Teaching a class for the first time can be stressful and intimidating. No matter how well you did in training, taking the step from student to teacher is a whole new animal. Remember that nerves are a natural occurrence and having first-time jitters is perfectly acceptable. Here are some tips for new yoga teachers that will alleviate arriving to your first class a nervous wreck. Enjoy and go with the flow.
1.) Be prepared and write a class outline
Just like a history teacher would outline their first lecture, make sure that you write a class outline. This does not have to be scripted and followed to a T, but the act of writing it down will help you put your plan into action. It will also serve as a reference to study right up until game time. Recruit your friends and classmates to help you practice your first yoga class and build your confidence. Not only will it help you get flow down, but it will help you time out your class.
2.) Teach what you know
Don’t stress thinking you have to teach the most complex and technical poses in order to impress your class. Instead, teach what you know. When you practice yoga, you want your mind to exist in the present and not drift into the future. Humans have the innate desire to always progress and move on, but it is vital to let go of the constant urge to move on. Often times you will be teaching students of all body types and skill levels, so make sure you know how the pose works for all body types in the class.
3.) Know your class
Be sure to evaluate who is taking your class. You may be at a gym, school, community center, or yoga studio. Think over the following:
Are they stressed out coming from work or class?
Is the class mandatory for them to attend?
Are they athletes looking for a strenuous workout or working professionals looking to unwind?
This will help you gage what is expected and gear your sequencing towards the needs of the individuals in your class.
4.) Watch your students
It can be difficult for new yoga teachers to know whether they are saying too much or too little when it comes to correcting their students’ poses. The best way to feel out this balance is watching your students. See if they understand the instruction and make sure they do before moving on to the next. This preserves time and energy, enforcing the mantra, “yoga is now.”
5.) Enjoy the process and continue to learn
The start to any new avenue in life is exciting whether it is a new relationship, new house or new career. Embrace that this is a new experience and revel in the excitement that comes from it. Like getting to know a new partner, there are nerves and fears coupled with curiosity and hope. Confidence is key, so trust yourself and learn from experience. Continue to hone your skills, your sequences and always remember why you started to practice yoga and teaching to begin with.