5 tips to get you through your first yoga class as teacher

5 tips to get you through your first yoga class as teacher

You’re fresh from completing your yoga teacher training course. You’ve managed to secure a teaching gig. You feel fantastic – fully prepared and knowledgeable. Yet also slightly daunted at the prospect of standing in front of a group of strangers who, you imagine, will look to you for an hour’s worth of yoga wisdom. So what should you do to set yourself up for success? Here are five  yoga teaching tips to help you get through that first yoga class with ease:

Know your audience 

By the very nature of them being attracted to the same program as you.  During your teacher training course you were probably surrounded by other like-minded yogis with similar abilities, goals and attitudes about yoga. Your first real-world teaching class might be a very experience different depending on where it is and who is taking it. It’s important, therefore, to know your audience. For example, the needs of a group of stressed out, high-flying professionals will be very different from a room full of athletes. Find out as much as you can about yoga class participants ahead of time. Is the class mixed ability? Is music usually played? Are they accustomed to hands-on adjustment? Are they seniors? There are countless questions you can ask to help you design a session that participants will enjoy and want to do again.

Plan your yoga class and write it down

Once you have the information required to create a class sequence that will blow the mind of your students, write it down. You don’t have to stand and read from it while taking the yoga class.But having it close by for reference will make you feel more prepared and confident about what you are doing. Writing it down means you can also practice the sequence yourself beforehand. If possible, get a friend, partner or other willing subject to help you go through it. Doing so will allow you to get a sense of timings and suitability.

Be authentic, approachable and accessible

One of the teachings you would have heard during your training is to go within to discover your own teaching style. Just because you’re now teaching ‘for real’ doesn’t mean you should forget that. Be authentic and it will be easier to relax in front of your class. Believe in your ability to teach. Be there early before participants arrive in case they have questions or want to discuss any injuries. Hang around until the last person leaves for the same reason. Being accessible will show people you care.

Consider a playlist

If the venue allows it, you might want to consider using background music. Obviously you should select a playlist that suits yoga and the particular style of yoga you are teaching. For many people, silence is uncomfortable – especially when doing something physical that can produce all sorts of grunts, groans and bodily noises. Some people, for instance, may hold back on breathing exercises because they feel embarrassed at the sound of their own exhale. A good playlist can help everyone feel more at ease.

Laugh at yourself, and enjoy it!

Like everything you do for the first time, you’ll likely make mistakes. You will say something silly or forget part of your sequence. It’s okay. Do everyone a favor and learn to laugh at yourself and not get hung up on small blunders. Make no mistake, it will happen and the best course of action is to address any gaffes in the right way and keep going. More than likely no one noticed anyway.

Approaching your first yoga class with these tips in mind will set you on course for success. Remember yoga is an on-going journey and this is just one step along the way.

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