If you are a yoga enthusiast who has just completed his / her teacher training program, then you have completed one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. A lot of yoga trainers decide to do a yoga teacher training course much later in life. The average age of a yoga gradate is 38 years. So if you are of those latecomer types, then this certificate has been a long time coming.
Teaching Yoga For Freshers
Some yoga teacher training schools will give you the opportunity to get some practical experience by teaching a real class before you graduate or even after you finish you course. For a new yoga teacher, making the transition from just teaching asanas to your fellow students to teaching a group of strangers can induce nervousness. As a yoga teacher you have to understand that there will always be unexpected situations that will take place outside your comfort zone. There will be situations that crop up that you would not have experienced before. In a situation where you are flumoxed by questions that you cannot answer, you could say, ‘I don’t know the answer to that. But I know someone who does.’ A lot of good yoga teacher training institutes will offer post grad support thus giving you the added confidence.
Practice, Practice and More Practice
The more you prepare the more prepared you will be and the less nervous you will be when start teaching. Take any teacher training course and you will see that the students who practise the most are the ones who do the best when it comes to grades and performance. If you know your asanas inside out, then teaching is easy and effortless.
The best yoga instructors deliver their class effortlessly like a trained musician playing at a concert. Another great tip for yoga trainers to grow in their profession in the initial years is to experience their own class. With your phone camera or by hiring a cameraman, you could record yourself teaching a class and then analyse the recording later for flaws which you can correct before they become a habit. Use your voice more effectively to motivate or to relax your class a certain times. Take the time to attend classes of your favourite teachers or watch videos online. A Good yoga instructor will use his / her full vocal range without sounding cliched or singy-songy.
Watch Your Language
As much as paying attention on the tonality of your voice and diction, also pay attention to what you say. When describing a posture, always dwell on the positive instead of the negative. Do not use sentences like, “Don’t do this” or “Don’t do that” or using superlatives like, “Please, could you, would you?” and so on. Always use direct words and commands that will help the student to mentally visualise your instructions. Use flowing and inspirational words like, “Lift your heart to the sky”, “Send the breath to your stomach”, “lengthen your tailbone to the floor”. This way your students will be able to effectively deploy your instructions and your classes will end up becoming more effective and focussed.
There will be days when you walk into your yoga class and the class is buzzing with energy and enthusiasm. At such times, even if you are tired yourself, the energy of the class will carry you through. While on other days, the general vibe and energy of the class will be low and you will really have to push yourself to change the mood and get everyone to work in harmony with you.
As a yoga teacher, the more you teach the better you will get. And before long, you will have found your place as a yoga trainer and you will feel supremely confident and relaxed in front of a large crowd of strangers. As you become more confident of your abilities, your gift off sharing Yoga gets better and better. Do Yoga and All will come – in the words of Pattabhi Jois!
Dhara is a dedicated and highly passionate yoga instructor from Mumbai who trains our clients personally as well as in group classes. Dhara also helps conduct yoga classes and sessions for kids (Age groups 5-9 and 9-14) which include Asanas, meditation, breathing, basic and simple yogic concepts to help them grow into beautiful adults. Dhara is also an avid practitioner of Reiki, The Art of Living & Vipasana Meditation apart from Crystal Healing & Meditation techniques and incorporates all of her multifaceted skills into her yoga classes and sessions as and when required. And she also takes time out to write for the Wellintra Fitness Blog whenever she can!