At the start of every teacher training, I often ask yoga teachers what they hope to get out of studying together. Inevitably teachers share that they feel timid or doubt themselves and want to boost their confidence in the classroom.
Of course, they are doing exactly the right thing by carving out time to improve and take more teacher training! But here’s a little known secret that can instantly build your confidence:
Yep. It seems a little superficial as a yoga teacher to care about what you wear.
After all, yoga teachers are supposed be okay renouncing possessions and not accumulating stuff, right?
Well, there is truth to that. But there is also truth in the benefits of dressing well as a professional. Dressing well helps you you feel confident, and if you feel confident you will teach with more persuasive passion, thus becoming a more trusted expert in your field and increasing your positive influence in the world!
I remember the first time I landed a heavy-weight private client. She was a famous best-selling author in New York and I was a brand new yoga teacher.
Talk about intimidating.
Her apartment was huge and lavish. She worked from home. She often kept me waiting with her dog on the sofa as she finished calls in her office. I’d be sitting there feeling smaller than an ant, my self esteem plummeting by the minute.
Even in the middle of the lesson, when the phone rang, she would answer it, leaving me sitting there figuring out how to balance out my sequence now that she’d squandered 15 minutes of our time.
Because of my poor self regard and feelings of intimidation, I never set boundaries or asked her to stay focused. She was completely in control of how the lesson would go down, even though I was the teacher!
At the time I couldn’t afford nice clothes. My yoga duds were threadbare from wearing them so many times.
Every time I taught this private student, I would walk by a boutique in the Equinox health club and look inside at the crisp new stylish yoga clothes…and drool a little. They were way out of my budget.
When I shared my clothing woes with my older sister who, unlike me, had a fancy well-paying job, she immediately offered to buy me the outfit in the Equinox window. How cool is my sister??
Much to my surprise, the minute I showed up to my private lesson with that outfit on, something major shifted inside me. I felt confident! I got assertive with my client and asked her not to answer the phone when it rang and told her it disturbed the flow of our sessions. From then on she was infinitely more respectful of our time, and we got much farther with her practice!
Clothing is definitely a big investment. You may just be starting out or still replenishing your funds from teacher training so it may seem like clothes are the last thing you can splurge on. However if you can find a way to get yourself in at least one new, crisp-looking outfit that makes you feel tip-top, the returns will be well worth the investment!
Have you had a confidence boost from a new outfit? Leave your story in the comments below!
About Amy Ippoliti
Amy Ippoliti is known for bringing yoga to modern-day life in a genuine way through her intelligent sequencing, clear instruction, and engaging sense of humor. She shares her passion for yoga, health, earth conservation, and with her writings for Yoga Journal, Yoga International, Mantra Magazine, Mind Body Green, prAna Stories, and Elephant Journal. She has appeared on the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Yoga Magazine and has been featured in Self Magazine, New York Magazine, Allure (Korea), and Newsweek and on the front page of Yahoo.com. A teacher on YogaGlo.com, she is a pioneer of advanced yoga education, co-founding 90 Monkeys, an online school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 65 countries. She is the co-author of the new book, The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga.