Tips for Leading Yoga Classes

Tips for Leading Yoga Classes

Given are tips for leading yoga class.


Tips for Leading Yoga Classes

Teach Consciously

When you lead a class, draw from your yoga teachers training and your personal Yoga practice. Remember how difficult certain poses were for you. Expect similar difficulties from your students, and help them before they even realize they need help. Your students will think you’re reading their minds, when in reality you’re really reading their bodies. When you model poses with the class, explain the intricacies of the asana. Highlight the common areas your students may be holding instead of letting go. Emphasize where they need to focus their attention. Point out where their alignments may slip.

Model Behavior

When you know your postures and sequences intimately, you can model them to your class. Show them what the asana should look like when done right. Use your yoga teachers training to find the right words to convey the important details of the pose. The class will mimic you and pay attention to what you emphasize. When you’re in front of a class, you have to be perfect in your poses. You have to know where you are in the lesson and what’s coming next, so you can transition the class from one pose to the next. Modeling the transitions is as important as the postures themselves, especially to keep your students from getting hurt.

Get Off Your Mat

It’s fine to model the poses for your class. It’s important to show visually what exactly you mean with your verbal cues when teaching an asana. People really do learn that way, with the auditory messages reinforcing what they see. But in order to really lead a class, you have to get off your mat and engage your students. You have to get hands-on and make those minor adjustments that result in a major difference. Modeling only reveals so much about a pose. Students will not be able to mirror you exactly, so bring yoga teachers training to them.

Attain Balance

Some yoga asanas, such as Downward Facing Dog, work both sides of the body at the same time. Others, like Triangle Pose, work on one side at a time. When you’re teaching a class, it’s easy to say everything you know about the posture while the class is still in the first part of the pose. One of the skills yoga teachers training teaches you is to balance your instruction so you have meaningful comments for both sides of an asana. One way to do this is to explain the basics of the pose on one side and the details on the other. However you do it, make absolutely sure that you hold the pose equally long on both sides.

Let Your Students Breathe

You don’t have to fill every moment with chatter, even if it’s instructive chatter. You can make their experience memorable merely by getting out of the way. Keep your attention on your students so you can give them what they need. Sometimes, that means silent time to let them focus on their bodies and their minds. As you learned in your yoga teachers training, the class isn’t about you. It’s all about your students. Teach with authority, but guide with humility. When you don’t feel the need to fill every silence, your students will listen more carefully when you do speak.

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