students in a yoga teacher

How To Plan A Great Yoga Class

When I first started teaching yoga I would spend literally almost a day planning a 1 hour class. That was planning something that seemed sequential with poses that seemed challenging while making sure which was the majority of the time knowing how to teach the poses and mudras in a seamless way. So I would come off as being a confident and skilled yoga teacher. 

As the years have gone by, I’ve learned that the skills of teaching yoga comes in time and that most of what makes a great yoga class is the energy of the teacher and a lot can be overlooked by a class which is mediocre and where the skillset is as well mediocre. Be it that you’re a new yoga teacher or an experienced yoga teacher, here are 4 ways to plan a great yoga class.

yoga teacher lecturing at yoga teacher training

Establish A Template

 What this basically means is that a yoga class can be set up into four parts. There is an opening where the teacher talks about themselves, asks who does not want to be touched,  how long it is, what level it is and whatnot.  

After that is the warm up getting the body ready for the yoga class and then there’s the workout part of a yoga class where most challenging poses are and then there is a cool down with bring the body back to rest. Using a ticking template like this allows you to plan grey yoga classes without having to spend lots of time trying to  figure out what poses should go in what part of the yoga class for example. 

Right it down

I am really surprises me that there is so much ego with yoga teachers in the yoga industry. There are teachers who write every little instruction down on paper and almost read them verbatim off a sheet when they’re teaching which makes her incredibly boring class. 

Then there are teachers who wig it with having nothing written down and where if they get upset the class get thrown off. Instead of being cool and calm they are then agitated and the energy changes for everyone.

Writing things down allows you to keep on track with what you planned. And there are also many seamless tricks to teaching without the class truly knowing that you were referring to your cheat sheet.  

After the opening students can be put into eye closed poses like child pose, mountain pose and those are the times that we check of cheat sheet. And those are the times we also take time to sip water and a quick break.

yoga students practicing teaching to each other

Think Like A Student

One of the key factors to being a great yoga teacher and teaching a classes is an awareness with how your voice is conveyed. This will  allow you to be less anxious and focussed on you and in turn will allow you to try to teach class as best as you can by taking the students point of view into account.

Touch The Fingers

OK this won’t make any sense unless I get some context.  Touching your fingers while teaching is a way I was taught to bring yourself into the present to be mindful of what is going on and you need it. 

This is a mnemonic way to practice mindfulness and being mindful is being okay with where you are as of your teacher and realizing that every yoga class that you teach brings me one more step towards being a better yoga teacher and this lastly allows you realize that finding your genuine voice as yoga teacher takes time.

Planning to teach a yoga class is a lot more than spending hours and hours on trying to find the right poses and pranayama. It takes a little bit of structuring, as well as faith in that it takes time to learn to teach –  amongst a few other things. Doing that we all cut down wasted and help  you quicker towards teaching a great yoga class.