The Joy—and Challenge—of Teaching Beginners
It is also important to help your beginners feel comfortable and safe. You can do that by reminding them that yoga is not just about doing poses, and that yoga is not competitive. Always encourage them to go at their own pace and to listen to their body. Using props and variations is another way to help students feel safe; it lets them know from the start that they have choices.
I like to make my beginning classes fun, and I sometimes make a joke to lighten the energy. (Others teachers choose to bring a more calming and soothing aspect to their beginning classes.) I also try to learn the names of my students and let them know when they are making progress. Again, building confidence is an important goal, so use all the tools you have to create that end.
Here is where you might begin: Visualize what it was like when you started yoga. Then visualize what it is like to be stiff and weak. Put yourself in the body or the mind of a beginner, with all its doubts and lack of confidence. Then visualize how much you love yoga and what a great gift the practice can be. Create a class that will inspire, be thoughtful, and give your beginners the hope that they too can do yoga and reap its benefits.
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