This is something we start talking to our teacher trainees about from the very beginning: take care of yourself, model that as a good example for your students.
Here are our 5 top tips for staying safe when teaching yoga.
Also generally good to follow when DOING yoga!
- Practise what you teach! Move mindfully if you are demonstrating. If it takes you a while to set up, then it does. It’s useful for students to see that as a teacher it is still difficult! This will encourage them to also spend a bit more time to set up their alignment properly
- Remember to breathe! Not only for your voice and projection, but you need to breathe if you’re moving.
- Don’t always demonstrate on the same leg. If you tend to only demonstrate once for each pose, perhaps demonstrate a lunge with right leg, then warrior with left leg. Or mix it up from week to week. Don’t always demonstrate standing balances on your strong side, mix it up. or try to do both side. It is also useful for students to see that teachers wobble too.
- Avoid demonstrating too much of “what not to do” and hurt yourself while doing it. Learn to get your language down so you can explain it adequately enough.
- Educate your students to be familiar with your language and cues, this is helpful when you are feeling run down or low in energy so you don’t always have to demonstrate for them to understand what you mean. This highlights the importance of USEFUL CUEING (something else we teach our trainees from the very beginning. Stay tuned for a post on useful cueing soon too).
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