Being an International Yoga Instructor & How You Can Become One
By: Robin Shackelford, RYT-500 Hour, International Yoga Instructor (see above photo)
For the last year, I have been teaching yoga as an International Yoga Teacher and exploring the beautiful regions of Costa Rica. Making the decision to teach abroad full-time has its pros and cons just like any other commitment. Admittedly, this position is not for everyone; yet, I ﬁnd it the most rewarding adventure of my life.
Making the decision to live remotely (read “homeless”) and teach abroad full-time, I sold or donated most of my possessions at home. I packed two suitcases with the necessary yoga clothes, bathing suits, and beach clothes and left home to explore this new way of living without attachment. I have been exposed to a wonderful minimalistic way of life. Releasing attachment to friends, family and the customary culture of the United States, I found that my focus and concentration on my practice and purpose of teaching became easily streamlined and fulﬁlling.
After I had taught many hours as a yoga teacher at home, I felt comfortable with my practice and I decided to seek opportunities abroad. I began my quest in search of opportunities by searching websites such as worldpackers.com, yogatrade.com and yogatraveljobs.com as well as getting on social media.
Gaining my nerve to move forward with this decision, I applied for a job at a remote ecolodge in the rainforest of Costa Rica. I was invited to come for a month and extend my stay if I wanted. I stayed for ten-weeks and never wanted to leave; but I still had commitments in the US. In Costa Rica, I needed certain things such as hiking shoes, ﬂashlight and serious rain gear. I learned so much about this environment and how to be a positive part of the ecosystem.
I have spent 18-weeks in Costa Rica this year. In addition to the gorgeous rainforest and jungles, I have lived on the beaches of Caribbean coast and am currently teaching in a surf town on the Paciﬁc coast of Costa Rica. There are so many diverse regions in Costa Rica. I have so many more places to visit and chances to spread yoga worldwide.
Most jobs oﬀer room and board in exchange for teaching yoga. It is most often considered a volunteer position with at least a month long commitment. There are also many paid opportunities available if you are seeking a long term placement and residency.
To say I fell in love with Costa Rica, the country and the people, is an understatement. It provides the perfect environment to teach yoga. Classes are ﬁlled with people traveling from all over the world and they are seeking to unwind and ﬁnd peace here. It is the “Pura Vida”- the Pure Life. “Pura Vida’ is the normal greeting, always reminding me this is the chance to live close to the earth and become an asset to the environment instead of just a consumer.
In my journals, I try to keep a list of students and their hometowns and countries. In one single afternoon class I had students from China, Mexico, France, the Netherlands and Austria. The joy I ﬁnd in introducing international students to yoga is so rewarding. I have found that yoga is universal and the ability to teach yoga and to travel to exquisite locations around the world is my purpose and calling. I ﬁnd purpose in teaching and am a wanderlust at heart.
Living at the resorts, hotels and hostels long-term allows me to meet other world travelers and I have cultivated amazing friendships while traveling. There is something about traveling that allows people to just be themselves. Especially people who travel alone.
Teaching is my priority and purpose wherever I ﬁnd myself. Practicing open-heartedness is key. The feeling of teaching beginners from around the world is inspiring and simply beautiful. Being an International Yoga Teacher also provides time for self-study, solitude and challenges everyday. If you love to travel and can practice non-attachment to your present culture than teaching abroad may also be a wonderful choice for your career.
About Robin Shackelford
Robin is a RYT 500 hour International Yoga and Meditation Teacher from the DFW Metroplex and studied Art History at Southern Methodist University. You can find more about Robin by CLICKING HERE.
You can contact Robin by email: firstname.lastname@example.org