As a new yoga teacher, there are so many things you are hoping to accomplish in the span of one class. You want to make sure your the practice is appropriate, safe, and beneficial for your students. You want to help them find a sense of calm and peacefulness. You want them to enjoy the class so they'll keep coming back.
Trying to meet all these objectives can make teaching become overwhelming! Follow these tips to help you stress less about teaching so you can fill your classes and grow your student base.
1. Find Your Unique Voice When you first start out teaching, it can be difficult to have your own, unique voice. Remember what it is you want to communicate to students and be true to what made you want to teach yoga.
2. Avoid Overusing "I" Statements. Students want to know you can relate to them and vice versa, but it is not about you. Students are in class to have their own experience, to heal their own pain, to explore their own inner spaces. Telling too many personal stories can pull students out of achieving these things.
3. Say Things That Are Meaningful Not every moment needs to be filled with dialog. Choose your words mindfully and try to avoid talking for the sake of talking. Allow students some breathing room to just be without the need to listen and take in more information.
4. Try to Avoid Using Filler Language "Um", "ok", "so", and whatever other words you may not even be aware you're in the habit of saying.
5. Speak Clearly And Concisely As you start out teaching, it might be tempting to use some of the more complicated anatomical terms you learned in teacher training, but what students want is simple and easily understood language. This is especially true if you are teaching beginners.
6. Try to Avoid Using A Great Deal Of Jargon Or Yoga Lingo Using Sanskrit can be a great way for students to start to learn some of the words and terms commonly used in yoga, but using it gratuitously can overwhelm and frustrate newer students. Find a balance such as using the English word or phrase immediately before or after the Sanskrit so students can comprehend what you are communicating.
7. Record Or Film Yourself Teaching If you're not sure what you sound like teaching, take the time to record yourself or even better - film yourself - teaching so you can better understand how you come across and what tweaks you can make to create the best student experience possible.
8. Create Consistency In Your Teaching Knowing what you want to convey to your students, and what your message is as a teacher, is key to creating consistency in your teaching. Being consistent allows students to understand what to expect when they attend your classes.
9. Get To Know Your Students And Their Stories Make yourself available for a few minutes before and after class to talk with your students about their motivations for coming to class. Being present to your students' needs lets them know you are invested in their progress and wellbeing.
10. Start And End Classes On Time Being punctual in beginning and ending classes shows respect for your students' time for the studio or location where you teach. Students want to know they can rely on getting out of class when they expect to, and they also want to experience a full class. Doing this shows professionalism and will be appreciated by those in your class as well as those who run the studio or space where you teach.
We'd love to hear your "best practice" tips for yoga teachers! Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and share our post with your yoga friends to help us extend our reach! :)