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Saturday, August 20, 2016
How To Teach Yoga Students With Confidence And Patience
By Faye Martins
Once you've finished your training to become a yoga instructor, you may be asking yourself "what do I do next?". You may have all the skills and knowledge, but you're about to teach a group of students for the first time. Here are several ways on how to teach yoga students the right way and with confidence.
First, make sure to stop and take a breath. Students can tell when you're nervous as it shows in how you conduct business. The best way to calm your nerves is taking the time to relax. Calm yourself and take a breath before starting. Realize that public speaking rarely comes easy to anyone, but it will with practice. You will get used to it and it will be easier down the road.
When you're first getting your feet wet, the best way to plan your first classes is to keep it simple. The more complicated classes should come from having plenty of experience under your belt, as students would expect. I don't think anyone would enjoy taking an advanced course only to find out their teacher hasn't been teaching that long at all. It will be much easier to get the hang of things by starting simple and working your way up.
Go slow. If you're started afresh, the odds are the majority of your students are as well. You may have a few who already know the right posture and aren't intimidated by their first few times on the mat. Students new to yoga are much like children who are starting their first year of school. Excited, but not sure what to expect. They may fall, get frustrated, but those sorts of things are easier to correct and ensure a repeat student if you are slow and show patience.
Stick to one theme. Jumping around from theme to theme will be difficult for you to keep track of and will be even harder for your students. Start a class revolving around one specific class and let that be your specialty. Also, keep to using familiar body names and terms, keeping it simple and easy to understand. Telling people about ardha chandrasana, people will become very confused.
Ask your students questions about their experience. There is no better way to learn how to teach yoga students than by making sure they had a pleasant experience. If you were confusing or something was too difficult, you can better adapt the way you do things. Open the floor by asking the class as a whole if they have any questions. By doing this, you show you actually care for the students and teaching them the right way that works for them. Also, it is how they will best learn the moves and become more experienced.
Finally, help your students with the props. You may be the expert, but they may not learn just from watching you. It is important to get in there and show them as each body type will respond differently. You are then able to troubleshoot by helping them through their problem.
Should you find yourself ready to teach a class, these tips will come in handy to help run it as smoothly and painless as possible.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA.