Emily Kane: Creating a teaching career in Whistler

Emily Kane calls Whistler, B.C. home, but she loves to travel and explore. Outside of teaching, she is passionate about snowboarding, hiking, cooking, reading, writing, and more. Being outdoors is a meaningful part of her life! She believes finding balance is the key which is why she appreciates the beauty in a quiet, seated meditation but also dancing like no one’s watching at music festivals. Join in on Emily’s adventures and teaching at www.emilykaneyoga.com or on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @emilykaneyoga

What led you to yoga?

I was an athlete so when I originally came to yoga I was using it as a way to cross train for other sports. Yoga was so different from anything I’d tried before. Although the non-competitive nature was tough at first, it was really refreshing to learn to accept myself. I began to embrace the deeper aspects of yoga which made a big impact in my life.

What is your biggest challenge?

As a yoga teacher I think every community has their specific style or “niche.” Most of my teaching is in Whistler, the place I call home, where there seems to be a big trend with intense/hot/power yoga – which I think is awesome but it’s just not me. Coming from that athletic background I’ve found a lot of healing with slowing down, mindfulness and yoga as a spiritual experience. I used to struggle with the fact I might not be offering what’s “popular” and wondered if I should change my style. In the last few years I’ve become more comfortable in being myself and I really feel that other people resonate with that authenticity. Yeah not everyone will like it, but the students that appreciate what I have to offer will stay and I feel so much better offering something from my heart.

What lights up your soul?

I love the mountains. As a snowboarder a good powder day truly lights me up. Being in nature in general just reminds me that life is worth living. Reading and writing also bring me a lot of joy. And I can’t forget my incredible friends and family who truly light up my life. I’m super grateful to have many inspiring souls in my life from my yoga community to my loved ones.

Career highlight?

I think for me what’s been the most rewarding is seeing a perspective shift or when the practice itself has made a big impact in a student’s life. I’ve had a few private clients who have been very appreciative of the difference the sessions have made for them, especially when it comes to coping with injuries or other traumas. I’ve also had students who have had a big epiphany about yoga or teaching yoga in general. Sometimes it even changes how they view the world. Seeing that kind of transformation is a big highlight for me.

What advice can you offer for creating a sustainable teaching career?

Always be reliable. There have been circumstances where I’ve had to let go of great teachers due to lack of organization and  unreliability (even though I really liked them as people!). This includes things like showing up to classes you’ve committed to, being on time, ending on time, and “showing up” every day for your students. The idea of showing up goes beyond the physical – it means truly being present. It seems really simple but it’s crazy how often this step is missed. I also think having a good balance of teaching regular classes, private sessions, and workshops is a good way to build a career from teaching. That said, taking time out to stay inspired is very important (yes, teacher burnout happens!).

What’s next?

I’m very excited that there will be yoga videos released soon (I haven’t seen the final product yet) as well as a restorative teacher training I’ll be leading at my studio in Whistler. I offered one specifically to our teachers a couple years ago so I’m really excited to open it up so anyone can join in – especially teachers looking to expand their offerings.