Dependability, honesty, compassion, enthusiasm and humility— these are all traits a new hire seeking a yoga teaching position should have, according to the owner of North Carolina’s Embrace Yoga Studio, Katherine Huynh.
“At Embrace, our intention is to offer a warm and safe environment for students of all levels to practice yoga,” added Huynh. “We have a broad demographic, so I look for a yoga teacher that has a broad skillset and can teach both beginners and more seasoned students.”
With a low turnover rate and only expecting around two to three new hires a year and a current nineteen hires in the studio, Huynh said it is essential to make sure all new hires are a good fit. So, how’s she figure out if it’s the “right fit?” By sitting down and having a cup of coffee or tea with the new potential hire.
“I ask questions such as their background in yoga, why they started practicing, what their intentions are, their availability and what brings them to the area,” said Huynh. “As our conversation evolves, I ask about their personal background as well as if they have a family, and if they have other hobbies.”
After getting to know one another, Huynh said she goes over the studio policies and guidelines so the teacher knows what to expect. If the initial meeting goes well, the potential hire first takes one of Huynh’s classes so Huynh can check for proper form and alignment in yoga poses, along with mindfulness in their practice and their adaptation of poses to better fit their needs.
The last step of Huynh’s hiring process includes the potential teacher subbing one of Huynh’s classes; Huynh then takes the potential teacher’s class so she can better observe how they teach and how the students respond to their teaching styles and techniques.
Every new hire at Embrace Yoga Studio has to have at least a 200-hour level yoga certification, along with prior teaching experience. Outside of certifications, Huynh expects teachers at her studio to have a broad range of both professional and personal skills. “I expect that they are kind, compassionate, a team-player, continually learning [and practicing yoga] and a self-starter,” Huynh added.
The process of bringing on a new hire generally takes Huynh two to three weeks, to ensure the teacher is fully ready to begin teaching a class, and she thinks it is important for teachers seeking new positions to find a place that resonates well with their values, along with finding a place that just feels good for them; and just as importantly, she advises the applicants to be themselves and enjoy the process.
Huynh’s expert advice to studio owners seeking a new hire: Go with your gut. “I would advise someone looking for a new hire to meditate on their intentions, and if the teacher aligns with it and what they look for. I also think it’s more important that they have traits like dependability, honesty, compassion, enthusiasm and humility rather than if they can do an advanced posture or not… sometimes these traits can compensate for teaching skills which could be learned. In the end, go with your gut,” Huynh added.