I'm Irene Pappas, a 25 year old from Washington, DC who gets to live my dream by teaching yoga all over the world. Over the past 4 years I went from studying fashion retail management and helping my sister open a clothing store to teaching yoga and following my passion. 

Why did you decide to become a Yoga Instructor?

I became a yoga instructor by accident, you could say. After less than a year of practicing yoga I decided to do a 200hr training, not really thinking I would actually want to teach. But soon after teaching my first class I realized that this was my calling and I could never walk away from it. 

How does someone become a Yoga Instructor?

The first step is to practice consistently. It doesn't mean you have to take vigorous classes, but practice the kind of yoga that speaks to you, even it if is more meditative. Then, find a 200hr teacher training with a teacher you respect. Keep practicing, and honestly- keep your day job at least until you have experience teaching and have found jobs. Reach out to local studios that you practice at and let them know you are looking for opportunities. 

What is the pay like?

It really depends, some gyms pay $25 for a class, while the top end of the range is closer to $100 for a class. Workshops tend to make more money, but most studios look for teachers with experience to lead workshops. 

What are the best parts of being a Yoga Instructor?

The best part is being able to touch people and change their lives, through something so simple yet profound. 

What are the biggest challenges in being a Yoga Instructor?

It can be tough to make ends meet, especially in the beginning. I wish I could offer all my classes for free, as I believe everyone should have the opportunity to practice yoga. I see many teachers that lose their passion for teaching and practicing because they teach 10-18 classes a week. It's all about finding what works best for you, and WHY you choose to do it. 

What is the best advice you've ever received?

Keep practicing. 

Any other helpful resources or links on this topic?

I am reading The Core of the Yoga Sutras right now and I highly recommend it. I also love A Course In Miracles ... and Kino MacGregor has some wonderful books on Ashtanga as well. 

Bio photo: Brandon Smith photography | Cover photo: Brooke Michelle photography