As a beginner yoga teacher, you are eager to give your utmost for those who come to you for help.
Whether you want to freelance or teach at a yoga centre, you may find yourself apprehensive when first confronted with a group of students, wondering if you have what it takes to teach yoga – especially if this is your first yoga class as an instructor!
Relax, you’ll see, it isn’t as difficult as it looks…
Preparing your session beforehand and keeping a positive attitude will help entice your newfound yogis and yoginis to keep coming back.
Here are some tips on how to master your first yoga class with equanimity.
Above all, we encourage you to ask yourself why you practice yoga. Remember when you were a new student, eager to learn more about this ancient and mysterious art.
The objective is to put yourself in your students’ place.
Each and every one of your new students has their own reasons to open the door to a yoga London class (or elsewhere).
They might be looking for a way to:
Some might come to you for several reasons. Others might simply be curious. Everyone has different motivations for learning yoga. It’s up to you to discover what they are.
As a yoga teacher, you will have to take the time to take an interest in your yoginis (female yoga students) and yogis (male yoga students) in order to understand their motivation and guide them in the pursuit of their objective.
And since you cannot help others unless you are in tune with yourself, face your own inner demons and improve your mental tranquility before starting your yoga lesson.
For example, if you decided to learn yoga because of an overly stressful job, you will already have all the tools at your disposal to unlock the potential of those interested in yoga for the same reasons.
A teacher who is passionate about what he is teaching will find it easier to transfer his knowledge to his students. This is true for any subject.
You probably came across both extremes:
When you first started to practice yoga, you may have noticed that your yoga teachers all had different teaching styles. Which ones resonated the most with you?
The ones where your yoga instructor radiated positive energy and motivated you to give your all, of course. Now it’s your turn to pass these good vibes on to your yoga students!
And because it’s always easiest to teach something you know intimately, think about which of the yoga styles is your favourite.
In Europe, some of the most popular types of yoga are:
These are the ones you are most likely to come across in yoga studios and institutes.
But even if you mostly teach in a school, there is no reason you couldn’t also teach private yoga classes in other yoga styles.
Why not become a private yoga tutor in Nidra Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Raja Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Children’s Yoga, Hot Yoga or Power Yoga?
You can easily combine the two: even as an employee at a yoga academy, you can still freelance on the side and give private lessons or even online tutoring jobs.
Whether you are outfitting yourself or want to provide provide props for students in a group yoga class, make sure you have the necessary equipment for home yoga and your yoga classes.
Most forms of yoga require only the minimum. But if you practice Iyengar Yoga, yoga props are obligatory (in fact, it is the main characteristic of this yoga style.)
Here is a list of indispensable yoga equipment:
Yoga props such as yoga blocks are an intrinstic part of Iyengar Yoga, but are useful for beginner yoga students, too. Photo credit: Melissa Venable via Visual Hunt
Ask your students to buy the same make that you use to achieve similar results.
A zafu is a comfortable cushion to sit on when meditating.
If I’m teaching beginner group yoga classes near me, students will generally expect basic equipment to be provided. You might also want to have one or two extra for private students to try out before they buy it themselves.
The ultimate goal of yoga practice is to achieve a unity of body and mind (the infamous “benefits of yoga”) while cultivating mindfulness of the world around you – making it vital to choose the right ambiance for yoga lessons especially important.
You would never think of doing yoga during rush hour at a busy intersection. The pollution from the noise and the exhaust fumes would prevent you from achieving the proper state of mind.
Yoga lessons in the middle of a busy street might seem hip and trending, but doesn’t cultivate the mindfulness necessary for serious yoga practice. Photo credit: Seattle Department of Transportation via VisualHunt.com
So whether you are thinking of giving yoga classes at a yoga institute or as private classes, try and find the right location.
If you have the chance, set up your yoga courses at a nearby beach.
If you are using a rented studio, visit the rooms around the time you plan to teach your lessons. If you find yourself next door to a beginner recorder class, you might want to reconsider.
Try to find a quiet place with good acoustics if you want to put on some music during meditation sessions. If you are giving private yoga lessons, you can either:
If you decide on the first option, try and create a space dedicated exclusively to practising yoga. Otherwise, you might have to find another location.
For winter, a yoga studio closed for the season or one with room rental option and a calm park in the summer are good alternatives for spiritual tête-à-têtes.
When you go jogging, you are not going to put on jeans or flapping skirts. It’s the same for yoga. Even though it is hardly a fashion show, the proper attire is important when practising yoga.
Wearing the wrong clothes (too loose or too tight) will hinder you in your balance, flexibility and, most importantly, your breathing. It will also make it more difficult to flow from one pose (asana) to another.
Here are some examples of form-fitting but not constricting clothes that will help you soar to new heights.
For women, we recommend:
Don’t forget to take off your jewellery (bracelets, earrings, necklaces, watches) before a yoga session.
Ask your new students to wear form-fitting clothes that will help you evaluate their posture, so you can correct them more easily if necessary.
Men who are comfortable with their body can practice yoga topless. Photo credit: ξωαŋ ThΦt (slowly back…) via Visual Hunt
Yoga classes always start with a short period allowing you to put the mundane life behind you. Invite your students to relax long enough to achieve calmness of mind and body. Breathing exercises can help.
Afterwards, you can set up a warm-up and stretching session to prepare the body for what is to come.
Now comes the flow of yoga poses. The rhythm of the sequences and the time they are held will change depending on the type of yoga. Insist on proper breathing, making sure they inhale and exhale in synch with every movement.
After this phase – more or less lively – you will want to leave your students some time for meditation. This will help them reach the state of mindfulness they are striving for and actively process the benefits of yoga.
Don’t forget to give your yoga students some time to break free of their daily lives at the start of yoga lessons. Photo credit: Kamila Gornia via Visualhunt.com
After the end of each yoga session, don’t hesitate to ask your students what they felt so that you can improve your future lessons. Be certain to fix a price per session that is affordable but will still allow you to make ends meet.
Good teachers never stop learning. Especially in yoga, which is constantly evolving.
Therefore, as soon as you can, sign up for further yoga teacher training classes with one of the reputed yoga institutes (such as the British Wheel of Yoga or the Himalaya Yoga Institute, or why not got to India itself?) It might give you ideas on how to improve your own yoga classes.
And don’t forget that a good yogi practices yoga every day to keep their body and mind flexible and offer the best of themselves to their students.
Here is some good advice to give your own students: it is better to train for 15 minutes several times a week than two hours every so often.
Now that your yoga class is ready to go, find out if yoga studios near you are in need of teachers. You can also use our site to become a yoga Superprof.
But if I want to learn yoga how do I pick the right yoga classes near me? If I’m searching for yoga classes near me in the UK, I find them on Superprof. They have hundreds of tutors in all yoga disciplines all over the country.