10 Tips for New Yoga Teachers
For new yoga teachers, there are lots of points to take into consideration when planning and teaching classes. Remembering a sequence, student names, injuries, and correctly timing the class can all become overwhelming. These 10 tips will help you find more ease in teaching and can help build your student base.
1. Find Your Unique Voice
As a new teacher, it can be challenging to have your own, unique voice. New teachers often unconsciously mimic a favorite teacher. Find your authentic voice by determining what it is you want to communicate to your students, why you are teaching yoga, and what kind of experience you want students to have in your classes.
2. Avoid The Overuse Of “I” Statements
Students come to yoga to have their own experience and explore their own inner spaces. As teachers, want to be able to relate to our students, but when teachers use an abundance of “I” statements it can pull them out of their practice. Making the class about the students and avoiding telling too many personal stories can allow the students to get more out of the class.
3. Say Things That Are Meaningful
Learn to be okay with space or moments of silence. Your teaching will improve from an economy of words. Students will be impacted by teaching that contains fewer words with more meaning. Allowing students moments of silence in which they can process your words will offer them the ability to experience what you are teaching them.
4. Try Not To Use Filler Language
It is easy to fall into a habit of using filler language such as “um,” “okay,” “so” or “now let’s.” It’s best if you can break this habit as soon as you become aware of it.
5. Speak Clearly And Concisely
As a new teacher, it can be enticing to use complicated anatomical terminology. Students often don’t relate to or understand it. They need clear, simple language that is easily understood. This is especially true for new students.
6. Try Not To Use 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 for newer students too much Sanskrit can be frustrating and even overwhelming. Try to strike a balance such as using the English word or phrase immediately before or after the Sanskrit. This will allow students to comprehend what you are communicating.
7. Try Recording Or Filming Yourself Teaching
Recording yourself while teaching is one of the most helpful ways to get a very clear picture of what you are saying and how you sound. This can help you figure out where there might be some gaps in your teaching so that you can make necessary changes before things become too habitual.
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. It will also help build your following if students know you provide a consistent experience.
9. Get To Know Your Students And Their Stories
One way to show concern for your students is to get to know more about them. Inquiring about why they come to yoga, what their goals are, learning about their injuries, and then following up with them on these after class builds relationships. Let your students know you are invested in their wellbeing and progress in their practice.
10. Start And Stop Classes On Time
An important piece of teaching is respecting your students’ time by starting and ending your classes punctually. Students choose classes based on times that fit into their busy schedules. Be sure to give students their entire class time by starting on time and allowing them to move on to the next thing on their schedule by ending class on time. Late starts and ends can also impact other teachers and studio staff. This is a great habit to create as you begin your teaching career.
Study with YogaUOnline and Deborah Wolk – Principles of Therapeutic Yoga for Back Care.
Reprinted with permission from Emily Hardeman
Emily is passionate about yoga, anatomy, and sustainable movement. She is a yoga teacher, IAYT certified yoga therapist, and massage therapist. Emily has created both a 200 and 300-hour yoga teacher training program focused on therapeutics and a solid understanding of how yoga asanas can be adapted to fit anyone’s needs. She also has written CE trainings to help teachers fill in the gaps after graduating from Yoga teacher training and their real-world experiences. Her belief is that Yoga is not just for skinny, flexible people. Yoga is for everyone regardless of size, age, and health. One of her goals is to help yoga and movement teachers gain high-level training and education so they can in-turn change the world through yoga. She has over 2500 hour of training and well over 4000 hours of teaching experience. Her teaching has ranged from working with professional athletes to those confined to chairs.