There isn’t many jobs that can claim a Zen-like lifestyle and work environment, however Kirsty Gallagher has a job that most of us would love to have.
Forget the hustle and bustle, the fast-paced rushing around like a headless chicken, the constant rat race and the thrills and spills of the office environment. If you’re a free spirit and want to help others, then a yoga instructor could be your dream job. We spoke to Kirsty Gallagher to find out what it takes to be an International Yoga Teacher.
Name: Kirsty Gallagher
Job title: International Yoga Teacher
Company: Kirsty Gallagher Yoga
What does your job role entail?
Sharing my love of yoga teaching yoga retreats, workshops and classes all over the world.
Describe your working day or week?
It differs every day and every week. When I am teaching a retreat the days are pretty full on – I’m usually up around 6.30 to do my own practice then teach from 8am-10am, brunch with the group, a workshop from 11-1pm and then lunch. We usually have free afternoons where I can catch up on emails, social media or some prep and then I teach again from around 5-7pm, group dinner then bed! When I’m not on a retreat I’m usually catching up on all my admin (taking retreat bookings, replying to emails, planning future retreats and workshops, updating my website), writing articles and blog posts and enjoying some time to catch up with family and friends.
What key skills do you need to do your job?
A love and passion for yoga and a qualification to teach it! It also helps to be sociable, well organised and have a love for travel if you want to move into doing retreats.
What made you decide to go for this job role?
I fell in love with yoga the first class that I took and just knew that it was what I wanted to spend my life sharing. After spending 8 months in India doing my teacher training in 2009 I returned back to the UK and began to teach weekly classes then workshops as I gained more experience. After around two and a half years I ran my first retreats and realised that I could combine my loves of yoga and travel doing this, so moved into teaching retreats full time and have been doing that the last four years.
Best part of your job?
Getting to combine my two loves of yoga and travel.
Worst part of your job?
Spending lots of time away from home, family and friends. It can sometimes be challenging being on the road for so long, especially when you miss out on special occasions and moments.
Most memorable moment at work?
I still remember completely clearly a special life defining moment on one of my first ever yoga retreats. I was taking the group to the beach on the second day. It was in Italy; clear blue skies, warm sun, golden beach and crystal clear waters. As I was walking along chatting and laughing with the group it suddenly hit me – this was my “job”! Taking a lovely group of people to spend an afternoon relaxing on a stunning beach was my actual “job”! I can still feel the overwhelming gratitude and happiness that I felt in that moment of realisation.
If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?
I was lucky enough to do my teacher training in India, as I wanted to go back to the source of where yoga came from and immerse myself completely in the training. I know this isn’t possible for everyone and so there are some great courses in both the UK and Europe, with many of the UK ones enabling you to study one weekend a month leaving you the rest of the time to continue with your day to day life. Just ensure that the course is a properly certified by someone like the Independent Yoga Network or Yoga Alliance. Make sure that you find a teacher and style of yoga that really resonates with you, study with that teacher for as long as you can before undertaking your teacher training. You have to hold a proper qualification and adequate insurance to be able to teach yoga to the public.
Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?
Yes definitely. I hear a lot of people say that they are going to become a yoga teacher and immediately teach retreats, which is a beautiful dream to have and totally achievable but realistically takes time and experience. I started with classes and then workshops gaining experience as a teacher before moving into retreats and this experience was invaluable. Teaching retreats looks very glamorous but it is not as easy as it looks! It takes a lot of organisation and hard work and you are responsible for the happiness and well being of a large group of people with very differing yoga abilities, personalities and expectations. The more experience you can gain teaching yoga the better and if you can assist a teacher on a retreat to see all that happens and is required behind the scenes then even better. You also need a good following of students or social media outreach to be able to find all the people you need to fill the retreat.
Give us a tip on how to steal your job.
Love, love, love yoga. Share it with as many people as you can as often as you can and most of all believe in yourself and the dream, you can achieve it with enough belief, dedication and commitment.
LOOK OUT FOR 2016 RETREAT AND WORKSHOP DATES COMING SOON…Goa, Sri Lanka, Ibiza, France, Italy, Dubai and the UK just for starters!
Find freedom in the flow – for inspiration, retreats, workshops and classes come and join the family…