These are my top three go-to techniques when I find myself in a yoga teaching rut. Burnout, an overfilled teaching schedule, lack of continuing education, and many other factors can make teachers feel like they are becoming stagnant in their teaching style and methods.
These are simple and quick ways to make a big impact on your teaching effectiveness, and your students' experience in your classes.
1. Clean up your languaging.
What are you saying in class that could be confusing? Are you overcomplicating things? Are you filling every moment with words? I ask myself this question often and try to reel in any unnecessary verbiage so that I can offer concise and clear words for students to quickly absorb.
I encourage teachers to record or video a class a couple of times a year so that they can get an accurate idea of what they are truly saying. It can be hard to have a realistic perspective when you are in the moment as you teach, but a video won’t lie.
You might find tweaks you can make that allow you to speak more clearly and directly to your students. Identify the filler words you most frequently use and try to eliminate those from your languaging. These little changes require minimal effort, but can have a big impact.
2. Level up your knowledge about anatomy and kinesiology.
Understanding the body and how it moves is a necessary part of being a great yoga teacher. In a 200-hour teacher training program, it is challenging to include enough information on these topics to really give a new teacher the solid foundation they need.
Take the time to study the body and watch your students moving. One of my favorite things to do is to pick a muscle, muscle group, or area of the body each week and study up on it as well as watch my student’s body mechanics and movements around this area.
This gives me both practical information as well as technical information, and all of it builds my knowledge base.
3. Lose the gimmicks and just offer a great quality yoga class.
You don’t need special playlists, fancy yoga clothes, or an elaborate and overly difficult sequence to keep your students intrigued and coming back to your classes. You simply need to offer great quality yoga classes backed by knowledge and skill.
Keep studying and learning. Listen to your student’s needs and feedback. Understand how to offer them what they need and what will facilitate the changes they want from stepping on the mat each week. These are the things that create longevity and loyalty for yoga teachers.
Do any of these resonate with you? Can you see yourself integrating one of these strategies into your teaching routine? If one of these tips feels right to you, give it a try and notice how a small adjustment to your routine can revitalize your teaching and create more loyalty with your students.