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Top 5 Tips for New Yoga Teachers

5 wonderful tips for new yoga teachers with the best being remind yourself of why you became a teacher and share that purpose with your students and the world. 

I’m a certified yoga teacher! I’m home from one of the most amazing experiences ever and the very perfect ending to yoga teacher training. I’m still processing the whole experience from the very first teacher training weekend in January to yesterday. I wish all of you could have been there.

More on my whole experience later this week. I have so much I want to share and, at the same time, so much that I will keep in my heart. Just for me.

As you’ve probably noticed, today’s post isn’t what you’ve come to expect on Monday with Inspired To Be Fit. Today I’m kicking off Yoga Week at Jill Conyers | Fitness, Health & Happiness.

Now, on to my friend, Beth, with her perfectly timed post, Top 5 Tips for New Yoga Teachers.

I’m so excited for Jill to get her yoga teacher certification. I know she’ll be a wonderful teacher and that her students will love her.

Hearing about her experience with yoga teacher training got me thinking back to my own yoga teacher training, and what I’ve learned during my two and a half years of teaching. So, I wanted to share my top tips for those of you who are just starting out as yoga teachers, hoping that you’ll feel better knowing these lessons that I’ve learned.

Top 5 Tips for New Yoga Teachers

Tip #1: Understand not every class will be perfect.

You’ll slip up and call the right side instead of the left, or call Warrior II when you really meant to have your students come into Extended Side Angle. There will be times when you even blank and you can’t remember a sequence you did on one side so you can repeat it on the other.

I tend to be a perfectionist and hate making mistakes, especially in front of other people. But, I’ve learned that I have to remind myself of what I’m always telling my students. Let go of what you think is imperfect, let go of the past, and just be in the moment. It’s just as true for teaching as it is for your yoga practice.

Tip #2: Understand each class will have a different energy.

Some classes are just amazing, where all of your students are breathing and moving in unison. Other classes will feel more “meh,” where everyone’s breathing is all over the place, despite you working hard to cue the breath to meet the needs of your students. Yes, as yoga teachers we try to create great energy in our classes. But, remember that there are always things that you can’t control, and that absolutely includes what’s going on in your students’ lives. Give yourself some grace.

Tip #3: Speak from your heart.

Many yoga teachers learn this in teacher training, but it’s worth saying. If there’s a quote or mantra that’s resonating with you, there’s a good chance it will resonate with your students, too. You’ll help your students understand that they’re not alone on their life journeys. And, you’ll help to teach them how to use yoga to help cope with the tough times. By speaking from your heart, you’ll teach them to love yoga like you do.

Tip #4: Try sequences in your own body.

If you’re wondering whether a transition from one pose to another will be weird, try it out before teaching it. Testing a sequence in your body is a great way to prepare for class and to deepen your own practice. The same is true if you’re working toward a peak pose. Think about what muscles and joints need to be open in your body, and what yoga poses help you to open those areas. Always be testing out what you’re teaching.

Tip #5: Have fun!

It’s tempting to be very serious about teaching yoga, especially when you’re being paid to teach and it really is a job. But, remember the joy you feel from your own personal practice, and try to bring that to your teaching as well. I’ll sometimes throw in a joke, or even remind my students to smile a little. When you find lightness in your heart, you’ll find lightness in your body, too. And remember: it’s just yoga! Yoga should be fun, whether you’re teaching or practicing. Remind yourself of why you became a teacher and share that purpose with your students and the world.

Best of luck to all of you new teachers!


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Beth is a certified yoga teacher and running coach. She’s the blogger behind Sublimely Fit and is the author of the book Yoga for Runners, and she also leads online yoga courses. She aims to help her readers to create healthier, more satisfying lives.

Connect with Beth: Sublimely Fit | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | PinterestPeriscope

 


Stop back by throughout the week for:

  • Yoga inspiration and quotes to Live Your Yoga
  • Running and Yoga: The Perfect Pair from Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home
  • What Is Your Yoga Style?
  • 3 Ways Yoga Has Balanced My Fitness by Jess at Hello To Fit
  • What Yoga Teacher Training [or maybe just Yoga] Has Taught Me

I’ll be back next Monday with a workout  you’re going to love! It might kick your butt, but you’ll still love it.

be the best version of YOU

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63 Comments

  1. Sounds like a fun job! I’m happy just taking the classes for now 🙂

  2. As yoga can be a spiritual experience, i think that speaking/moving from your heart is a great way of teaching yoga. They will feel your passion.

    1. Yes, Ana! Absolutely! Just like in anything we do, when you speak from your heart, people respond. I think it really is the best way to connect with students, and just people in your life in general. 🙂

  3. These are some great tips!!’I would be so fun to teach my own yoga class. Maybe one day 😉

  4. Congratulations on completing your training! I’m sure these tips will be really helpful for anyone who is a yoga teach or attends yoga.

  5. What great tips! Yoga is something I have always wanted to get into. I think I’ll make it a point to get to a studio sometime soon.

  6. Those are really great tips for teachers. I’m sure it can be frustrating when the class isn’t in sync but everyone has some place to start from.

  7. Robin Rue says:

    Yoga is definitely different for everyone. These are great tips for teachers to remember.

  8. I haven’t been to a yoga class, but I would prefer to have a teacher that was light-hearted and fun rather than someone so serious, so that was a good tip. Also, I bet it’s interesting to see the different energies and participants in various classes.

    1. It really is incredibly interesting! And the energy of just a few people can really affect an entire class, too. Just goes to show that there’s a lot of factors that go into having a good class. 🙂

  9. I think being a yoga teacher would be fun, but difficult! Kudos to all the teachers out there!

  10. Understanding that every class won’t be perfect is great advice. It’s important to be open to change and to imperfection since they are important parts of life.

  11. Kimberly at www.fitdisneymom.com says:

    Congrats! I know becoming a yoga teacher is a lot of hard work with many teaching hours. Great job!

  12. I can’t imagine myself as a yoga teacher, but it sure would be nice to learn how to handle a class and do all the awesome exercises. These are very good tips and it’s going to help a lot of instructors not just for yoga but for other classes as well.

  13. I have such admiration for anyone willing to teach yoga. I can’t do it because of back issues, but I love the idea of it. PS that picture is just terrifying for me lol.

  14. Great tips! I don’t teach yoga, but I feel these tips could apply to all group fitness instructors as well. Especially #2! It is always interesting to me to teach the exact same class, exact same format and choreography, to two different classes. One may take it very seriously, and one may have “fun’ talking, joking with each other, etc. I’ve learned to roll with the energy of that class in that moment !

    1. Totally! You can’t control what’s going on in the lives of your students, so you definitely can’t completely control the energy of your class. You’re absolutely right–just roll with it!

  15. I think you have the best job of all – getting to see all the excitement of all the new teachers.

  16. If I’ve ever had a new yoga instructor, I didn’t know it – everyone always seems so confident!

  17. I love reading about the ‘other’ side. I’ve recently gotten into doing a lot more yoga and I love it. But it’s so easy to forget how much work goes into planning every class. So thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. I always think the same thing about other fitness instructors! Like what’s it like to teach a Zumba class? It really is neat to hear about the teacher’s perspective. Namaste! 🙂

  18. These are great tips for any instructor, no matter what exercise or gym routine. Understanding that every class has its own vibe and energy is quintessential for a teacher I think. That way the class doesn’t become too tense.

  19. Thanks for the tips! I was never a yogi, actually hated yoga, until a couple years ago when I fell in love with Piyo. Of course after that yoga. I’ve been debating on becoming a yoga instructor but only because my daughters gym (gymnastics) asked if I wanted to teach it when I said I thought it would be beneficial to the girls. They said if I wanted to head it up they would give me the gym time. Since there aren’t any studios local that have classes for younger girls (closest is 30-45+ mins away and they only have weeknight classes that wouldn’t work for many) I’m really thinking about it but still not sure.

    1. It sounds like you’d be able to create a wonderful yoga program there! There’s a lot of need for youth yoga programs and I’m sure the mental awareness would be amazing for young girls. Yoga teacher training is definitely a lot of work, but it’s worth it a thousand times over!

  20. Congratulations on completing your training! That’s so awesome! Thank you for these great tips. I actually have a friend who is training to be a teacher, I’m going to pass on your post to her!

    1. So happy you found the tips helpful, Teresa! Good luck to your friend who is in teacher training. She’s going to have the experience of her life!

  21. I used to do Yoga pretty regularly. Unfortunately, since I injured my knee and ankle, I am not able to do a lot of the positions anymore. I really hate that. I liked doing Yoga.

  22. These are all such great tips! I love Yoga, I need to make more time for it in my life!

  23. LOVE this post! I’ve recently starting practicing yoga on a regular basis and love every minute of it. I think of it just like I thought of any other type of fitness, the only race you’re running, or comparison is of yourself. I think a lot of people compare themselves in yoga, and everyone is on a different part of their journey.

    1. I agree 100%, Emily! It really is all about your personal journey. When you start comparing your journey to someone else’s, that’s when you get into trouble. 🙂

  24. Congrats Jill! Every time I read one of your yoga posts I think that I should start doing it!

  25. congrats jill!!! so excited for you. this makes me want to get back into yoga again. i miss it.

  26. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    I really want to do Yoga again! I have a few friends who are teachers and I will send this to them!

  27. I always thought being a yoga teacher would be a pretty hard job. They have to make the transitions smooth and seamless and keep it relaxing for your students, and inspirational too!

  28. I’m not a yoga teacher, but a lot of those tips are good tips for anyone trying anything new. Have fun and speak from your heart are daily mottos for me!

  29. Realizing perfection is not a THING should be first and foremost! In fact, I actually think IMPERFECTION is far better!

    1. I totally agree, GiGi! Being imperfect makes you more relatable. You want your students and clients to feel comfortable asking questions or coming to you for advice.

  30. Congrats on completing your teacher training! That’s amazing and wonderful. These are great reminders, as I think a lot of us are perfectionist and it’s hard to let mistakes go. I’m looking forward to more yoga posts from you.

  31. Congrats on finishing your yoga teacher training! That is so exciting (and explains why you weren’t at Blogfest!) And thanks to Beth (missed seeing you too!) for the great tips.

    1. Yes, I definitely went through something similar when I first started teaching barre classes, too! I definitely messed up a LOT when I first started with barre classes!

  32. I’m not a yoga teacher, but I am a professional educator and much of the advice you gave is good practice for all who teach. I enjoyed this post a lot!

  33. I see teachers slip up all the time when it comes to calling the other leg. We just laugh it off. Can I add to your list, I really enjoy it when a yoga teacher plays music, it just makes the class go faster.

    1. Glad you liked the tips, Liz! And I’m sure it’s a unique perspective to think about what your yoga teacher is thinking while s/he is teaching. 🙂

  34. Having fun is KEY to anything! And also love the part about understanding the vibe/mood about each class and how it will vary.
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  35. Great post, Beth! I have been considering yoga teacher training but I’m not sure I have the grace and acceptance to lead a class. Lots to think about!

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