Bringing It Home
Making a Plan
Having a private session with your student could be a way to provide him or her with the extra support needed to develop a regular routine and stick with it.
"There are many asanas to work with, and many meditation techniques," says Satterfield, who meets with all of her teacher trainees privately to look at alignment and emotional needs. "One size definitely doesn't fit all!"
Nicholson meets draws from a variety of tools, including pPranayama, asana, chanting, meditation, and imagery. This way she designs a practice that suits the individual needs of the student.
Then she diagrams the practice, adding notes and the date, and she always asks for a follow-up meeting within one week to confirm that the student has understood the practice—and to ensure that it will remain appropriate for the following two to three months.
After that, Nicholson requests that her students offer feedback about how they're progressing, especially if their situation changes, they outgrow the practice, or they have further questions or difficulties.
By giving your students a set sequence to practice, they will feel supported and structured when they step on the mat alone for the first time.
Working Through Resistance
No matter how well equipped your students are, they will inevitably face obstacles. Resistance afflicts everyone at times—even the most seasoned yogis.
"One of the most challenging aspects of home practice is finding the motivation to get on the mat and begin," Swenson says.
Having an informal practice group with friends at home once a week, in addition to your private home practice, can be a great motivator.
Another way to keep students motivated is to have them set aside a regular time and place for practice. Ask them to stick to a specific goal or intention to return to daily. Steeping themselves in the "bigger picture" will remind them of their highest priorities for practice.
Encourage your students to continue attending classes once or twice a week to learn new things that they can bring home with them. During class time, speak of the importance of having a personal practice. Share with them your own successes and tips about how you have learned to work through resistance.
Getting Them Started
These tips will help your students get started:
Sara Avant Stover is a freelance writer and Anusara-inspired yoga instructor. She teaches private sessions, workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings around the world. Visit her website www.fourmermaids.com.
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