How to Plan a Yoga Class

June 24, 2009

Here’s an article I ran across that if you like Yoga or think you might, after relocating to the Lake Chapala- Ajijic area, may be of interest. Sid

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How to Plan a Yoga Class

by Ana Paula Hernandez

The path to creating a yoga class can be different for all teachers. I have always though thought there is varying styles inside two major groups the first of which prepares by meticulously writing down every pose on paper or a digital equivalent. The second group typically prepares little in advance and prefers to create the class on the fly.

Over the past seven years of teaching I have experienced a range of everything.

After teaching my first few classes, I started developing a new passion for the creation of flows and different transitions used from one asana to the next. Prior to every class, I spent 20 to 30 minutes creating a unique plan on paper and 6 months, 12 classes per week later, I had two notebooks full of wonderful flows.

Some days I would create my class based on body parts while other times I felt like planning classes based on the time of day I was teaching them. So, a Yang level energy class in the morning and in the evening, a class with a more restorative and relaxing experience. Regardless of the time of day or body part I wanted to focus on, each of my classed were unique.

yoga lady

In time, my range of classes became one of distinguishing style notes. In fact, many students seemed to look forward to what I had in store for them today.

Anyway, based on my teacher experience I have five recommendations that may help you when creating your own class.

* Its not about you: try to forget about yourself during the class. Remember you are a guide for the student; its not about showing off your flexibility or strength. Do not let the ego tempt you into teaching a complicated class so you can show your students how much you know or can do. This can be extremely intimidating for the students in the class.

Have a Topic: maybe choose 3 deep Asanas for your class and work in a flow that will help the body to prepare for those postures. Example: if you choose to teach Camel, work in a warm up flow that will open the lower back, thigh muscles and shoulders.

* What happened on right side MUST happen on left side: Take in consideration that many of the Asanas you instruct for the right also require the left side. When preparing your flow take this in consideration so you wont run out of time or forget one side! If you are not cautious you can cause an imbalance in the body.

* Have time for everything: calculate in your flow time for centering, preparation for relaxation and relaxation itself. Nothing more stressful than seeing your clock and realizing you only have 10 minutes before the class ends, but only half your flow complete. For a 90 min or 75 min class, recommend blocking 5 minutes for centering, 5 minutes to prepare for relaxation and 10 min of full relaxation. Adjust your time accordingly for sorter classes.

* Morning and night classes: please remember that energy levels vary throughout the day. In the morning students are restored from a good night sleep and ready for a more active Yang class, while at night your students probably had a busy day and come to the studio tired. So your job is to restore them with a gentle relaxing class, perfect time to practice yin yoga.

I hope this helps, but the most important thing is to teach from your heart and try to keep it simple! Keep yourself approachable for your students, remember we are all one!

About the Author:

Ana Paula currently lives and runs a yoga studio in Lake Chapala Mexico. She also holds an annual yoga holiday in Melaque beach Mexico and consults for a yoga poses Software Company designed to help teachers plan their classes.

  • Fabian Moreno Gonzalez

    Its very nice being centered. I am always looking forward to growing my mind,
    Body, and soul. I live in Tlajomulco, Real del Valle, and am interested in joining
    Your community, hoping we both could grow. I respectfully await your invitation.
    Thank you for your time.

    Cordially, Fabian.

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