A skill certainly required when teaching, and one that is honed through the years with experience. This is something we all struggle with from time to time. We’ve set up this great class flow we can’t wait to try, and walking in the room rather than the smiling faces of our regular members, in place we have a stream of new faces ranging in ages, male and female and oh yeah the pregnant woman in the corner. How do we teach a class that will satisfy everyone’s needs? Here are the top 5 ways to keep multi-level classes simple:
- Use a basic standard warm-up (or YogaFit Mountain 1 warm-up from the Level 1 manual): This helps you to assess the levels of your participants by watching them go through simple and safe flows while also ensuring that everyone will be warm for the work ahead.
- Teach a pregnancy friendly class: When I have new pregnant members join my class I teach the whole class pregnancy friendly. This way I can ensure the safety of mom/baby but also can avoid constant interruptions with pregnancy options – this also works perfectly for the members we suspect, but just aren’t sure – I know you’ve been there too!
- Provide options for rest or flow: Standard in YogaFit method of teaching, this works perfectly for all of our students to give them a chance to either power up their class with vinyasa flows between standing sequences or to take a rest in childs pose by focusing on breath.
- Empower your students: I teach my students to be their own teachers. Specifically by listening to their bodies as they move in and out of different poses, but also just as important to listen to their breath. Our breath should always be steady and comfortable. If the breath is labored and shallow the pose is probably too intense, likewise if the breath is too easy (and it isn’t relaxation pose) probably they need to build in a little more intensity to the pose.
- The beauty of simplicity: There is such beauty in a simple class flow powered by breath. There is little need to create complex flows and chances are this complexity is lost on your students anyways. Choose instead to focus on the feeling you’d like to invoke for your class. Think about the tone of your voice, the pace of your breath and let the movements flow simply but strongly.
Over the years I’ve developed my own “standard” flow that I teach every time I sub a new class or found myself in a room with a diverse group with mixed fitness abilities. Using the tips above has helped me win the hearts over of new students and also build my own confidence as a teacher. What I will always say however is, it’s the experience of actually teaching that will make us stronger teachers. Namasté