When you meet a great yoga teacher you can certainly tell it. Look at their student – the room is full, the students hardly miss a class, they usually leave feeling happy and fulfilled, they look forward to the next yoga class, and most importantly, they get results.
You can be a yoga guru, know all yoga techniques and style in this world but that doesn’t qualify you as a great teacher. Teaching is more than just having the knowledge of the subject. A great teacher is someone who is able to connect with the students on a deeper level and – at the same time – is able to transmit the knowledge in a natural, almost effortless way. However, because in life (and in yoga) nothing is really effortless, effective planning plays a big role in the quality of the teaching delivered. Here are a few things I always consider when I plan my classes.
1. The energy I need to transmit as a yoga teacher
Yoga can only be as fun as the teacher makes it. Teaching is just a part of the job; I always try to focus on motivating the students and keep them inspired. You need to show that you are having fun and radiate energy whenever you are teaching. If you cannot show your students how enthusiastic you are about yoga, probably you can’t take them too far.
2. The importance of carrying everyone along
We all learn at a different pace. It happens that students find it difficult to master certain yoga moves, as a teacher I always try to make out time to help my student understand the moves and use words of encouragement. It is very important that no one feels left out.
3. Plan, yes, but be flexible
Sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly the mix of people that will be attending your class. You may plan a perfect class but your students may not be able to follow the planned routine. I always try to be flexible and adapt my class to the level of my students.
4. Practice the right tone of voice
Your voice can make a big difference. The last thing students will like to hear is someone shouting on top of their head or struggle to hear. Practice your tone and be mindful of the space where you will be teaching. You need to have a clear, calm and soothing voice as a yoga teacher, but at the same time the students at the back of the room need to be able to follow your instructions.
5. Always reach out to student after class
It is almost a ‘duty’ of a good yoga teacher to listen to feedback and let the students talk about any issues or concerns they may have related to their practice. Talking to students personally to understand their specific situation can go a long way in making them love their yoga practice.
As a yoga teacher I feel very privileged as I believe I am in the position to inspire and train people, and maybe sometimes even make little changes into some of my students’ life.