What to keep in mind when teaching beginner’s yoga classes


Beginner yogis are great. They are a mixture of open enthusiasm and a fresh outlook on yoga and anything it represents to them, but they are also a bundle of insecurities and prejudice toward this ancient practice.

What will they learn in the class, and what exactly is the teacher saying? These are just a few of the questions a beginner might have during their first class.

As a teacher, you must keep your classes simple and accessible. Here are some things to remember when teaching beginners.

  1. Keep your language simple.

Each teacher has a unique style and a unique yogic language. For beginners, “Breathe in your heart space” may not be clear.

It’s important to keep instructions simple and easy to understand. It’s normal to describe the majority of poses in Sanskrit. However, for beginners, it may be better to keep this to a minimum and only use Sanskrit when necessary.

You will find that your students are more interested in what they do than the name of the pose. As you introduce your students to the poses, Sanskrit will be woven into the conversation.

  1. The student’s understanding of anatomy and body awareness may vary.

As you advance on the yoga path, your awareness and understanding of your body will improve. A beginner student may not be aware of the names of their bones and muscles.

You can ask your student to point the knee towards the toe instead of having them externally rotate the femur. The students are experiencing their bodies in these positions for the first time.

  1. Yoga is a new concept.

New students may not be aware of the seven limbs because they are more focused on asana. They may come to yoga to stretch or to heal an injury gently. They then become interested in the spiritual aspect of yoga.

It is possible to introduce yoga slowly during classes. You can reveal little bits of background information at a given time without overwhelming students with a philosophy lecture.

Am I doing it right? You want my leg where?

Students need to be reassured that they are doing well and that their way of accessing the pose is fine. Media portrayals of yogis are very strong, and if you do not bend as far as you see in the pictures, it can be discouraging.

Yoga is a process that everyone goes through. We don’t start with the same flexibility or strength. You can tell your students to trust the process as long as they look safe.

  1. Why do we do what we do?

It’s nice to understand why we do what we do. Instead of assuming your students know, you can teach them a few things in class. For example, explain the meaning of namaste or some of the more common mudras.

It is difficult for a beginner to ask questions, especially when the class is large. Even if you think your student knows, it is always interesting to hear someone else explain things. You will learn something every time.

Teaching beginner’s classes will help you learn a lot about yourself. It will help you understand your yoga practice and how you perceive it. You can share your passion with others and light their hearts.

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