Learning to Teach Yoga

We started practical training for teaching a lesson plan this week, this was something I was really looking forward to because it’s pulling everything we have learnt together and feels like we are getting much closer to achieving our original goal of becoming yoga teachers. It’s not as simple as the teachers here and my teacher at home make it look, and this is what I have learnt about the way a good class should be delivered.

Firstly it is important that you project your voice and personality without being too serious remembering that people go to yoga classes for fun. I learnt during my first 30 minute teaching trial that I speak too fast and should speak at 50% of my normal speed to ensure I am teaching and giving instructions clearly enough for the class to hear.

When teaching a holding position we may need to include counting, this is way more tricky then it sounds. From practicing with a fellow trainee it seems easier to count down in breaths because if it is a very challenging pose the students will know how long they have left and doing it in breath means the class will be more in unison and as the teacher you will know everyone will be ready to inhale together for your next instruction. Sometimes you will need to adjust the alignment of the student and it can be very difficult to correct everyone in time while counting. If this is the case it’s best not to count down, maybe either count upwards or don’t count down till everyone has been adjusted. While practicing it was funny when my fellow trainee started to click instead of count and it added an element of sassiness and fun showing her personality more. I might try and put this into practice to see if it suits my teaching style and see how students react to it.

It was overwhelming to try and put a lesson plan that has been in your head or on paper into words for the first time so I didn’t stick to my plan. I realised my beginner lesson plan was far too complex for someone who hasn’t got the foundation of the asana and alignment yet.

Although it will take time to get used to the multi-tasking aspects of teaching, as we practice we will evolve and progress our teaching methodology.

I really enjoyed my first time teaching 30 minutes of yoga and if I get that buzz every time I teach I’m sure my positivity and joy for yoga practice will spread.

Bettina x

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