So, you’re packing up and beginning a new adventure, in a new town. The lease for your future home has been signed. The moving truck is booked. Farewell dinners and happy hours with all of your friends and co-workers have been scheduled. Moving can be bittersweet and it has a way of evoking all kinds of emotions. On one hand, it’s a fresh start – an exciting time, filled with anticipation of new possibilities. But, moving also comes with stress – all the logistics and details, hidden expenses, not to mention saying good-bye to your dear friends, loved ones, the friendly barista who knows your coffee order, and, of course, your yoga community!
Moving can also be a really hectic time which can make it quite easy to fall out of your routine, but that means carving out time for genuine self-care is even more important for your wellbeing! Here are ten ways to help transition to your new home while maintaining your yoga practice and building a new community of like-minded individuals:
- Ask for recommendations: Personal referrals can be the best way to get started. Post a question on Facebook. Friends and acquaintances will be happy to share their favorite yoga teacher or studio recommendations, especially if you’re moving to a bigger city.
- Establish a home practice: Are you finding yourself in your new home before the moving truck arrives? Think of it as your own private yoga studio! Use the empty walls and space to practice handstand or tricky arm balances. Move and enjoy the abundance of space before it’s filled with moving boxes. Try streaming classes on your laptop, phone or tablet, if you like to have an instructor leading you. Take a look at services like Yogaglo, Gaia, and Yoga International.
- Find New Student Specials: Most studios and wellness centers will offer new students an introductory deal for a week, or even a whole month. This is an excellent way to test out the waters and see if it could be your new yoga home. Or, if you’re just the nomadic type, this is a great way to hop around town and learn from different teachers.
- Join Classpass: Classpass is another flexible option for exploring new studios and workouts (maybe boxing or spin class will become your new thing!) You can snag a good deal as a new member (or ask a friend who uses Classpass to send you a referral link. Both of you will get credit in your account). Plus month to month memberships make it easy to try without commitment.
- Follow local teachers on Instagram: As much as we might miss our teacher and studio, it never hurts to gain a new, fresh perspective. Get to know the teachers in your neighborhood and start following them on Instagram. You can find out where they’re teaching as well as get a sense for their values as a yoga teacher and practitioner.
- Check your local Meetups: Meetups are another great way to connect with other like-minded people in your new hometown. There’s pretty much a Meetup group for any interest or activity, including yoga, meditation, and wellness! You might even discover some quirky niche groups (yoga with goats, anyone?) If you’re used to be the social coordinator or organizer, you can always start your own Meetup, too!
- Volunteer as a yoga teacher: As a yoga teacher, this is a perfect way to start establishing and building connections in your new town. Volunteering your time by teaching community or donation-based classes is an amazing contribution to the community with the added benefits of getting your name out there and beginning to build a student base. Research volunteer yoga teacher opportunities on VolunteerMatch or look up organizations based in your city that focus on community outreach such as Accessible Yoga, Give Back Yoga Foundation, Street Yoga, Prison Yoga Project, Kula for Karma, and Mind Body Solutions. You could also check with local studios and see if they also offer any community outreach programs that you can help with.
- Volunteer at your studio: You may find that your neighborhood studio offers a work-exchange program, trading classes for your time helping out around the studio with cleaning or administrative tasks. Not only can this save you a few bucks but you’ll have a chance to keep your practice steady while meeting some new friends along the way.
- Get outside to a yoga class or festival: Especially in the summer, you won’t have to look far to find an outdoor yoga class! Take advantage of these events (many outdoor classes tend to be donation-based so another effective way to save some money) Being outside can liven up your practice while meeting new people in a relaxing environment. Check event listings on Facebook, the local parks department, or if you’re so lucky to have access to one, the local yoga magazine or publication to see what events are coming up.
- Attend a yoga workshop: Workshops are excellent for helping you explore and deepen your practice. Specialized classes or workshops are also effective in infusing fresh energy into your practice. Workshops also tend to be more interactive than a drop-in class so you will have a chance to get to know your fellow yogis.
- Shake up your movement routine: Don’t be afraid to try new kinds of workouts! Who knows, you might come to love the running club or find new pals at kickboxing class. You don’t need to give up your yoga practice, of course, but keeping an open mind to new ways to move your body can be really good for your practice, too!
One final consideration for yoga teachers landing in a new city… be patient with yourself and be ready to practice self-compassion. Especially in bigger cities like New York City or San Francisco, teaching yoga can be highly competitive so the opportunities can take some time to present themselves. But, just keep showing up on your mat and find ways to be part of the local yoga community. In the words of Patthabis Jois, “Practice and all is coming.”
Offering Tree would be thrilled to support you as you begin your journey as a yoga teacher or wellness professional. Visit our website to learn more about user-friendly tools and offerings.