Planning my yoga classes is one of my favorite steps of teaching. Right now, I teach 1 private class and feel I cannot show up each week with the same class. Initially it was hard trying to come up with new sequences each week, but I have found a system that works, and my student is happy.
Yoga teacher training thought us that the best thing to do as a new teacher is to keep things as simple as possible. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. These are words I try to live by for planning a class. My aim is to create moments of strength and ease throughout the whole class which will leave my student feeling strong, relaxed and happy after our session. I don’t feel this needs to be overly complicated.
For my class I follow the advice of my teachers and warm my student up well before moving onto any standing or deep stretching poses. One tip that really helps with sequencing a class is to think of the final pose you want your student to achieve. Rebecca one of the teachers at Semperviva training highlighted that is important to have the body warmed up and the targeted muscles prepared for peak poses so that your students have a higher chance of achieving the pose. There is less frustration and less chances your student will injure him or herself when you plan your class with these peak poses in mind.
This gem of advice is what I personally use for my classes. When I want my student to achieve tree pose, I will ensure we do core work so the student understands where their core is and how to engage it before coming into tree, I will also do a few smaller balancing poses on each leg so the legs and the mind are prepared and finally standing poses with arms raised or in motion is a nice way to prepare the upper body for tree with arms overhead.
Where do I get my inspiration for classes? I go to classes! I aim to attend at least 4 classes every week, so I develop my own practice and to get inspiration from teachers who having been teaching for years. When a teacher has certain poses or sequences that make me feel great, I record them.
I bring a pocket size notebook to class with me and a pen. I leave them at the front of mat, so I can quickly scribble what I like down after a sequence is complete. I have a memory like a fish, so I will not remember anything after class. If I do forget my notebook, I make a voice recording on my phone after class and just say everything I can remember about the class, so I can incorporate some of those poses and feeling into my next class.
Another great resource is YouTube. I like looking at YouTube videos of yoga sequences. I have subscribed to a couple yoga studio channels like Alo yoga in California. On these channels I can learn my sequences, how to explain to get in and out of poses safely and be exposed to world class teachers from the comfort of my couch!
For each class I create I write the sequence in a notebook and label it according to how challenging it is, for example; soft class, warm class, sweaty Betty.
Once I have a nice collection of classes written I will then rotate each class from my notebook. I will keep trying to improve these classes and adjust them each time I teach.
This is how I plan my classes and where I get my inspiration. How do you plan for your class and where do you get your inspiration from?
Have a lovely week,