Thursday, May 07, 2015

Generating Enthusiasm in a Yoga Class: Pacing

in a yoga class
By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

As a professional Yoga teacher, one of the underlying goals is to generate enthusiasm in your classes. The word “enthusiasm” is literally translated as “to be filled with the spirit of God.” What a wonderfully uplifting goal to have for the students who attend your Yoga classes! If your students walk off their mats at the end of class and feel like they have been filled with the spirit of God, you will have certainly accomplished a numinous goal, indeed. 

Do keep in mind that many of your students may have rushed to attend your class in the early morning hours just prior to work, or they may have come to the studio directly after finishing work. In either case, many of your students may arrive “on the mat” feeling a bit overwhelmed, rushed, tense, and often tired from a long day. By helping your students to ground at the beginning of a Yoga class, you will help them to both physically and mentally arrive in class, before they begin to flow through the physical postures. 

In addition, by generating a bubbling sense of enthusiasm for the Yoga practice you have created for your students, you will be further supporting them in their own practice. A personal sense of enthusiasm for Yoga can be generated in a number of different ways. One of the most important elements to spreading a contagious, enthusiastic spirit is to embody the spirit of enthusiasm yourself. This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on your own individual relationship with the practice of Yoga. 

For instance, if you connect strongly with a particular teacher or with Bhakti Yoga, you may find that saying a brief prayer, setting an intention and chanting some opening mantras, helps to put you immediately into contact with the divine energy that is being nourished through the practice. Taking a few minutes to remember how Yoga has helped you to personally transform your own life, will further fuel your inspiration to help your students experience the same personal transformation. 

Any of these contemplative techniques will help to remind you of the myriad and profound benefits of Yoga, which will uplift and inspire you. When you are uplifted and inspired about the transformative practice of Yoga, your students will feel your enthusiasm and will become more enthusiastic about the practice themselves. In addition, setting a “do-able” and challenging pace for your class will support your students’ morale during class.



If you set a pace that is too slow for many of your Yoga students, they may become bored and their attention may drift. They may even start to watch the clock, which has the potential to demoralize you as well! On the other hand, if you set a pace that is too fast for many of the students in your class, you may find that their enthusiasm diminishes, because they feel that they cannot safely keep up with the class you are teaching. 

As a professional Yoga teacher, it is part of your job to design a sequence of postures to lead your students through that creates a balanced, safe and effective class. The pacing of your class will depend on the ability and fitness level of each group of students that your are instructing. Being able to flexibly modify the sequence of postures and the pacing of the class that you have prepared to teach, in order to match the ability and fitness level of the group of students in your class is one of the most important qualities of an exceptional Yoga teacher.

In addition, by creating a sequence of asanas that starts with some gentle warm-up postures, builds towards a pinnacle pose during the more active part of the practice, and then gently flows into some calming forward bends and restorative finishing postures, you will allow the heat and the energy of the practice to build up slowly during your class. This type of pacing will help you to germinate enthusiasm during your class, because your students will feel safe, supported and challenged during their time on the Yoga mat with you. 


Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York; where she specializes in writing customized, search engine-optimized articles that are 100% unique. She is currently accepting yoga and health-related writing orders and may be contacted at: enchantress108@gmail.com

© Copyright 2015 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


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2 comments:

parvezbdjsr said...

One of the most important elements to spreading a contagious, enthusiastic spirit is to embody the spirit of enthusiasm yourself. Thanks for nice sharing!

Mary Wilson said...

When teacher is uplifted and inspired about the informativeness practice of Yoga, then students will feel the enthusiasm and will become more enthusiastic about the practice themselves. Thanks for this good article.