Barre vs. Yoga

Being a barre instructor, I had hoped TTC would be easier, but as I came to realise, there was so much more to it! So here are some of the differences between teaching Barre and Yoga, enjoy!

  1. Be zen, not tense

The energy levels for barre classes and yoga classes are vastly different. Barre puts you through a high and intense class to help you zoom past the pain, an hour-long class usually passes by fast as there are many things going on. Conversely, yoga sessions are usually much slower-paced, you are encouraged to take your time and savor the pain as much as you can, and to flow with your movements. This allows for more time to ensure your posture is correct, and to really get into and feel the muscle you are working on.

2. When it comes to talking, less is more

In barre classes, there is a constant string of instructions to help you get the most out of your exercises, even with effective cueing, there is rarely a quiet moment in class and often instructing consists of catching your breathing while guiding everyone into the right poses. On the other hand, yoga practises a lot less cueing and a lot more personal space for students to enjoy their own practise in quietness. The teacher leads with the breathing and provides minimal cues. This is a challenge as I’m used to giving various cues to help students work better, but sometimes, you have to let go and let them enjoy themselves!

3. That music can’t help you now

Having pumping pop music to help you move to the beat allows the class to move in sync and for the instructor to catch the beat back at any point in time, the music helps to lead the class in accompany to the instructor. However, yoga flow follows the teacher’s counting, especially with the inclusion of breathing, hence the teacher’s breathing and counts lead the class and it’s important for the teacher to keep track of the breathing and ensure consistency. This is difficult initially as the breathing pattern follows a strict structure.

All in all, there are many more differences between teaching these two styles of classes, as much as the classes in themselves are different. While challenging, it is also interesting for me to learn to adapt my skillset and step up! What about you, do you find similarities and differences in some of the classes that you have taken before now that you are training to be an instructor?