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Just TWO weeks left until the launch of The Art of Teaching Yoga in New York City, in which some of our favorite master yogis will guide an intimate group of students through Yoga Journal LIVE! 2016 events (the program counts toward 22 Yoga Alliance continuing education contact hours). We asked three of these seasoned yogis — Alexandria Crow, a YogaWorks national teacher trainer; Coral Brown, a teacher trainer, holistic psychotherapist, and longtime student of Shiva Rea; and Giselle Mari, a worldwide master Jivamukti teacher and teacher-trainer — how to conquer nerves and ace any yoga audition.
5 Tips for Acing Your Yoga Audition
1. You do you.
“My best advice is do you exactly as you would if no one was watching,” says Crow. “I think trying to figure out what may get you the job and tailoring to that is unwise and never works. Be completely authentic and aligned to how you teach. If you can do that, the things that are meant for you will happen and they will last!”
2. Practice makes perfect.
“Create a brief but well-rounded sequence that showcases your ability to create a beginning, middle, and end of an experience,” suggests Mari. “This can include chanting; a brief talk about your theme, whether philosophical or the desired outcome for this sequence; asana related to that theme; and meditation. From here, practice your class with family/friends who can give you some feedback on your delivery and overall presentation skills. Filming yourself is also a great self-help tool and can reveal tremendous insights into how you communicate (among other things that might make you wince, so have a sense of humor about yourself).”
3. Show what you know.
“Once in the audition, move around the room so everyone can see and hear you,” recommends Mari. “Keep your teachings clear and concise — be mindful of overused words like “good,” “breathe,” etc. Provide hands-on assists and/or have the ability to verbally break down at least one pose so you can demonstrate your knowledge of anatomy/alignment. Know how to utilize props and offer modifications and demonstrate these adjustments on an as-needed basis. Most importantly, have your own voice and your own flavor. Relax, smile, and shine!”
4. Teach for the students.
“Remember, this is a job of service and to be in service is to provide an experience for others that isn’t about you,” adds Mari. “Yes, you are bringing yourself to the mix, but be sure that your offering is for your audience and their skill set.”
5. Just say OM.
“Auditions are a challenge for anyone,” says Brown. “To stay calm, use tools that you have learned in yoga such as mindfulness, your breath, and maybe repeat a favorite mantra. Also, change your perspective so that you are auditioning them! Ask questions, meet people, get a feel for the place — maybe it isn’t good match for YOU, not them! Humble confidence, grace, and faith help too. Remember that if this studio isn’t a good fit for you, there’s a reason for that.”