By Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500
Is teaching yoga fitness classes fun? Some teachers feel they’re locked into a new field that demands more boot camp, hard core, booty kicking yoga classes every month. “Whiz, zing, whoosh!” Those three little gibberish words sum up the pace of life these days. In fact, most people seem to be addicted to speed and things that work quickly always seem to win out – including high-energy, maximum weight loss exercises classes.
In other words, if you’re a yoga instructor looking to engage students in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of practice, you may have a tough time attracting students in a typical health club. My point is yoga will always be compared to other forms of exercise and calorie losing results create crowds of new and enthusiastic members.
These Days, Speed Trumps Patience
Is teaching yoga fitness classes the answer? Our cultural commitment to efficiency has definitely led to valuable, groundbreaking discoveries; but it’s also made us less patient as a whole. Today, people expect results – pronto. And sometimes that “need for speed” presents a problem for yoga instructors. After all, working with fitness-minded students who don’t care about mindfulness and just want to keep slim can be frustrating, but teaching yoga fitness classes might reach them.
Evangelizing On Behalf Of “Mom”
While hatha yoga training is an exceptional form of exercise, you won’t see considerable weight loss in the first two months – a fact which many beginners find frustrating. After all, many of today’s “fad” diets, like Paleo, Ketogenic, and Noom, boast of dramatic results within the first couple of weeks! And let’s not be coy, nowadays, in popular culture, the terms healthy and skinny – for better or worse – are nearly synonyms.
There’s also the issue of yoga’s sometimes-languid pace. We are teaching yoga, but students can be like grasshoppers, and in a fitness center, they don’t feel any loyalty to teachers or a 5,000 year old health maintenance system. Between spinning, HIIT, and step classes, kickboxing and Zumba, today’s exercise trends, just like our lifestyles, tend to be of the high-energy variety.
For the Yoginis out there: Remember when you were younger, and your mom wanted you to take ballet, but you really wanted to twirl it up in hip-hop? In many ways, yoga instructors are still fighting mom’s battle. So in a society that values the quickest route from A to B, it’s tough for constant reminders of mindfulness to compete with hip-hop music and rapid-weight-loss workouts.
More than ever, yoga has established itself as a standard in the exercise menu. The job of introducing yoga to modern students is complete, and now it’s time for instructors to shape their personal teaching styles. Which way will you go? To keep up with the ever-increasing pace of life, will you focus on “power” or fitness yoga styles? Or will you incorporate some of the more esoteric aspects of practice in the hopes of guiding students to a more mindful – and often slower paced – workout? The choice is yours; the only requirement is a genuine belief in your methods. If you decide to participate in teaching yoga fitness classes, be prepared to test your creativity along the way.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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