Teaching yoga can be as simple and complex as teaching any subject in the world. You need to get a hang of various aspects of yoga before you could start taking classes and teach your students. However, there are certain things which make teaching yoga a unique experience and one of them is understanding that yoga is a journey of both personal and professional transformation.
Yes! When you teach yoga, you not only share the profound benefits of yoga asanas, meditation, and pranayama with the world, you change yourself as well. During the journey, your physical and mental states also get influenced as it is your personal practice that lets you teach your students and make them learn the best methods to practise yoga.
Hence, you need to possess a great passion for learning yoga before you could come aboard as an instructor. Moreover, there is a detailed process that you need to learn before you sign up for teaching yoga classes. And to help you with that, here we are with the detailed guide on how to start teaching yoga classes. Here is the expert brief from a yoga teacher to help you understand the process. So, get going and grab all the knowledge that you require right away!
Understanding the Basics
Before you delve into the dynamisms of teaching yoga, make sure you understand the basics of this world. And what is that? Well, you should know that before you start teaching yoga, you should have an understanding of the fundamentals of yoga. You should be aware of the basics of yoga asanas, yoga anatomy & physiology, yoga philosophy, and of course, breathing techniques.
You should also know the importance of diet and meditation in yoga and how it can affect you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Unless you know these details, it would be difficult for you to take yoga classes. Hence, it is important for you to develop yoga practice first as a foundation to teaching yoga.
Enrolling in a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Program
Now you should also know that it is not possible to learn everything without guidance under your roof, right? So, it’s time for you to enrol in a yoga teacher training program so that you learn in-depth about the yogic world, from yoga asanas to teaching methodology. To find a good and reputable yoga TTC program, you need to do proper research.
Make sure the course you wish to enrol in aligns with your goals and career preferences so that you need not change it later on. Moreover, check the curriculum of the course, whether it is the beginner’s 200-hour yoga TTC or the advanced yogi’s 500-hour yoga TTC. Also, while enrolling in a yoga school, do check out the certification process to understand how it works.
Building a Strong Foundation
You cannot teach until you have a strong base to rely on. Unless you know how to perform yoga asanas in the most efficient manner, you would not be able to make your students learn it effectively. Hence, it is of utmost importance to build a strong foundation of yoga learning. So, ensure you get into the depths of various yoga asanas and learn about their proper alignment.
Understand the anatomy of the human body and the physiology aspects of it so that you are aware of how much risk can be taken while practising yoga. You should also develop a strong base for pranayama as breathing techniques make for a significant part of yoga learning.
Let us ask you a question - can you help your students learn yoga without demonstrating yoga asanas or any other technique in the right manner? Or can you guide them without clear communication and giving verbal instructions? If not, then teaching methodology should be prominent for you.
It is the methodology that would help you and your students relate to each other and eventually, communicate precisely. This would help you develop a unique teaching style so that you can make your students learn easily and faster. It may include sequencing, understanding student’s needs and requirements, verbal cues, creating lesson plans and sequences for different levels and practising hands-on adjustments and assists.
Deepening Personal Practice
As mentioned earlier in the article, your personal practice matters a lot when you are teaching yoga. When you deepen your yoga practice, you not only refine your skills but also develop an authentic relationship with yoga. So, make sure to explore what you can learn and how you can make yourself a better yogi at the end of the day.
Check our various yoga asanas and styles and move to the next level. If you are not comfortable with tough yoga poses, then start trying your hand at it. It is important to develop new techniques and continue learning so that you evolve with time. However, make sure you stick to the core principles and values of yoga while deepening your yoga practice.
Gaining Teaching Experience
You cannot become a full-time teacher unless you learn how to become a teacher. Well, that sounds complex, isn’t it? In simple words, you need to practise being a teacher so that you gain experience on how to handle a yoga class and how to teach various aspects of yoga effectively.
So, make sure to participate in various yoga programs and workshops to understand and refine teaching skills. You can look for local yoga programs in your areas or join the online or offline yoga community upon your course completion. You can also seek various yoga teaching opportunities online by taking video classes.
With this, you would learn the needs of a yoga student and eventually, become a skilled teacher with abilities to understand how to cater to yoga aspirants correctly.
Embracing the Yoga Community
Yes! You should be a part of a yoga community to keep learning. When you join a yoga community, you not only join hands with like-minded individuals, you also sign up for your mental and physical growth. Connect with other yoga teachers and practitioners so that you understand how the yoga world functions.
Attend workshops, events, and conferences related to yoga to keep yourself updated and learn new skills and techniques. Joining a yoga community would not only help you establish a supportive network but also enrich your teaching journey. With this, you would also start learning new perspectives about yoga. Well, what else do you require?
Incorporating the Art of Breathing
Pranayama is an important chapter of yoga and it is all about controlling your breath so that you can synchronise it with yoga poses and other movements during your practice. Hence, when you learn about pranayama, you learn various breathing techniques that can help you promote relaxation and mindfulness.
Pranayama is all there to strengthen the connection between your mind and body. It helps you improve lung capacity along with good blood circulation. Pranayama is also known to improve cardiovascular and respiratory functions. That’s the reason people who practise pranayama rarely get affected by such problems in life. Moreover, pranayama techniques can help you sleep better and provide you with a sense of rejuvenation.
Designing Your Class Around Your Students
One of the significant aspects of teaching yoga is that you learn how to be inclusive. Yoga is all about embracing the world in its natural form and understanding how inclusivity can lead to happiness and peace. So, as an instructor, it becomes important for you to design your classes as per the requirements of your students.
But what does it mean? Well, it refers to considering things and activities which would make your students learn faster. You can opt to make your teaching sessions fun and full of exciting stories. While practising yoga, make sure you attend to students’ poses so that they understand their needs. This way you would be able to communicate with your students and also, make their yoga learning experience a memory to remember.
Engaging In Effortless Communication
Communication is the key to success and you must be aware of it, whether you are teaching yoga students or taking academic classes in a primary school. Communication is important as it helps you converse with your students. The better you communicate, the stronger your connection is with students.
Moreover, when you resort to effective communication, you move towards building a sense of community and this is what makes your students feel valued and motivated. Wouldn’t you wish to keep your class high with dedication? If yes, then make sure you hone your communication and interpersonal skills so that you can address the needs and preferences of your students. It would also nurture a supportive and an open class environment.
Committing Fully to Your Own Practice
As they say - students do not perform what you tell them, instead they do what you do. So, when you are taking a yoga class, it would be you who would be instilling a sense of dedication in students. Hence, it becomes important for you to demonstrate dedication through your strong yoga practice.
Show your students your personal growth and development so that they can learn from it. A teacher should lead by his own example and that’s why you should first imbibe yogic values before you pass them on to your students. No wonder teachers who community fully to their own practice are well-reputed in the world of yoga today.
Always Keep Learning and Continue to Explore
This is what we just discussed. Learning and evolving should be two significant sides of your life. Whether you are an advanced yoga expert or just a beginner who has recently stepped into the yoga world as a teacher, you should keep evolving with each passing year and remain updated with current global scenarios. But how would you do that?
Well, you can participate in yoga events such as workshops and certification programs. But before that, you should develop a mindset for lifelong learning. You should have that hunger to learn new things and your mind should be curious all the time. You can also read books and explore new yoga styles to expand your knowledge and evolve as a yoga teacher.
How can you even think of becoming a yoga teacher without getting your certification? So, once you complete your yoga training program, whether it is a 200-hour yoga TTC or 300-hour yoga TTC, the next step should be registering yourself. Also, make sure your yoga certification aligns with the standards of Yoga Alliance and validates your skills.
Ensure it enhances your credibility and positions you as a qualified yoga teacher. Though there is no denying that skills make for the most important aspects of learning, certification is what helps others acknowledge your abilities and capabilities. In short, it verifies your hardwork and dedication.
Setting Up a Yoga Business
You can also set up a yoga business if you have passion for yoga and are keen on building a community for like-minded individuals. If you are already teaching independently, then you should create a comprehensive plan to set up your yoga business. You might be taking onine route to teaching yoga classes online or setting up your own Yoga School.
This would satiate not only your entrepreneurial spirit but also help you achieve your long-term goals in life. Determine your target audience and set pricing structures. You also need to establish a strong marketing strategy so that your business becomes a successful venture.
So, these were some significant tips and tricks from a yoga teacher on how to start teaching yoga. From understanding the basics of yoga to enrolling in a yoga TTC program and building a strong foundation to getting yoga certification, it is a journey of full-time dedication and diligence.
You need to keep learning and evolving with time while keeping your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional sides in check. This also opens up doors for a business as you can turn your entrepreneurial aspirations into reality.
So, embrace them and be on the way to be a successful yoga instructor already. Your life’s awaiting your determination and perseverance!