The Real Beginning Of A Yoga Class
While you might like to think class starts when youve finished checking everyone in, and the door to the yoga room officially closes, the reality is that it starts well before that for your students. Thus, the timing of your actions can be a powerful way in which you facilitate a feeling of belongingness for those in your class. This can enhance their thoughts and emotions of you, and of yoga as a whole. Plus, it can be a valuable building block to keep your yoga business growing.
Here are some simple ways you can connect with your students BEFORE you begin to lead the class:
This way you can be organized, confident and centered before students show up.
Clear the yoga space
Ring a gong or singing bell to clear the area with sound, or light a sage smudge stick to alleviate smells.
Adjust the light
What mood do you want to set with class? Do you want to get the class energized? Do you want them calm from the get-go? The amount of light you set initially will set the tone without even saying a word.
Select the sound
Again, you decide whether music will be playing or not when students arrive. This will give an indicator of your energy levels, as well as your intentions for theirs. If you choose to play music, make sure it suits the time of day, type of class, and focus for your class. By doing this, you will create a sense of congruence with you and your students before you even open your mouth. .
Offer your time for conversation
Start class on time
Make People Feel Good About Themselves
When introducing different versions, encourage people to choose what feels good for them. Dont talk about easy or hard versions, give people options instead. If you are demonstrating a pose, demonstrate the more basic version as well, like bending your knees in a forward fold, so that people don’t feel discouraged.
How To Prepare Your First Yoga Class
Prepare your class in advance: Not only prepare your sequence in advance but also practice it so that you can feel it in your own body. This will help you memorize your class, especially your transitions which can be tricky in the beginning.
Teach what you practice: You need to actually have experienced the pose to be able to teach it to your students. For example: I don’t teach shoulderstand as my neck is fragile. I teach legs up the wall instead.
Make it simple: Don’t plan for anything too fancy! Stick to poses you know well and add maybe one or two wild cards per class. By wild cards I mean, something that is pushing your boundaries as a teacher like a fun transition or a pose variation.
Know your audience: Don’t teach the same thing at a gym, yoga studio or at a company. As the person organizing the class what students are expecting of you and how long they have been practicing. Usually corporate classes tend to be more “conservative” so avoid wide legged forward folds.
Be ready to improvise: Adapt to who is in your class. You are teaching real people so don’t stick too tightly to your plan. No need to be afraid when someone walks in obviously pregnant or with an injury, just remember the safe modifications you learned in teacher training and tell them do do what feels good for their bodies.
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Use Basic And Beginning Level Postures
Make sure you have read our General Practice Guidelines before attempting any yoga poses. Start with one of our warm-up sequences and then try one of our basic yoga pose sequences and/or these simple postures: seated twist, cat, dog, down dog, child, cobra, mountain, triangle, forward bend. Then check out our list of best poses for beginners and explore our Yoga Pose section to find additional poses to add to your practice. It is best to add new poses very slowly.
The Benefits Of Practicing Yoga
The benefits of yoga are almost endless! Practicing yoga helps build healthy virtues and good values, such as discipline, honesty, devotion, self-inquiry, mindfulness, and non-attachment. Yoga empowers you to make conscious choices toward living a more healthy and fulfilling life. Yoga also helps you:
- Help heal common aches like back pain
- Increase happiness and well being and reduce depression
- Lose weight and change your body shape
- Improve and maintain the health of muscles, joints, and organs
- Prevent conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and auto-immune disorders
- Improve flexibility, strength, stamina, mobility, range of motion, and balance
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How To Start A Yoga Class: The Power Of Beginnings
Many conversations today are focused on the HOW-TOs of yoga, such as how to build a yoga business, how to relate to students, or how to create a sequence of poses with purpose and safety. While this article is titled how to start a yoga class, were really going to dive into the importance of beginnings, and why its essential to leverage the newness in those time periods to provide maximum impact for your students.
Thanks to the book WHEN, by Daniel Pink, the author uncovers the hidden science of timing. Pink explores a wide array of topics, and shares enough scientific data to make your eyes go cross. To simplify matters, Ill share some of his notes below and add some very specific applications and insights of timing for the yoga world.
Photo Credit: Bex White
Six Tips For Teaching Your First Yoga Class
Teaching your very first class can be an intimidating experience. Youll have taught several times during your yoga teacher training course and probably found that fairly nerve-racking, but you were hopefully doing that within a supportive environment, and teaching fellow students who knew what they were doing and were willing you to succeed.
But what happens when you are teaching your very first class back at home? How do you transfer what youve learned on your course to the real world? Here are six important tips to get you started
1. Plan, prepare and practice
One day you will be able to draw on a vast bank of asanas and flow sequences to piece together for a class even without warning. But for now, youll need to plan and sequence the class in detail, prepare the music that goes with it and time it to the length of the class youre providing. Even teachers with years of experience still plan their classes in detail they may not refer to the book in front of them during the class, but it helps to know its there. For you as a first-time teacher, it will be there for those moments when your brain goes blank and you need to check where you are in your sequence a good tip I was given was to sneak looks at the pages when everyone has their eyes closed or theyre in downward-facing dog!
2. Keep it simple
3. Invite some friends along
4. Be prepared to go wrong
5. Take your time and breathe
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Learn Basic Yoga Poses
Once you feel ready for the physical side of your yoga practice, you can start to mindfully experiment with yoga poses for beginners.
There is no need to try to jump into the more complex poses or to try to be as bendy as the person next to you.
In fact, you can begin your practice right at home with free yoga videos.
Wherever you begin, whether in a local yoga studio or with an online yoga video, there are a few basics to start with.
Start with postures, or yoga asanas, such as downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and savasana.
In each pose, focus on pressing your hands or feet into the floor, lengthening your spine, and relaxing your hips. If you keep this in mind as you practice, you will be working with each pose exactly as even the most devoted practitioners do.
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And How To Teach Corporate Classes
The fun part! Teaching corporate classes is much like teaching any other class, except that you have the opportunity to tailor the classes to the students. As you get to know them, you can introduce concepts, postures or flows that you know theyll be interested in or that you know theyll benefit from.
Before you start teaching for a new corporate client, have a chat with them so that you understand what they want from your classes. Perhaps they want to focus on calm, slow movement and meditation to help employees relax. Or perhaps the class attendees want to fit a strong physical workout into their day. Or they might have a specific goal, depending on the type of work that theyre doing throughout the rest of the day – like improving posture, or preventing back pain.
The first class is a chance to get to know the students. Make it simple, and include postures that allow you to get a sense of their physical strength, flexibility and confidence. Make yourself available at the end of the session for them to ask any questions they might have, or tell you if theres anything that they personally would like to get out of the classes. And then go from there!
Why You Should Be Teaching Yoga Online In 2021
Yoga has developed an incredible online community.
You may have already seen this with the rise of yoga instruction on Instagram and YouTube. Instructors, like Yoga with Adriene, have reached millions of people. Why?
Its for two reasons:
It allows you to build a yoga business free from the tight constraints of brick and mortar studios. It puts you in charge and lets you focus on helping your audience.
Yoga instructors who move to teach yoga online go on to earn an average of $7,500 a month. And, were seeing the figure continue to grow.
When you establish your own self-owned platform, you can unlock a lot of other benefits too:
- Bring together a global community: you can lead an entire community to better health, happiness, and peace of mind
- Gain location independence: you can teach classes, create videos, and connect with community no matter where you are
- Generate passive income: you can earn money while you sleep, eat, and stretch
- Help an endless number of people: theres no limit to the number of people you can influence with your Yoga practice
- Monetize social media: you can earn money from the posts you create and share
But what exactly does it mean to teach yoga online?
Im glad you asked.
Simple: you launch your own online Yoga studio.
Lets take a closer look at what that is
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Can Christians Do Yoga
Some Catholics are also teaching yoga as a Christian practice. He insists that yoga has always brought him closer to Christ. Christian yoga is not just an American thing. Indian Catholic priest Joseph Pereira has written about Christian yoga and teaches yoga for the practice of Christian meditation to Indian audiences.
Pick A Pricing Model And Set Your Prices
Yoga instructors often struggle with pricing. Its often hard to translate what you ask for in the studio to the online world.
Lets start by briefly looking at how you can sell your videos. There are three conventional models you can use:
AVOD Ad-Based Video On Demand
AVOD is when you dont take a payment for the video, and instead place adverts before, during, or after your video. Like how videos on YouTube and 4OD work.
I dont recommend you use this when you teach yoga online. Its an unreliable and unpredictable income stream, at least at the start.
TVOD Transactional Video On Demand
TVOD is where you charge viewers to access a single video. You can either sell them unlimited access to the video, or have them rent it for a specific period of time.
This model can be useful if youre selling access to a specific course. Say, if you have an hour-long athletic yoga routine with lots of downloadable educational material.
The plus side of this model is that you can charge a higher price. The downside is that payments are not recurring and require constant marketing.
SVOD Subscription Video On Demand
SVOD is the pricing model yoga instructors use to create strong, community-driven membership sites. Its a model similar to what Netflix uses.
Your customers pay a monthly or annual fee for complete access to your videos. They can login to your site and access content as long as they make their payment.
- $15 for a monthly subscription
- $150 for a yearly subscription
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Market And Expand Your Brand
After you have established your yoga studio with the solid loyal following, it is now the time to expand the business. You already have a pool of potential clients. Use those clients for spreading a word of mouth about the quality of your yoga instructions.
A way to promoting your yoga brand is to take it out of the four walls of your studio and integrate it with popular activities of people in your locality. You can reach out to the schools and programs. Involve in some activities in your own unique way so that your marketing strategy stands out from that of your competitors.
For example, you can think of combining your yoga instructions with some surfing activity. People love to involve themselves in such a combination of activities to benefit more from a limited time they have in hands. When marketing your business, do not forget to show your unique yoga logo design every time on your yoga activities.
To sum it up, we can say that when starting your own yoga business, you must treat it like any other business and make additional efforts for its growth. Right from putting in place a proper business plan to find out right location and marketing plan, consider every aspect of it.
Hospitals And Wellness Clinics
One of my best friends growing up is an ashtanga teacher, psychology graduate, Theta healer and now motivational speaker. Her journey took her down this path through the hospital wellness center. A job that started out with her as a resident yoga teacher for recovering patients. The evolution of this was just wonderfully organic as she branched out within this broad field. As yoga teachers, people come to us because they want to heal or correct an issue they have with themselves whether physical or spiritual. Offering your services to a place that caters to that will not only be very fulfilling for you, it will provide financial stability. In addition, you are in an ever-expanding industry. Who knows where your career can lead you. Try to set up a meeting at our health facility. Choose one with a holistic department because they will generally be more open to your ideas.
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Keep Marketing And Generating Clients
Once you start your business, you cant ease up on your marketing. You should keep trying new tactics and campaigns until you see what works.
One of the best ways to get new clients is through running the best possible yoga studio. People will tell their friends about it, and the word will quickly spread.
You can also put together email marketing campaigns and write a fitness blog. There are many different marketing options to choose between its all about finding the right one.
How Often Should I Do Yoga
If you can practice yoga 3 or more times per week, you will see significant improvements in your flexibility, range of motion, strength, balance, inner peace, and overall well being. Ideally, we recommend shorter and more frequent sessions, 20-45 minutes long, and for a total of 3-4 hours spread over several days. Practicing yoga less than this amount will still be beneficial, but you will see smaller improvements over a longer period of time. Like most things, the more time you can dedicate towards it, the more benefits you will receive.
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