Whether you are at the front teaching or on the mat being guided through a flow, you will always be learning something new with every yoga class that you're at!
Yoga has been such a fulfilling and enlightening journey for me, and making the decision to become a yoga teacher is one I am certain I’ll never come to regret!
As yoga teachers we are always learning, always building upon our existing knowledge, and always opening ourselves up to new experiences. This means that we are always evolving as both teachers of yoga and students of it.
Today I am going to be talking about the most important lessons that I came across during my very first year of teaching yoga.
If you haven't yet entered your first year as a yoga teacher because you are still trying to decide if this career change is best for you, then check out my blog post from last week!
Begin with the Basics
With the fresh enthusiasm that I had as new yoga teacher, it was always so easy to get lost in the creativity and imagination of planning each class.
I wanted to create intricate sequences of interesting poses for all of my students to enjoy. But the reality was that the majority of my students were yoga beginners, and they first needed to master the basic poses and breathing techniques.
Many people wanted to use their yoga class as an opportunity to stretch, flex, and shake away the stiffness of the day, and I had to learn to structure each class in a way that benefited each of them the most.
Trying to teach too much, too soon, could cause confusion to your students and put them off coming back for more. This is not only bad for their progression, but also bad for attendance at your classes!
It is impossible to always predict who is going to turn up to your class and how each session will pan out. If you have your heart set on your lesson plan and then something disrupts this, then this can be a frustrating situation.
For example, you may plan a fast-paced intense session, only for your students to tell you that they'd rather take it easy today. On the flip-side, you may have prepared a slow and restorative session that is then attended by a group of people buzzing with energy, ready to be challenged!
It is of course okay to stick to the structure of your classes if you feel that is best, but responding to the energy of your students and giving them what they need in that moment will help you to build your relationship with them.
Being able to adapt to change will help you to always deliver an amazing lesson, even when you aren't able to stick with what you originally had in mind.
It soon became apparent to me as a new yoga teacher that things weren't always going to go my way. By embracing this fact instead of fighting against it, I was able to always be prepared for what my classes had to throw at me.
No two students that you teach are ever going to be exactly the same.
During my first year of teaching yoga I quickly discovered that I had to allow each student the time and space to develop at their on pace.
People learn in different ways and what works for one person might not be helpful at all to someone else. Encourage your students to thrive as individuals, and discover what it is about each person that best enables them to grow.
Teach From the Heart
During my first year I spent a massive amount of time researching how other people conducted their classes and how best to teach my students based on this. Although some of the information I came across was invaluable in guiding my lessons, a lot of it simply wasn't applicable to my teaching style or intentions for my classes.
Whilst I was pouring my time and energy into this research, I started to feel as though the way in which I was teaching wasn't good enough, and started to compare myself to all of the yoga teachers I was taking inspiration from. This may have turned into a cycle of negativity and not feeling good enough had I not snapped myself out of it!
You are your very own person, and your uniqueness will be one of the main reasons that students choose your class.
I soon discovered that the classes that I taught from the heart, the ones that came to me naturally through my own creativity, were the classes that my students responded to the best!
During your first year of teaching yoga, it's a fantastic idea to focus on finding your authentic voice and doing what feels right for you! Do not compare yourself to others and always teach from the heart.
Give Up Ideas of Perfection
It's completely normal that you will want to always deliver a perfect class for your students, but this is a seriously high benchmark to set for yourself!
Be kind to yourself when you make mistakes and remind yourself often that nobody is perfect. Your students are coming to your classes because they love who you are – both as a person and as a yoga teacher. They understand that you are human and that you are not pretending to know everything or be perfect.
So be genuine, be honest, and inspire your students to be the very best that they can be without the pressures of perfection.
Never Stop Learning
Finally, towards the end of my first year of teaching yoga, this is when I came to the realisation that I really wasn’t ever going to stop learning!
Through all of the classes and workshops I taught during this first year, I always left feeling as though I had shared something special with everyone in attendance.
This realisation led me to understand that I can never know everything there is to know about teaching yoga, but that it is important to continue giving as much time to learning and growing within this role as I can!
When you are building a yoga business there are so many things to consider and many different new things to learn. I have put together a downloadable PDF of 5 weekly habits that I urge you to embrace as you build your business!
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