10 Things You Need to Know Before You Teach Your First Yoga Class
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Certified Bikram Yoga Teacher, Software Engineer and Founder of YogaTalk Retreats
The decision to become a yoga teacher is an important one. You are choosing to impart knowledge on what you love, and pass that on to people who may come to love it as much as you. When you start out initially, it is normal to feel afraid. You may feel as if you have no idea what you are doing, and do not know the first steps you need to take in order to work well in this new environment. Feelings such as these are completely normal. Just like when you first started out with yoga, there is a learning curve you need to adjust to in order to work effectively and become a good yoga teacher. Here are ten things you need to know before you teach your first yoga class.
1. Be prepared: Having a well thought out lesson plan can save a whole class. By knowing exactly what you are going to teach, you give yourself room to focus on how you are going to impart that knowledge. It is important to have structure in any class, and by already knowing how the class is going to proceed, you let yourself focus on the teaching methods instead.
2. Welcome your students: Your first yoga class is also your first introduction to a group of people you will find yourself engaging with on a weekly basis. By learning a little about them, you make the classroom environment feel lighter and more enjoyable.
3. Watch your students: Each individual develops in their own way. By being aware of how a student is doing, you can effectively help them should the need arises. Keeping a careful watch on your student’s progress is integral. Remember that there is a chance that an unsatisfied student might not come back. You need to give everyone the time they require to improve.
4. Make the first class easy: Do not introduce the more difficult aspects of yoga right off the bat. Your students might not be able to follow and it might give the impression that yoga is difficult and undoable. Try to start things off lightly, by taking an approach that uses simple concepts and work your way up to more difficult ones.
5. Do Not Use too Much Technical Terms: Especially in your first class, try to stay clear of lingo that your students might not understand. Instead of making them interested, you may find them more confused instead. Stick to a clear way of speaking and carefully introduce each topic as you go.
6. Practice before you Preach: Practicing how to teach yoga even before your first class can help you in many ways. Try and record yourself teaching, and this will give you a clear idea of how you approach teaching. By being able to visually see how you perform, you can improve yourself in the areas where you think you lack and develop better.
7. Find Your Voice: Everyone has a different approach to life, and the way you come across should be authentic and exemplifying who you are as a person. Have confidence in yourself and approach your class keeping your authenticity intact.
8. Begin and End the class in Time: A sign of being professional, remember to both begin and end the class in time. You do not have to extend the session, and you should definitely not arrive to the class late. While you are in the class, it is your domain – work it to its maximum potential.
9. Be cooperative: Not all your students will be progressing at the same level. Some of them may be people who have practiced Yoga before, while others would be completely new to the subject. You need to be ready to teach both these groups of people, and being cooperative is the way to go in this regard.
10. Do not expect everything to go smoothly: While we are working towards a smooth first class, things may not always go the way we want them to. By ensuring that you are mentally prepared to deal with any problems, you guarantee that you will be able to cope with whatever may come your way.
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