Teaching for any new teacher is nothing short of a nightmare. You may have gotten your license and registration to be a yoga instructor, but when it actually comes around, you may find yourself wondering about what to do and what to avoid doing. While teaching yoga is pretty straightforward with the right knowledge and training, the harder task lies in the creation of an environment that is conducive to learning and healing; a safe zone for the mental and physical transformation of your students. If you are embarking on a path to influence others with your passion for yoga and a desire to aid in others’ mental and physical wellbeing, here are some tips to help you through the process.
While it is very likely that you will never be late, try to make your class on time and adhere to the class timings. This can really be important to ensure client loyalty as people today are extremely busy and run on tight schedules.
There are so many yoga teachers who do not realize the importance of effective communication, whether you have something important to say or some instruction to convey, it will be completely lost if your students cannot hear you. If your voice is soft and mellow, people may assume that you are unsure. Be diligent about the tenure of your voice if you are doing some type of inversion as your head is faced away from the students.
If you close your eyes for too long, you may appear to be disconnected from the class. It may be daunting to look at the students when you are a new teacher and prefer to teach with your eyes closed, it may lead to people questioning your competence and authority. No matter how scared you are, be alert at all times to ensure that your students feel like they are being instructed by someone they can trust to look out for them, especially if they are afraid.
Remember that people are paying you money to learn about yoga from you, not to simply do yoga alongside you. Since yoga is about training the mind as much as the body, you cannot put down your own practice since it will lead to moments where you lose control of your own mind and go to vulnerable places, which can be disastrous for a teacher. Keep your schedule lighter to ensure you have some time to practice.
If you stay on the mat, you will not be able to engage with your students. Not only may some people be unable to see you, but also you will not be able to assist people who require straps or blocks. Using other spaces in the room will help you take control of the entire room and engage with the whole class.
If you are a new teacher, a good start is to teach aimed at a skill level of someone who is between the highest and lowest level of yoga skill as this can help people adapt to your teachings at the pace they need.
While warm-up is extremely necessary to go into any kind of difficult poses, do not let the warm up occupy most of the class.
Do not show off your skills when you are teaching. People are paying you because they assume you can perform advanced poses, you do not need to show off your skills to a class of beginners. If you want to inspire people, you can show them the poses can go to help them be motivated to try harder, just don’t be obnoxious.
This is a very key aspect of yoga, it is really good to lead by example, by breathing deeply and in a more connected manner.
It is not necessary to be able to do every pose or to know the exact name for a pose. Be yourself, you do not need to pretend to be anyone you are not. Let your personality shine through while creating a space to help your students to find who they are. Personalize your classes to fit what your personality is. Take care of your mental and physical well-being and realize that it is a gift to be able to teach people the principles of yoga and impart its benefits to the students. Be grateful for the opportunity to teach and give it your all, while keeping aside some hours a day to cater to what you like to do, to ensure balance in your life.