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Maintaining Interest

I was certified to teach yoga in April and have started teaching about one or two classes per week. With every class my confidence builds, and I feel that I am doing reasonably well in guiding my students into the asanas. I just need some advice on how to make my classes more interesting now. I want to keep the students coming back, and I want to offer them more than just breathing and asanas.

Read David Swenson's reply:

Dear Laura,

When we begin to teach yoga, we do not stop being students. Through your personal practice and work with many students, your insights will grow and the depth of what you share will flourish.

You can keep things interesting without always changing your teaching routine. Instead, aim to dive deeper into the realms that exist below the surface of the postures. The simple act of moving breath in and out of our bodies can become a profound experience. The great tai chi masters take one movement routine and spend their lives exploring its intricacies and refinements.

Find the wonder in the small things. We may look at a rose and smell it once and say that we know all there is of a rose, but there is so much more. Each breath we take and every asana we make provides a fertile ground for depth of learning and enlightenment.

Take each day anew. Enjoy the journey of practice and study. It is good to feel that you want to share more with your students, so water the tree of your yoga practice and teaching with a sincere desire to become more knowledgeable. Never lose the desire to learn. We are all students, and we can only continue to share the lessons as they are revealed to us along the path we tread.

David Swenson made his first trip to Mysore in 1977, learning the full Ashtanga system as originally taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. He is one of the world's foremost instructors of Ashtanga Yoga and has produced numerous videos and DVDs. He is the author of the book Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual.

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