Samantha Eve Kennedy

Teaching Yoga Across Borders: Insights from an Interview on Pursuing Your Passion Abroad

My interview with Samantha Eve will give you invaluable insights on how you can teach yoga abroad.

Samantha is a yoga teacher, fitness and clothing model, and freelance writer. Her work centers on transformation and joy – finding your passion and creating a life you love.

BlackgirlZen: What made you finally decide to teach Yoga and go overseas?

Travel was a big part of my world many years ago, and when I made a lot of changes in my life this year, I decided to make the space for traveling. I love being a teacher and always have incorporated teaching into every career – including when I taught high school Literature and Language Arts! So, teaching yoga and traveling seemed a natural fit as both are my passions.

BlackgirlZen: First, tell me where you are right now?

I am currently in Costa Rica!

BlackgirlZen: How did you find the opportunity to teach yoga there?

This particular venue I found a site called Yoga Trade.

BlackgirlZen: What kind of training does someone need to teach Yoga and also in overseas?

At a minimum teacher should obtain a 200-hour yoga teacher certification. However, I believe you need to have an active personal practice to be a teacher anywhere you teach. If you don’t think it, how can you preach it?

BlackgirlZen: Are those yoga gigs easy to find?

Yes and no. There are opportunities available, but there are also some people applying for the same ones. Plus, you need to do your homework on the terms and conditions – some are for straight trade (i.e., room and board) and some also are paid positions.

BlackgirlZen: What type of challenges to expect when looking at those opportunities?

Just like in any job, you need to determine whether you and the opportunity are the right fit. Plus, when traveling and teaching yoga, you also have to be open to the possibility that the yoga environment may be entirely different from what you are used to at your yoga community back in your home.

BlackgirlZen: And where can we find them or any place (s) online?

Yoga Trade is a great website to start. Also look at individual studios in places you would like to go, as well as regular job boards like on Indeed and LinkedIn.

BlackgirlZen: What is the best thing about teaching Yoga overseas?

It is lovely to meet new people and get to settle in and experience the culture of the community in which you are teaching. Plus, you genuinely end up making lifelong friends and seeing some incredibly beautiful places.

BlackgirlZen: What do you not like about it?

I don’t think there is anything that I don’t like about it thus far. It has been quite inspirational, and I am developing retreats for the future as a result of my experiences!

BlackgirlZen: In Which countries were you teaching?

I’ve taught at a castle in France, at a YogaWorld Expo in Germany, and in Costa Rica at a boutique hotel and resort.

BlackgirlZen: How are you funding your lifestyle? And how do you finance yourself now?

Traveling, teaching, modeling, and writing are my full-time jobs, and that is how I fund my life!

BlackgirlZen: What things should people consider when choosing a life like yours?

You have to have a PASSION for it. If you go into the life with the idea that you are going to become famous or make a lot of money, then you are heading into the wrong career. (Not that you can’t make a living and be comfortable, but that is not the reason to live as I do!)

You need to be prepared for the uncertainty, for the fact that you won’t get the “comforts of home,” and that you may have to face challenges on the fly! However, you should also be open to saying “YES” to experiences that spontaneously arise, enjoying the local foods and cultures, and meeting incredible people in positively gorgeous locations.

BlackgirlZen: Which country was your favorite to teach and why?

I don’t know that I have a favorite yet as I have just started this journey this past year. Since leaving the States, I’ve spent the most extended amount of time in Costa Rica, and feel like I was able to reflect and hone in on the message I am sending out when I teach and travel.

BlackgirlZen: Did you have to face any language barriers?

Fortunately, most people speak English or understand it to some degree. And since I demonstrate everything I teach as we go, the visual cues and repetition help those to whom English is not as easy of a language. However, I do feel like my “Yoga Off the Mat” portion, or reflective piece gets a bit lost when the person in my class does not speak English fluently and that makes me sad because I feel it is the most crucial piece of what I do.

BlackgirlZen: Is knowing the language essential to teach yoga in another country?

It depends on the situation. For the most part, it is not as long as you say that your classes are in a particular language. However, I am a FIRM believer in trying to learn the language of wherever you are!

BlackgirlZen: What has been a pleasant surprise?

The magic that happens daily. Sometimes it is something small like finding the perfect gelato; sometimes it is something massive like being offered an excellent opportunity to connect with a person, company or place unexpectedly.

BlackgirlZen: What do you miss the most from home?

I don’t miss anything because I feel very much at home wherever I am!

BlackgirlZen: Did you get to see other parts of the countries?

Not always. It depends on the amount of time I have – or have allowed for in each of my stops. One of my goals is to make more efficient use of my work stops for exploration too.

BlackgirlZen: What is next for you after you leave where you are now?

I am heading back to the States to lead workshops that I am creating. I am also organizing my first retreats and a subscription service. After touring the States for 1-2 months, I plan to head back overseas for work and travel.

BlackgirlZen: Any final advice to those who want to follow your paths?

Only do it if you love the idea of traveling and teaching and exploring. Otherwise, take a breath and find what you like.

Thank you so much, Samantha for doing this interview. Check out her website for yoga retreats.

Happy Reading,

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