The Euro-Commuting Yoga Teacher: 5 Reflections On Making This Work

When I knew I wanted to be a yoga teacher, I had been inspired by many teachers who made travel part of this lifestyle. The perfect combination of sharing what I love and being able to travel at the same time!

As I started to look into this possibility, I knew this was something I wanted to do – And it seems I’m not the only one re-thinking their lifestyle. Over the last few years, there have been many articles in the media of people who are starting to do this, while working in many different fields. Madrid and Barcelona have already had a lot of press. I’ve also watched some friends change their lives through this.

I always get many questions from people who are curious about what it’s like to work as a full-time yoga teacher and holistic therapist… I want to share my honest journey with people. A recent email inspired me to write this blog post… Here are reflections from my journey and my own experiences.

5 Reflections On How & Why This Option Can Work

(Image source Marie Claire)

The truth is some cities are great for work, but too expensive to live in…

This certainly applies to London. It seems that no matter how much people earn, this city swallows up a huge chunk of the earnings on just the basics (transport, food, accommodation, etc).

So one by one, I watched how some of my yogi friends decided that it was time to move and create a base somewhere else (and still working in London) – Like Berlin, Rome, Lisbon, and Amsterdam. And even though London is an amazing city, leaving it is not a sad occasion or bad option – It’s funny how when you leave something, it usually ends up being a re-newed source of inspiration! 🙂

There are many other cities that are facing the same situation.  More than ever, people are moving to find work, improve their life and explore a different lifestyle design. The positive – More things seem to be flexible in many areas of work. Choosing  a job that offers this flexibility (like being a yoga teacher) will make euro-commuting so much more easier.

 I choose quality of life over anything else…

As the years go by, I am starting to really appreciate the simple things that I regard as a good quality of life. My priorities have definitely changed over the years, especially as I go deeper into my yoga.

The idea of living in a place that offers me the things I need (without having to pay the moon for it!), yet be able to keep an existing income source that is the same (or more) is appealing and ideal. And certainly possible with the right planning.

It takes time to build a regular client/student base…

This is where the serious research and planning needs to be done! Like any business and freelance position, building a client base (and regular income from it) can take time.  As a yoga teacher and/or holistic therapist, this is part of the work… building connection with people through your services.

The positive point about euro-commuting is that you don’t have to lose your existing client/student base from your old location. Some changes in what services you offer might have to be done, but technology and time-management can solve this.

The real challenges will come in your new location… There are many questions you need to ask your Self:

  • How can you start building your business in your new location too? (Be prepared to start from scratch!)
  • Have you done your research for your work? (For example: Finding yoga studios, community links for networking and advertising your classes etc)
  • In the meantime, how will you earn an income to support you (rent, food etc) in your new location – and cover costs of travel for flying back?
  • How often do you plan to travel back-and-forth for your work?
  • Can you get income from other sources now?
  • For extra income: Would you consider doing a part time job in your new location? Can you make money online?
  • Do you have enough savings to cover your move?
  • Do you want to stay in one location or keep moving (in the same city, within different countries etc)?

All of these questions need to be looked at and planned. Like any big move, it is best to consider these things in advance.

Social media becomes your best friend…

Social media will be a great place to keep your clients/students connected to your work and travel plans. It will also serve as a tool to see where you can find work, where you can host classes/workshops, where you might be able to get contracted work, who are the people you need to connect with etc.

If you haven’t done so already, start a Facebook page just for your yoga/holistic business. And begin to slowly direct everyone you come across to your page.

Social media is also a great place to do the research you need –  Spending time looking at other people’s business pages can help you get an idea of what is out there. Making time for social media is now very much part of business planning and research.

Euro-Commuting is not always fun… Being super organized is essential!

In my case, I would gladly choose a busy airport over a crowded London tube at rush-hour any day! Joking aside, it may sound glamorous to people when you say that you are jetting off to teach a class… but commuting over long distances does take a lot of time, money and planning ahead too.

Being organized with your work bookings and schedule is key – And this means knowing your plans months in advance. For example: As a yoga teacher, I try to do everything around 6 months in advance – Booking a yoga room for classes/workshops, doing the marketing 3-6 months before the actual class/workshop, book my hotel or find accommodation in advance for the best prcis, book my plane ticket for the best prices.

Making the most of each trip counts – Whether you are in a location for a day or a month, just doing your yoga class or workshop is not always enough. The place you might have considered to be your home is now a work trip. This may completely shift the way you look at your travel experiences. For example: I may travel to London often but I no longer may have the time to do what I used to love there. Instead, I’ll be planning my classes, talking to other yoga teachers in the centers, visiting potential workshops spaces etc. My home comforts in London suddenly feel different.

 A new way of living…

Like any life changes, it takes time to reflect and see what feels right for you. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to follow this path – With any challenge that comes up, I learn more about my Self. With every fall-back, I also gain something new.

A work-in-progress! I do not claim to be an expert in this… I am still learning every single day and expanding my Self along the way – through my yoga, through the people I meet, by breaking down some old comfort zones that held me back, releasing old mind-sets and being open to what will come. It is hard work but I enjoy the benefits.

It reminds me of what my yogi friend once said to me – The real yoga practice happens off the mat