You are a newly qualified yoga teacher, have been offered a job teaching classes in a studio and are trying to prepare for your first ever class.
The thought that you have to stand in front of a diverse group of people that love yoga and are hanging off your every word can be a terrifying one! Don’t worry, its not nearly as frightening as you think, and with your Shades of Yoga qualification under your belt you are more than ready to teach your first class. Here are a few tips and tricks that helped me enjoy the experience of teaching my first class. take a deep breathe, make a plan, and most importantly, enjoy yourself!
Breath: An Integral Part of Yoga
An integral part of your yoga practice is the breath, right? As a teacher we regularly cue our students to breathe, but can forget to do the same ourselves. Public speaking is not something that comes naturally to everybody, but can be practiced and learnt with time, patience and practice. Whenever you start to notice yourself getting nervous remember to take slow, long deep breaths and you will notice that your nerves calm down almost instantly.
Don’t worry if you make mistakes while teaching yoga:
Even the most experienced yoga teachers make mistakes. I’ve been to classes lead by world famous teachers and watched them make mistakes. However, instead of apologizing, they just get on with it and let the flow of the class continue without getting upset or worked up. It is after all, human to err. Sometimes you will get your lefts and rights mixed, forget the names of body parts or poses, its ok, just make sure that you never apologise. Just remember, we are our own worst critics, and more often than not your students will be focusing so intently that they wont even notice. Take note of your mistake, and then go home afterwards and practice till you get it right.
Keep your yoga sequences simple:
One of the biggest mistakes that beginner teachers make is to try and teach classes or sequences that are super complicated. Generally this happens because beginner teachers have this idea that in order to be a good yoga teacher, they have to be able to teach complex sequences. This is absolutely not true. Some of the best classes I have been to are the ones in which poses and sequences are kept simple and accessible to all levels of students. Remember, the more complicated your flow is, the more chance there is of you mixing things up.
Have a class plan when teaching yoga:
All the best teachers in the world go into a class with a plan or outline of what they want to teach. In my own personal experience, the best classes I have taught are the ones in which I have spent time preparing and putting a lot of thought into the structure of the class. As you get more experienced, and have taught particular flows many times, your class planning time will diminish.
Practice what you preach in your yoga class:
A key element to teaching a yoga pose correctly is knowing what it feels like in your own body. If you don’t know what a pose feels like, it becomes very difficult to teach it. Use your own practice to rehearse the poses and flows you will be teaching, and if there are certain poses that you don’t practice, eg. headstand or handstand, don’t teach them. Stay in your integrity and your students will benefit from this. As your own practice develops, so will your ability to teach more complex poses.
Shades of Yoga is a yoga teacher training company running year-round yoga teacher training courses in Bali and Costa Rica.