From Office Hell to Yoga Heaven: Jumpstart Your Career as a Yoga Instructor From Office Hell to Yoga Heaven: Jumpstart Your Career as a Yoga Instructor

From Office Hell to Yoga Heaven: Jumpstart Your Career as a Yoga Instructor

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In many ways, yoga saved my life.

Most yoga practitioners can probably relate to that statement. Through yoga, self-transformation occurs throughout your lifetime in multiple spheres - body, mind, and spirit - to ultimately and continually bring you more in tune with yourself.

I realized fairly early on in my yoga-life that I wanted less time in my cubicle at work, and more time on my mat. Back then, I wasn't really sure how I would make that a reality. Now, about a decade later, I teach internationally, I represent Nike as their one and only Global Yoga Ambassador, I'm sponsored by various brands that I really believe in, and I'm blessed with the opportunity to share my journey with you here.

I wholeheartedly believe that you can make anything happen for yourself. I believe that you can - and must - seek to discover and live your passion. My yoga practice initiated and established this pathway for me, and I hope my story and my thoughts will inspire you to find the same for yourself.


Leah Kim graduated from UCLA with a degree in Economics, but it wasn't long before she realized her life would be much better spent on the mat than in a cubicle. With the guidance of her first mentor Ally Hamilton, she has devoted her life to yoga, and has had the privilege of regularly practicing with many internationally recognized teachers while living for nearly a decade in the modern-day yoga mecca of Santa Monica.

Since the spring of 2009, Leah has been Nike’s Global Yoga Ambassador. She travels on behalf of Nike’s yoga program as their spokesperson and head trainer. She leads Nike Training Club Yoga events, designs yoga programs for Nike, and is featured in Nike media publications. She is currently based in London.


In Santa Monica-Los Angeles, they say that now there are as many aspiring yoga teachers as there are aspiring actors. I'm not sure how accurate that statement is, but in recent years, there's certainly been an influx of new yoga teachers not just in Southern California, but globally. This makes it a pretty competitive marketplace, and the question then is, how can you make yourself stand out?

The yoga career path is a unique one, different from becoming a teacher at a school or a trainer at a gym. Unlike those career paths, there are fewer definitive credentials and mandatory guidelines for becoming a yoga teacher. It's more like being a professional artist. Sure, you need basic technical training, but what will separate you from others is your personal interpretation, perspective, expression, and communication. The technical information must be balanced by your inspired and impassioned creativity and authentic voice. I think that's what will separate the yoga teacher who just teaches classes from the yoga teacher who creates an abundant yoga career.

The first official step to turning your yoga practice into your professional career is to attend a Teacher Training, which is where you will receive a Teacher Training Certificate. But before your first Teacher Training (and you'll more than likely do several throughout your yogi-lifetime), I think it's pretty important to have a good grasp on your practice. What that means to you will be very personal, but I can tell you that my teacher Ally taught me that it doesn't mean you have to be able to stick your ankle behind your head, balance on one hand, or levitate. This was something I had a hard time wrapping my head around at first. I think it was a combination of self-doubt, setting impossible expectations, and fear.

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Salud, mente y cuerpo
30 de julio

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