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How to Prepare to Teach Your First Yoga Class as a New Yoga Teacher?

How to Prepare to Teach Your First Yoga Class as a New Yoga Teacher?

How to prepare to teach your first yoga class as a new teacher?

Are you a new yoga teacher having just completed your yoga teacher course you are probably feeling overwhelmed about teaching your first class. Don’t worry; today, you’ll learn the tips and tricks needed to prepare for your first class so that you can feel confident and ready to teach.

Remember, even the best teachers had to begin somewhere – this is just the beginning.

1. Make a class plan

Before teaching your first yoga class, it’s important to make a rough plan of how the class should flow and what poses you might want to include. You do not need to have every sequence or posture mapped out, but a rough guide will definitely help if your brain freezes.

If you are making a vinyasa class sequence, it will largely be up to you to decide the order and sequence as most teachers prefer to create their own routines that give them a more personal feel.

With that said, it’s good to know where you want to start and end – pick a pose such as Child’s Pose and Savasana to start and the end – this will allow you to start piecing together the sequences.

Another thing that helps is to compile a few poses or flows that will be used in your sequence – something that you can use in several different places within the class in case you need it.

Once these foundations have been established, you can improvise. From there, you can pick and choose sun salutations or start with standing or seated postures.

It’s also nice to have a ‘focus’ or a particular theme for the day, whether you focus on twists, balances, or hips. Having a few set sequences will help you in case you get stuck or forget what’s next.

2. Read the room

For your students to get the most out of your class, structure classes that are appropriate for all levels.

Consider including variations of poses that ensure beginners can keep up but also give more advanced practitioners a challenge.

Doing so keeps everyone engaged while providing an opportunity for growth in each student’s practice. Additionally, it’s good to provide alignment cues in keeping with more traditional methods so that all participants recognize how their bodies should move within each pose during your classes.

Having random cues might get confusing.

3. Show up early

Give yourself plenty of time before your classes start to handle any unexpected issues – this may involve stocking up on supplies or setting up the studio space. I like to arrive 30 minutes before class to address any potential problems, get the space set up, and get centered before I start.

You might think it sounds simple, but trust me, it’s not. Everything will get in the way if you let it. It only adds to your anxiety if you arrive just as your first students appear. Especially since this is the beginning of your career, always good to start it off on the right foot.

Meditating before class can help calm the nerves and create some space. Before each class quieting your mind will help to enter into the role of a teacher much easier than with a busy mind.

4. Go with the flow

Teaching your first yoga class can seem intimidating, but there is no pressure to be an expert. Even the most advanced of teachers were beginners at one point. And even they mess up. There is no such thing as perfection.

Go with the flow and trust your intuition; it will help you stay centered.

Remain flexible in your routine, improvising as you go if something doesn’t quite feel right, or if students need to slow down, move at a different pace.

Reading the room and knowing where each student is in their practice will help you connect to their level.

starting slow as a yoga teacher

5. Start slow

It’s only natural to want to be the best at something. But know there is no need to put that added pressure on yourself.

Start slow. There is no rush. There is nowhere to go. Everything comes in its own time. Being a teacher is the start of something, not the end.

The most important thing is that you create a comfortable, safe space for yourself and your students so they can focus on their practice.

What can help is set the mood. Add some candles or incense, dim the lights, play soothing music, and have fun with it – that is what everyone wants.

6. Don’t worry

For many new yoga teachers, the thought of teaching their first class brings up some very different emotions – excitement, anticipation, and a few worries. It’s normal to feel anxiety before stepping into that instructor role for the first time.

Anxiety can make us worry more than we need. However, don’t let your worry take away from your center. Before I taught my first class, I was all stressed and nervous, but then as the class started and I found my flow, I could catch a rhythm that carried me throughout the class. It felt about as natural as it could. An hour of class went by in a flash.

7. It doesn’t matter what people think.

We often get so involved in what other people think of us that it can get in the way of being present in the here and now. Nothing of any value comes out of us when we are not rooted in the NOW.

Try not to be too concerned about what other people think about you. We often think someone is judging us, only to find out later that we were completely wrong! So you never can tell; it’s always good to give people the benefit of the doubt. You can only be what you are, nothing more.

Focus on providing a space that enables students to deepen their practice, and everything else will come.

8. Be yourself

As a new yoga teacher, it can be daunting to teach at first. You may have many expectations to meet and not enough space to express your unique teaching style. However, finding your voice doesn’t come overnight. It can take months and years before you feel that you can step into and embody a true teacher.

Finding your voice is something that finds you when you are ready.

Finding your voice as a teacher is finding your rhythm. It takes time, self-reflection, and practice, but it doesn’t leave you once found.

9. Be open to feedback.

It’s normal for new yoga teachers to feel overwhelmed and unprepared. The best way to ensure that you grow and learn is to be open to feedback from your students and instructors. 

Learning always helps make you a better teacher, so take note of any helpful comments or advice that may come your way. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask questions; we only learn from the teachers that have come before us.

We often forget that every teacher – they too were once mere mortals!

10. You will improve

Teaching your first yoga class can be intimidating, but it is important to remember that this is your first class for a reason – you are still learning! Don’t become discouraged if things don’t go as planned.

Clear communication between you and your students will help build connection in the studio which in turn encourages a positive energy exchange – something you had probably felt when you resonated with a teacher. That is where all of the magic happens.

You will get better every time you teach just by showing up; if there is too much forethought, you will only get in your way. Being present for yourself and your students is the greatest gift you can give.

11. You will fail, and you will learn.

It’s important to remember that no one is perfect, and you will make mistakes. While disappointing, it’s important to acknowledge and accept these lapses as a learning opportunity. Taking the time to calmly assess what went wrong rather than getting down on yourself.

Accept that we all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. No exceptions.

How to learn to become a better yoga teacher?

So now that you finished your first class, what’s next? The answer – keep learning more! The good news is that regardless of how much or how little experience you have, there is always room for improvement! Here are a few things that you can look into:

Focus on developing strong verbal cueing skills. Learning some anatomical cues, as well as how to speak in groups, will help build confidence. You don’t need to offer deep musicology or Sanskrit teachings.

Get in touch with the roots of yoga. Read, study, practice meditate on some of the old yogic texts. Deepening your understanding will show in your classes.

Build confidence. No matter how much experience you have. Keep learning new styles through study, observation, or weekend immersion classes with your favorite teacher. Just because you are a teacher doesn’t mean you aren’t a student anymore.

Stay humble. Don’t let it all go to your head. Even if you become a celebrity yoga teacher, yoga is about connecting with your roots, not going to your head.

Thats it!

Stay true to yourself, and the rest will follow. Until next time, Namaste.

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