I too teach in a rural area and all my classes are mixed classes. My concern--when I demo different modification it seems that everybody wants to go up to the next level even when they should not! I have been backing up a bit--I hope this helps my more experienced students!
Very nice article. I have worked in studios with labeled classes (i.e. beginner, intermediate, etc...) For the past decade I have worked in a rural area where this is not an option-it is just one yoga class. I honestly don't like labels and I really don't see much difference between the separate classes and the always 'mixed' class I teach now. Really, no class has a group of people all at the same level.
I have people that have been coming for years and people who start brand new. I keep the class size fairly low (10-12 people), watch everyone carefully, and interact with each student. What I really enjoy seeing, is the more experienced students reactions to brand new students. They share their enthusiasm for yoga, encourage the new people, are very friendly and welcoming. They are very patient with new students and understand if I need to spend a little extra time with them. I think patience and compassion is an important part of yoga.
A lot of us in rural areas have no choice but to teach 'mixed levels' and honestly, I'm not so sure it is such a bad thing at all.
Thank you for this helpful discussion. As an instructor at a health and wellness center (a gym really!) I am constantly challenged by the varying experiences and injuries in the bodies attending my classes. They keep me on my toes and teach me, slowly but surely, how to serve their needs, not mine.
very nice ,but i need some more multi level excercises.