Teaching Yoga

Today was a milestone in my yoga teacher training journey. We hosted a Hot Power Fusion community class this afternoon at the CorePower Yoga Greenwood studio. I got to teach half of it! Normally in a bigger sized group for the Extensions Program, I’d only get to teach a small portion of the community class, but since it was only my coach and I this week, I got to teach a whole 30 minutes of yoga.

I was really excited about having the opportunity to get so much practice teaching with a live group of students today. If I told you I wasn’t also very nervous, I’d be lying. I spent all morning studying and practice teaching the sequence. I even got to the studio early because I didn’t want my nerves to get the best of me. I figured getting to the studio early would allow me to have more time to practice teach a bit more before class started. I was right. As soon as I arrived, I ran through my flashcards some more and practice teached a few postures on my coach.

As soon as the nervous feelings started to bubble up inside and tried to take over my excitement, I reminded myself that this was just yoga. Yoga is fun. I love yoga. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but I had to keep reminding myself how much I love yoga and how much fun it is. But it worked! I did a pretty good job keeping all of those nervous nelly feelings at bay.

The hardest part about teaching the community class today was the waiting. My coach taught the first half of class and I taught the second. As my coach started class and cued the postures during the first 30 minutes of class, I sat in the back, observing and awaiting my turn to teach. The anticipation of waiting for my turn to teach yoga is what seems to be making me the most nervous. That’s when I start second guessing myself. What if I forget a posture? What if I can’t remember a cue? What if I totally blank and say nothing at all? What if one of the students comes up to me after class and tells me I suck at teaching yoga? Guess what? None of those things happened. Not a single one. I didn’t forget any of the postures. Sure, I blanked on a couple of postures at first, but as soon as I took a breath and regained my focus, the name of the posture and cues came right back to me, just as if I was reading it from one of my flashcards. I stumbled a little bit on some of the cues, but I wasn’t too worried about it. I’ve seen plenty of seasoned teachers stumble over the words coming out of their mouth in class over the years. We’re human. Not once was I ever at a loss for words. None of the students came up to me after class to tell me I sucked. I even managed to end the class right on time.

Is there room for improvement? Of course there is! As a yoga teacher, I will always be a student first and foremost. The learning shall never end. In this particular case, I learned a number of things I can work to improve on – take a better command of the room as the teacher (I was nervous and it probably showed a bit at first), cue breath better during postures, hold my students longer in some of the resting postures during class, eliminate a few filler words here and there, start working on adding in more refinement cues to the postures I’m cueing, be more comfortable walking around the room and teaching to the bodies in the class and give amazing, feel good hands-on adjustments to multiple students.

I did receive a few compliments after class from some of the students. One said she thought I did a great job with keeping a great pace during class. She said she could hear me perfectly and thought I didn’t talk too fast or too slow. My pace was just right for her. Another student said they really enjoyed my music. I’m so happy this nerve wrecking experience went as well as it did. I can’t wait to get a few more of these under my belt so I feel comfortable teaching a class of my own, one day soon.

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