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How I Brought Fresh Creativity To My Yoga Class

How I Brought Fresh Creativity To My Yoga Class - Whole Self Yoga

One of the best feelings for me as a yoga instructor is when a student comes up to me after a class and tells me how energised and excited they are by the sequences they just did! This is something that has started happening more and more since implementing the power of Mandala into my regular classes!

As yoga teachers, it is important to remember that our students are trusting us with their time – something we all often seem to be short on! They are also trusting us to help them develop their yoga practice to achieve their personal goals – in addition to setting new ones.

So, giving our students the best of ourselves that we can, in the relatively short periods of time that we spend together, is key to a successful and long-term teacher-student relationship! This is why creative yoga sequences can be your secret weapon and most powerful tool!

Tips for New Yoga Teachers

I have been a yoga instructor for many years and my practice has naturally developed and changed over this time. I’ve worked hard to bring creativity into my classes and in doing so I have seen results – not just for my students, but for my business too!

The more creative I have been able to get with my sequences, the more my classes have grown. Then in turn, I have developed as a teacher too! I never for a moment feel stale with my teaching. Instead I feel invigorated by every lesson and every opportunity that I have to share my knowledge and my experience with those that I am also sharing my time with.

Mandala Sequencing is a concept that I have only recently introduced into my classes, but I’ve already been amazed at the response.

My Friday morning class used to average 15 students, but it is now consistently sold out week after week. Why? I truly believe it’s because I always focus on exploring creative Mandala Sequencing within this class.

What is Mandala Sequencing?

During a Mandala Vinyasa Flow Sequence we move through a circle, traveling 360 degrees around the mat. These sequences can be themed around the chakras, or can even be based on the different parts of the body that most students want to open up a bit more.

It can be extremely helpful to have an open discussion with your students in advance to see which approach they feel they may benefit most from. This is also a good chance to explain the concept of Mandala in more detail, so that everyone gains a greater insight and more solid understanding of the intention of these classes.

What is Mandala Sequencing - Julie Montagu

If you want to see this type of yoga in action then click to check out a video! Here you can see me giving a ten minute demonstration of travelling 360 degrees around the mat. It’s creative, it’s energising, and best of all this 10-minute flow is really, really fun!

How Does Mandala Sequencing Help with Creativity?

Bringing Mandala Sequences into my classes brought in the fresh creativity that I needed to keep my students challenged and engaged. As instructors we can get bored with the same sequences and routines. And, if you are bored by your own classes, then of  course your students are going to feel the same way too!

If you are unsure if your students feel this way about your classes or not, then there’s no harm in occasionally asking your students for feedback. Always ensuring that your students feel comfortable to approach you about your teaching style (or anything else for that matter!) is an essential part of being a good teacher.

As an instructor I’m always asking myself….

“Ok, what else can I do? How can I make this class more fun and exciting?”

There are several different ways that this type of creative yoga sequencing can help to shake things up in your classes. Let’s take a look at one popular aspect of yoga where you can utilise this style of sequencing – sun salutations!

There are typically 12 poses that make up a sun salutation, and this is a sequence that can involve circling the mat. Within an individual sun salutation there are different ways in which you can spice things up. Try picking 3 poses that you really want to focus on as you work your way through each sun salutation, and apply the emphasis of these three poses to different parts of the body.

As you go deeper into the Mandala Sequences, you can also explore the more challenging poses. This video gives you a great insight into how creative it is, as well as how you can add in different variations to make the sequences as challenging as you want!

My results? I have renewed energy for my classes AND I’ve become more creative with my sequencing. I feel like all of these new sequence variations have opened up for me. My students are excited too, and as I mentioned, once I started doing these sequences in my Friday morning class, it sold out – what more can you ask for as a yoga teacher?

Being Your Best as a Yoga Teacher

There are so many different ways that you can do your very best for your students – and for your yoga business! I’m certain that you have the imagination and the creativity to come up with your own fantastic ideas, but it can also of course be helpful to have the input of those who have been in the industry for a while – I know that this is definitely something I appreciated when I was just starting out as a yoga teacher.

This October I’m holding a Mandala and Mentoring YACEP Course. During this 30 hour training we are going to focus on everything you need to know to build and grow your yoga business – so join me there!

You might also find it helpful to read my article on 5 Ways to Create Your Authentic Yoga Brand!

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