Many yoga teachers experiment with different methodologies in teaching their classes. Your choice may depend on many other factors, such as class type, class level, location, target outcome, and so on.
The first class of yoga is the most important, regardless of the audience or type of class that you teach. You can build a relationship and make a connection. You have the opportunity to create a bond with your students that will make their class more engaging, fun, and rewarding.
As a new teacher of yoga, here are some ways to create a connection with your students. You can see the results in just one class.
Keep your eyes on your message.
It is important to get yourself in the right mindset. You can stay on track by keeping your mind focused on your purpose.
Yoga teachers should keep repeating their message until it becomes an affirmation. “I’m here to help. To relieve pain. To relieve pain. To provide relief.
Remember: “It is about them and not me.”
You will focus more on your own needs and wants than the students or the message you are trying to convey if you do not nurture and fuel the reasons why you decided to teach yoga.
You will become a selfish yoga teacher if you focus on yourself, the teacher. Worrying about negative feedback, students not showing up, or poor demonstrations of poses are sure ways to fall into this trap.
You are no longer connected to your students the moment your ego takes over. So always keep your ego in check!
You are not in complete control.
Accept that you can’t control the pace of the class or the learning rate for your students.
You will be teaching a different context each time, even if you are teaching the same class level. This includes the students’ backgrounds, their emotional struggles, their physical fitness, and the traffic around your location. You cannot control the context, so you must do your best to make it as positive as possible.
Invest Extra Time
Life is indeed very busy. If you want to connect with your students on a deeper level, then go the extra mile.
Arrive 10 minutes early at the class. Share information about yourself, including your qualifications, personal webpage or website, and why you like teaching yoga.
After class, stay around for a bit. Talk to your yogis and answer any questions that they might have. Ask them to share their concerns or experiences related to the practice of yoga.
Give the Future a Lens
Paint a future picture. Show how the practice will affect people, how their bodies will change over time, and how this will pay off.
Perspectives for the future serve two purposes. It will fuel your passion, and it is contagious, so everyone in the class will catch on. It redirects the students’ attention from current struggles and hardships towards future improvements and achievements, encouraging them not to give up even when they are frustrated.
It would be best if you connected what you teach with its benefits unless your class is very advanced and your students already have years of experience and knowledge in yogic practices.
Researchers have found that people may not be able to fully engage in a learning experience if they do not appreciate the value of their time and effort. They might even stop participating altogether.
Students are more likely to engage if you explain the benefits of yoga (whether they be spiritual, mental, or physical) and highlight its value.
Maintain a certain level of challenge in your classes
Push your students to perform better by pushing them a bit farther from their comfort zones.
Yoga is neither a competition nor a CrossFit class. It is a journey of learning, and research has shown that a strong motivation to continue can be created by achieving competence. It is possible to achieve a high level of competency by offering a class that is just slightly above the students’ current proficiency levels.
Give them Space
Allow the students to absorb and understand a position on their own. You may cause them to forget or get confused. They might also feel embarrassed.
Lead by Example
Lead by example if you want your students to be open, friendly, and engaged.
Allow the smile to be an integral part of your facial expressions. Use informational, not controlling, language, and always welcome the thoughts and opinions of your students.
Yoga is a rare career path that can also be a way to serve the community. Nurture your relationship with students, listen, and care for them sincerely. Your teaching will be both.
Never forget that you will never be THE perfect student and that you, too, will always be a teacher. You will constantly learn and improve your teaching and serving skills.