By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
How important is teaching beginner Yoga students? In reality, teaching new students is extremely important. You need your best and most compassionate teachers working with beginners. Above all, every facility must recognize students’ needs for a sanctuary from stress. If you have teachers who want to work with advanced students only, you must move a kinder and gentler teacher into their place. Regardless of how long a teacher has been around, you can’t have new students receiving inadequate training. After all, COVID has given us many lessons, and we should greet everyone like a beginner.
What’s Going On?
Some Yoga teachers forget about the need for instruction at the beginner level. Recently, managers and owners have been guilty of that, as well. Many of your Yoga classes should still be geared toward beginners. Many studios, fitness centers, and wellness centers have re-opened, with more focus on the needs of the community.
As a result, these facilities plan on having diversified Yoga classes for the public. However, before officially re-opening the doors, they will have more beginners than they have space. Yin, Restorative, Gentle, and Chair Yoga classes can easily be labeled beginner-friendly. A variety of gentle classes also attracts advanced students.
After the COVID Rush
Although some studios have an entourage of Yoga teachers, the demand for beginner classes is far beyond their expectations. What does this all mean? Any Yoga teacher with a welcoming attitude will do fine teaching beginner Yoga students, as the demand for the benefits of Yoga is also global. I hear similar stories from many other Yoga teachers on every part of the earth.
The common thread is some of our veteran students were not practicing as often as they used to, and others have neglected their practice altogether. At the same time, taking care of children, lockdowns, and changing jobs became a matter of survival. Although COVID cases are ongoing, people are leaving their homes.
Creatures of Habit
As humans, we tend to be creatures of habit. If we have been teaching and practicing Yoga all day, sometimes, methods become stale over time. We develop habits when assisting, cueing, and guiding throughout the day. To keep our classes interesting, it’s wise to take a class when you need a break. When you are tired, do not be concerned with performing every Yoga posture in your classes.
Walk around the room when you cannot see your students. Most of all, make it fun and incorporate stimulating methods and ideas. Yoga teachers are on the right path to internal healing and healthy lifestyles. Most humans are disconnected from their bodies and run on “auto-pilot.” To link the mind, body, and spirit in unity is rare for humans.
Need for Beginner-Friendly Classes
With global obesity on the rise, Yoga will not fade in popularity. Too many people are mentally detached from their physical bodies. This can be observed in the increase in the size of humans. This will require action on the part of everyone, but Yoga teachers have an opportunity to educate their students toward the best quality of life.
Teach your Yoga students about the doshas. If you need to know more about this and other Yogic subjects, get the continuing education required to help your students. Depending on the teacher, it can be challenging to teach beginner students because they have no prior experience. For new students, this can make choosing a class difficult. One of the best ways to overcome this issue is by offering more classes listed as beginner-friendly sessions.
Training the Next Generation
In order to be an effective yoga teacher, training a new generation of beginners is necessary. To accomplish this, teachers should give a mindful introduction to their class and allow the beginner students time to adjust before starting. They should constantly provide vocal support during posture work and the entire class so that the students know what is expected and how they are doing.
Teaching yoga to beginner students should not be done in a way that makes it difficult for them to keep up. By using props and creating easy-to-follow sequences, beginners can quickly feel like they are progressing in their practice. An instructor must teach new students how to give themselves the best experience possible. This means teaching our students that Yoga is a journey with many aspects.
Food for Thought
The demand for Yoga teaching services is great. Grow with your Yoga students. You are already a few steps ahead on the path of unity. That is the definition of any teacher: “One who has been there before.” Your mission is to show them “the way.” Do not worry about physical feats when performing Yoga postures. Yoga has pranayama, mudras, mantras, doshas, meditation, relaxation, chakra awareness development, and more.
Undoubtedly, you will be a safe teacher when you have concerns about contraindications for postures. Safety is more critical for a Yoga teacher than a gymnastic “circus act.” Teaching beginner Yoga students is an underrated skill that can cost a facility dearly when the value of new students is not appreciated.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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Teaching Beginner Yoga Students Today
By Jenny Park, Sangeetha Saran, and Faye Martins
Are you a yoga teacher looking to teach beginner students? Or, are you a beginner student yourself, just starting your yoga journey? Either way, teaching or learning yoga can be both exciting and intimidating. However, it can also be incredibly fulfilling with the proper guidance and approach. Let’s review tips and tricks for teaching beginner yoga students that will help create an engaging and welcoming environment while setting them up for success on their yogic path.
How Important Are Beginners to Yoga Studios?
Yoga studios typically offer a variety of classes catering to students of all levels, from beginner to advanced. While it may be tempting for studio owners and experienced teachers to focus on more advanced students, beginners are essential to the success of any yoga studio.
For one thing, beginners are the lifeblood of any business – the new customers who keep the studio running. Experienced yogis may come and go, but if a studio consistently attracts new students, it will stay in business.
In addition, beginners provide an essential source of income for yoga studios. While advanced students may be able to get by with drop-in rates or class packages, beginners usually need to purchase memberships or class cards to commit to regular practice.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, beginners are the future of yoga. They are the ones who will eventually become advanced practitioners and teach others in turn. By nurturing beginner students and helping them develop their practice, yoga studios ensure that the tradition of yoga will continue to thrive.
How Important Are Beginners to Yoga Teachers?
The answer to this question may seem obvious, but it’s worth taking a closer look. After all, without beginners, there would be no one to teach! However, that doesn’t mean that every yoga teacher enjoys teaching beginners. Some find it quite challenging.
There are a few reasons for this. First of all, beginners often have many questions and can be disruptive to the flow of a class. Secondly, they may be unable to do the more advanced poses that other students can, making the class feel unbalanced.
So why are beginners so crucial to yoga teachers? The answer is simple: they are the future of yoga. Every beginner has the potential to become a lifelong student (and maybe even a teacher themselves someday!).
Plus, teaching beginners can be incredibly rewarding. Seeing someone progress from being a complete novice to being able to do basic poses is a fantastic feeling. It’s also gratifying to know that you were able to help them on their journey.
So if you’re a yoga teacher, don’t write off beginners because they might be challenging. They are essential to the yoga community and deserve your time and attention.
Introduction to Teaching Beginner Yoga
Teaching beginner yoga can be daunting if you’re new to teaching yoga or have been teaching for a while but haven’t had many beginner students. It’s hard to know where to start and what to teach. However, with some preparation and understanding of what beginners need, teaching beginner yoga can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Here are a few tips for teaching beginner yoga:
1. Start with the basics. Beginner students must learn basic poses and breathwork before moving on to more advanced techniques. Teach them to pose safely and effectively and focus on proper alignment.
2. Keep it simple. Don’t try to cram too much into a beginner class. Stick to the basics and move slowly, letting the students master each pose before moving on.
3. Encourage questions. Beginner students will have many questions, so ensure you’re open to answering them. This will help them feel more comfortable and encourage them to return to class.
4. Be patient. Teaching beginners takes patience, so don’t get frustrated if they don’t pick up everything immediately. Just keep working with them, and they’ll eventually get it!
The Different Types of Beginner Yoga
There are many different types of beginner yoga students. Some students come to yoga with a specific goal, such as improving their flexibility or losing weight. Others come to yoga with no particular goal but want to try something new. Regardless of why they come to yoga, all beginner students share one common goal: to learn the basics of yoga and find a practice that works for them.
Here are some of the most common types of beginner yoga students:
1. The Fitness Enthusiast
The fitness enthusiast is often drawn to yoga because of its reputation for being a low-impact workout that can still provide excellent results. They may be looking to complement their current workout routine or seek an alternative to traditional forms of exercise. Either way, the fitness enthusiast is usually eager to learn and will quickly pick up on yoga’s basic poses and principles.
2. The Stress Reliever
For many people, yoga is a way to reduce stress and find inner peace. If this is your primary reason for starting a yoga practice, you’ll likely gravitate toward more gentle and restorative classes. Students in this category often report feeling more relaxed and centered after just a few classes.
3. The Flexibility Seeker
If you’ve always been told that you’re “not very flexible,” then starting a yoga practice may be what your students are looking for in your classes. Sometimes, rolling out of bed with morning stiffness, joint pain, or arthritis forces some of our students to become active in practicing yoga poses.
The Benefits of Beginner Yoga
There are many benefits to teaching beginner yoga students. One of the most important benefits is that it can help people to learn how to relax and reduce stress. In addition, beginner yoga can also help people to improve their flexibility, strength, and balance.
The Five Principles of Beginner Yoga
There are five fundamental principles that every beginner yoga student should know:
1. The breath is the most crucial thing in yoga. Every movement should be coordinated with the breath.
2. Yoga is about connecting the mind, body, and spirit. Please pay attention to your body and how it feels during each pose.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others in your yoga class. Everyone is at a different level and will progress at their own pace.
4. Be patient with yourself, and don’t expect to be perfect. Remember that yoga is a journey, not a destination.
5. Have fun! Enjoy learning something new and exploring your body and mind through yoga.
Tips for Teaching Beginner Yoga Students
1. Start with the basics. Explain the importance of breath, alignment, and grounding in each pose.
2. Help your students find their level of challenge. Some poses may be more difficult for some students than others. Modifications and props can help make poses accessible for all levels.
3. Encourage students to listen to their bodies. If a pose doesn’t feel right, have them back off or come out of it entirely. There’s no shame in taking a break or modifying a pose.
4. Lead by example. Demonstrate each pose before having students try it themselves. Pay attention to your alignment and breath to model good form for your students.
5. Make it fun! Incorporate games, music, and humor into your classes to keep things lighthearted and enjoyable for everyone involved.
Tips for Teaching Beginner Yoga Students
Are you a yoga teacher looking to help beginner students find their footing on the mat? Or maybe you’re a new teacher yourself, eager to teach the basics and start off on the right foot. Either way, teaching beginner yoga can be exciting and daunting.
Simplify Your Beginner Yoga Classes
If you’re teaching beginner yoga classes, you might wonder how to simplify things for your students. Here are a few tips:
1. Stick to basic poses. When you’re just starting, it’s best to stick to the basics. That way, you can focus on perfecting your form and getting used to the movements.
2. Don’t add too many props. Props can be helpful, but they can also be confusing. If you’re using props, explain what they’re for and how to use them properly.
3. Keep your instruction clear and concise. When teaching a beginner class, it’s essential to keep your instruction clear and concise. That way, your students can easily follow along without feeling overwhelmed or confused.
4. Be patient with your students. Remember that everyone learns at their own pace. So, be patient with your students and let them take their time in learning the poses and breathing techniques
Don’t Push Students Into Advanced Techniques
Yoga is a fantastic workout for both the body and mind, but it’s important to remember that students must be comfortable with the basics before moving on to more advanced techniques. Pushing students too hard too soon can lead to frustration and even injury.
When teaching beginner yoga students, take the time to explain each pose and how to execute it properly. Make sure everyone is comfortable and confident before moving on. And always offer modifications for those who need them.
Advanced yoga poses may look impressive but are not always necessary for a great class. The simplest poses are often the most effective. So please don’t push your students to do something they’re unprepared for. Help them find their path to success on the mat.
When is a Beginner Ready to Move to Intermediate Yoga Classes?
This question has no definitive answer since everyone is different and will progress at their own pace. However, some general guidelines that you can use to gauge whether your beginner students are ready to move up to intermediate classes are as follows:
1. They have mastered the basic yoga poses and can perform them with proper alignment.
2. They have developed regular practice and come to class consistently.
3. They are starting to explore more advanced poses and feel comfortable trying new things.
4. They are interested in learning more about yoga philosophy and want to deepen their understanding of it.
If your students meet most or all of these criteria, they may be ready to attend intermediate classes. You can ask them directly if they feel ready to move to an intermediate class and listen to their feedback.
Don’t Push Sanskrit?
There are a few reasons why you might not want to push Sanskrit on your beginner students:
1. It’s not necessary to learn Sanskrit to practice yoga. Many good yoga teachers, books, and websites provide instructions in one’s native language. If you do take a class, your teacher will probably speak mostly in your native language anyway.
2. Learning Sanskrit can be intimidating for beginners. If you’re starting with yoga, you might not be ready to tackle another language simultaneously.
3. Not all students are interested in learning Sanskrit. Some people want to focus on the physical aspects of yoga and don’t care about the history or philosophy behind it.
So, if you’re teaching beginner yoga students, don’t feel you must push Sanskrit on them. Practicing yoga is unnecessary, and not everyone is interested in learning another language. Just let them know that it’s an option if they’re ever curious about it later on down the road.
Sanskrit is an Option – Not a Requirement
Sanskrit is an option – not a requirement – for teaching beginner yoga students. While some teachers may require students to use Sanskrit names for poses, many don’t. There are many good reasons to choose not to use Sanskrit in your classes. Here are a few:
1. Not everyone is comfortable using another language, especially in class.
2. Sanskrit can confuse beginners, as multiple names often exist for the same pose.
3. For some people, focusing on the meaning of the words can take away from the focus on the physical practice of yoga.
4. Sanskrit is not necessary to understand or experience the benefits of yoga.
So if you’re considering teaching yoga but feel intimidated by the thought of using Sanskrit, know that you have options. You can teach a great class without ever uttering a single word of Sanskrit.
Music Can be a Distraction to Some Yoga Students
For some yoga students, music can be a distraction. It can be difficult to focus on the breath and body when music is playing in the background. If you are teaching a beginner yoga class, you may want to consider turning off the music or asking the students to bring headphones so they can listen to their music.
Allow Space for Questions in Your Lesson Plan
When you’re teaching a beginner yoga class, it’s essential to leave space for questions. Students new to yoga may not know what to expect and may have many questions. If you don’t allow time for questions, they may feel like they can’t keep up or are not doing the poses correctly.
If you have a question-and-answer period at the end of your class, keep it brief. You don’t want to take up too much time with questions, as other students may be ready to leave. However, if you do have time for questions, be sure to answer them thoroughly. Providing additional resources for students who want to learn more about yoga outside of class is also helpful.
Teaching beginner yoga classes is an excellent way for any yoga instructor to share their passion with newcomers. Whether you are teaching in-person or online, it’s essential to be mindful of your students’ needs and create a comfortable environment that allows them to learn at their own pace. With patience and understanding, you can help support the development of each student as they progress from novice to experienced students.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division