7 Tips For New Yoga Instructors: Teach Your Best Class

7 Tips For New Yoga Instructors: Teach Your Best Class

Are you a new yoga instructor looking for some guidance on how to lead a successful class? If so, you've come to the right place! When you're first getting started as an instructor, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There's no need to be nervous, though! Check out our 7 tips for new yoga instructors; we'll help you plan your class and make sure your students get the most out of it

Watch What You Say

The language you use during your yoga classes is crucial. Make sure you aren't overdoing it with jargon, especially if your class is geared towards beginners. Using Sanskrit and anatomical terms can be useful during open-level and beginner classes, but it's important that you also explain the meaning of potentially unfamiliar words. Too much jargon can also be overwhelming for beginners, even if you are defining the words as you go. Instead of overloading your students with new terms, pick just a couple to discuss during each class. When it comes to speaking during your class, it's also important to remember that talking too much can take away from your students' overall experience. You should make sure you're explaining the poses thoroughly enough for your students to understand what you want them to do. However, be sure to keep talking about personal experiences to a minimum. Your students need silence to be able to absorb information and focus on their practice.

Watch How You Say It

In addition to choosing your words carefully, you'll also want to be aware of how you're saying them. Make sure you're speaking loudly and clearly. While you shouldn't yell or be abrasive, your students will struggle to understand if they can't hear what you want them to do. Project, use varying tones, and be confident as you guide your class. You should also try to keep filler words -- um, like, so, etc. -- to a minimum. Recording a class can help you get an idea of what you sound like and how you can improve. It's awkward to listen to yourself, but you need to know how you're coming across to your students!

Keep It Simple

New yoga instructors sometimes feel tempted to try and impress their students with advanced poses. However, it's better to keep your flows simple, especially if you're teaching an open-level or beginner class. A simple sequence that focuses on all areas of the body is going to be more beneficial to all your students. You'll also be able to spend more time giving cues and making sure everyone gets something out of the class. Keeping it simple is also better for you as a new instructor. You're less likely to get lost or overwhelmed during a simple sequence. You'll also want to get used to teaching without any kind of reference sheet, which is easier to do when your flow is not overly complicated, so that you can be more present during the class.

Be Hands On

Remember that your classes are for your students -- they're not a time for you to get in your own yoga practice. While it can be helpful to demonstrate certain poses for your students, the majority of your classes should be spent watching and assisting. Everybody, even advanced students, benefits greatly from assistance, whether that's correcting alignment or simply encouraging someone to move more deeply into a pose. Making an effort to assist and be hands on with your students will help them feel like they really got something out of your class. If there aren't too many people in your class, try to ensure that every student gets some kind of one-on-one attention from you.

Be Flexible

Although it's important to have a plan for your class in place, it's also important to be able to deviate from that plan in order to do what's best for your students. Whether it's adding in an extra hip opener for those who requested it or taking a little extra time for core work, your students will appreciate you making an effort to meet their specific needs. It's also nice to give your students options whenever possible. Allowing time at the end of class, prior to savasana, for students to practice any pose they'd like will help them feel like they've had a well-rounded, fulfilling class.

Leave Adequate Time For Rest

While it can be tempting to try and squeeze as many poses as possible into a classes, a long savasana is crucial. A good rule of thumb is one minute of savasana for every 10 minutes of practice. If possible, inviting students to stay after class for an even longer period of rest is even better. When your students are in savasana, make sure that you're helping them to meditate and remain in the moment. You can take them through a guided meditation or simply give occasional gentle reminders to stay present. Whatever you do, make sure that rest is the number one priority.

Choose Your Music Carefully

Music can make or break a yoga class. From ambient music to help set the mood to more energetic songs to carry your students through a difficult series of poses, your song selection matters. Take time to carefully construct a playlist that fits the kind of class you're teaching -- don't just hit "shuffle" and wing it. It's also important to make sure your music is loud enough. You don't want to be shouting over it, but you'll also want to make sure that everyone can hear and benefit from it.

Check Out Our Music For Yoga Instructors

If you're not sure where to start when it comes to choosing songs for your next class, check out our yoga music here. All of this music can be downloaded or streamed and is PPL/PRS license free, so you can take and play it anywhere!

What Do You Think Of Our Tips For Yoga Instructors?

If you're a new instructor, did you find these tips helpful? Seasoned yoga instructors, what would you add? Let us know in the comments below!
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