of fame worthy instructors let me in on some tips that you should use as a guideline when preparing for the big day.
1. Get The Facts
Pay close attention to the audition invitation so that you don’t miss out on any key details. Make a note of anything that you need to remember for the big day in your calendar, for easy reference. The peace of mind that this will bring on the day of your audition will provide a confidence boost, in addition to making sure that you don’t forget anything.
What You Need To Know:
- audition date, time, location (check that you have the correct address & know how to get there)
- what to bring
- what type of sequence are they looking for
- how long will your audition last
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
Audition lengths vary on a wide spectrum. I’ve heard of instructors being asked to prepare for anywhere between 5 minutes and an hour and a half. Before creating your sequence, clarify what the hiring manager is expecting of you. Do they want you to use music in your class? What type of yoga are they looking to bring to their space? Knowing your audience and clarifying any expectations will allow you to prepare for a successful presentation. Know your audience- what kind of class are they expecting to see? Gentle, slow flow or power?
2. Create Your Sequence
Go With What You Know
Stick to the basics, making sure to have a beginning middle and end of the sequence. Sun salutations A and B are a good place to start. This will give you freedom to relax instead of trying to remember what comes next. While I’m typically all about letting your freak flag fly, I want you to be able to relax and enjoy this experience. The contagious energy that you bring here will reflect onto your audience, and in this case, your evaluators.
Music: Yay or Nay?
There are mixed reviews concerning whether or not it is appropriate to bring and use music in your audition. Often time the studio will let you know which they prefer. If the choice is yours, do what is most comfortable for you.
Some say that you should always take advantage of incorporating music if given the opportunity to use it. The familiarity of your chosen songs can often be a comforting and calming factor that you bring to the environment. Knowing the songs can also be helpful with triggering your memory as you associate different parts of the flow with where you are in your playlist. Music can also serve as a cue to make sure that your timing is appropriate, especially since we tend to speed things up when we are nervous. Music can be a wonderful addition to class while others recommend avoiding it at all costs.
The main concern directing some away from bringing music to an audition is choosing music that your evaluators dislike. Especially since we often do not personally know the people who are doing the hiring, personal music selection runs the risk of being a turn-off.
As always communication is key. Clarifying the manager’s preference of whether or not you should use music from the start will likely solve this issue. If you decide to use music, make sure that it correlates appropriately with your sequence. You also need to make sure that your phone is on airplane mode and compatible to be set up with the studio’s technology.
Jennifer Leavy, owner of Pose By Pose Yoga and director of Teacher Training advises:
“Don’t worry too much about your music. Spending hours on a playlist is not necessary- practice your flow portion and spend time on that vs set up.”
3. Practice & Modify Your Sequence
An audition is not the time to “wing it.” To say that you must memorize your sequence is an understatement. You need to know it like the back of your hand, practicing again and again until it becomes second nature. Moreover, you need to focus on teaching the sequence, not just doing it yourself.
Be Your Own Critic
Once you have worked out your poses and cues, film yourself. It is a good idea to take record yourself not only doing the sequence but actively teaching it. Reviewing the video allows you to critique and modify yourself from a new perspective. You’ll likely cringe as we all have quirks that we don’t notice. Thankfully be reviewing the tape before the audition, you will have an opportunity to correct yourself.
Feedback From Friends and Family
While it may be nerve-wracking and awkward to do so, this is the best preparation for the actual audition. Practice teaching your sequence to friends, family, etc – the more the merrier. It will be helpful to notice a wider range of reactions to your cues and give you insight where you may need to provide clearer instruction. Ask for feedback then do it again. Practice makes perfect.
Remember WHY you want to be there in the first place. More than likely it is to help people find the gift of yoga (more than you just “getting a job placement). Bring your passion and it will all fall into place.” – Michelle Ruiz, RYT 500
4. The Night Before
Packing your bag and lay out your outfit before getting some shuteye the night before your audition. Rest easy knowing that your to-do list has been checked and you are good to go! Here is where all of your hard work and preparation finally pays off. It is now time to relax and be present.
5. The Day Of Your Audition
Rise and shine. Wake up early enough to leave time for a long meditation so that you arrive in the right mindset.
Eat a healthy breakfast to fuel yourself for a great performance and start your day out on the right foot.
Meet yourself on your mat for one last pep talk.
Choose an empowering mantra that you can carry with you throughout the day – a positive affirmation to keep you feeling strong. Some examples are “you’ve got this, you are strong, you are worthy.”
Do your own practice to warm yourself up and get the nerves out, before heading out the door.
Leave plenty of time to get there and plan to show up at least 10 minutes early. You are ready. A minute or two leading up to your turn to present, spend a moment returning to your meditation. Before beginning take a deep breath.
6. Connect & Move
Stand confidently in front of the group as you share your smile and contagious energy. You will most likely be directed to set up your mat at the front of the room if there is not one waiting for you there already. This is a great spot to make sure you are grounded and survey the layout of the room. Once you are settled, however, try not to spend any time here.
Move around the room while you are teaching to create a connection with the class. Doing so will allow you to implement assists and alignment adjustments where necessary. Be clear and concise in your direction, making sure to allow time for silence.
As the class comes to a close, express your gratitude for the time you have just shared. Feel free to share wisdom here or speak from your heart. I love when my teachers share these little tidbits that I can carry with me throughout my day.
“Remember that you are a pro! I think sometimes as teachers especially when we are ‘auditioning’ for something, we are hard on ourselves and don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve”, Michelle Ruiz, RYT-500.