Becoming a teacher of yoga is a type of conundrum. The yoga path tends to attract those of an introverted nature. Often the thoughtful seekers delve into yoga for a personal pursuit and then become enchanted with the process and want to share what they have learned.
It is quite the journey for an introvert or an extrovert to stand in front of a class of eager students, who expect you to be entertaining, athletically gifted, and philosophical. Truthfully, all of those characteristics combined in one package are a bit of an oxymoron.
No matter how you prepare, you will certainly be feeling butterflies in your stomach when you teach that first class. Try some of these ideas to get you through the transition smoothly and effortlessly.
1. Make a video. Watch it repeatedly so you can find your weaknesses and work on strengthening them. This is a technique commonly employed by professional athletes.
2. Engage in practice classes with friends and family.
3. Think carefully about the music you will use. Once you have put your sequences to sound, you will have an additional tool for keeping track of where you are, if you freeze and forget what is next.
4. Stand in front of a mirror and practice how you will introduce yourself to the class.
5. Ask friends to engage in a lively question and answer session with you.
6. Attend a variety of classes with different teachers to assess the type of approach that you feel will work for you.
7. Carefully study a yoga instructor’s code of ethics, so you are confident about boundary issues.
8. Offering a few free classes at community centers or retirement communities will give you experience with less pressure.
Once you are prepared and ready for your first day on the job, plan your day wisely.
1. Do not schedule your first class on a day when you have too much on your plate. Take the time to meditate, breathe, and be calm.
2. Give yourself some extra time in the studio before the class begins.
3. Make sure you know how to use the sound system and check your music.
4. Try to avoid pre-conceived notions. Be ready to face 2 people or 20 with the same enthusiasm.
Finally, stand in front of the class composed and confident, and enjoy this important step into a new career that you love.
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