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Yoga Teaching Tips

Victor Oppenheimer, Yoga.com Founder
©Yoga People, LLC 2017


1. Teach what you practice and what you know from having practiced.

2. Teach to the pupils by looking at the bodies in front of you and observe whether they assimilate what you say. Don't move onto the next point until they absorb what you said.

3. In teaching your class, convey a sense of the spiritual beyond the class being just a physical discipline.

4. Always be aware of any disabilities or physical or emotional conditions that might effect your pupils' yoga practice.

5. Teach without egotism. Let yourself be a conduit to communicate information about yoga, not for purposes of building your ego or your reputation.

6. Transcend all sexuality in your teaching.

7. Maintain your own  regular (daily) practice and don't allow teaching to be a substitute for practice.

8. Encourage people to listen to their own bodies and take self-responsibily for avoiding injury in your class and in their own practice.

9. Don't teach poses, but teach to the bodies in front of you in the moment.

10. Communicate the attitude that an essence of yoga is self-study, and acquisition of self-knowledge, not an physical performance.

11. Encourage pupils to form own practices, and not rely on classes.  

12. Learn what physical problems are an take those into account when you teach them.

13. Communicate about tradition, heritage, and philosophical foundations of yoga.

14. Particularly for beginners: teach to the pupils' kinesthetic intellegence rather than to their intellectual intellegence,  Hence the teacher should give detail instructions while students are doing the pose instead of between the poses to allow the information to be directly assimilated by the pupil's bodies.

15. Choose a single theme to persist throught the class. Examples: working on spinal alignment, focus on the work of the feet, focus on the use of the legs or the arms, etc.

If you are a yoga teacher, send your teaching tip(s) to shannon@yoga.com and they may be published.Thanks.

More teaching tips from teachers who have responded:

I have learned under the Viniyoga practice to walk around the room and listen to your student's breathing patterns.  From the breath, you will know how your student is doing in the pose.  If they are breathing deeply, rhythmically, and without break ups in the breath, the pose has been mastered. -Sally Voigt