Tips for New Yoga Teachers

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As a new yoga teacher fresh out of yoga teacher training, it is normal for one to feel anxiety before teaching a first class, as the mind can be very good at anticipating the worst things that could happen. If we allow our mind to get ahead of us, and we don’t learn to calm the mind down, this can limit your ability to express and share the beautiful practice of yoga with others.

Sounds familiar? Not to worry! We’d like to share with you a few tips to have a calm mind, be present, and how to prepare yourself to teach a class:

  1. Meditation, especially meditation based on mindfulness, is a great tool that will allow you to acknowledge the fluctuations of the mind and cut down the mind’s mental projections about the future.
  2. Meditation based on concentration, on the other hand, is a technique that can help us create some distance from the anxiety feel, then helps calm the mind down slowly, but surely. This type of meditation can be done by simply sitting down in silence and following one’s breath until the mental fluctuations are reduced. Another way this technique can be practiced is through the repetition of a mantra. For example, the “Om” mantra, which lacks in meaning, refrains the mind from associating it with anything; and the vibration itself created by chanting this mantra can calm the mind down even just after 5 minutes.
  3. Pranayama (breath control) is one of the most useful techniques, and is quite accessible in any type of situation. Quieting the mind down with pranayama is best done before a class, as this will help you to ground yourself and connect with the present moment. If you do not have a pranayama sequence that you practice yet, you may simply follow your breath and try to equalize your inhales with your exhales (ex. Inhale for 3 or 4 seconds, then exhale for 3 or 4 seconds). You may do this exercise for as long as you need, or until your mind has calmed down.
  4. If you get a chance to enter the classroom before starting your class, you can practice Viparita Karani, wherein you lay down on the floor, lean your legs up against a wall, close your eyes, and just allow your blood flow down your body. You will be surprised to find that this simple inversion has a lot of calming benefits.
  5. If you get a chance to enter the classroom before starting your class, you can practice Viparita Karani, wherein you lay down on the floor, lean your legs up against a wall, close your eyes, and just allow your blood flow down your body. You will be surprised to find that this simple inversion has a lot of calming benefits.
  6. Avoid having any type of over-stimulating drinks before class – such as coffee or black tea, as this can aggravate your anxiety even more. Instead, opt having calming drinks such as chamomile tea to help calm the mind and relax the body.
    Also feel free to use a bit of aromatherapy as well. Sandalwood oil is known to promote relaxation. You may place a few drops of the oil in your hands, rub your hands together, and then place your hands close to your face as you take deep breaths – just make sure you are not allergic to this type of oil before using it.

There are plenty of other techniques that can help you calm your mind before teaching; the techniques listed above will require at least 5 minutes, so it’s best to arrive at the yoga studio early so you can have enough time to prepare yourself. Lastly, realize that it is normal to feel anxiety from time to time, but when you do, keep in mind that you can use any of the tips we mentioned to help you redirect your attention away from your anxious feelings, and instead, slowly calm yourself. Remember: “energy goes where your attention goes.”

If you are a new (or even a seasoned) teacher with any questions you’d like to ask us, feel free to contact us at info@itsyogasatellite.com, and we would be more than happy to help you.

Enjoy your journey as a yoga teacher!

itsyogasatellite

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