I remember when I first started teaching yoga and I was so nervous before every class I would need to sit in silence and try to focus. I had an irrational fear of people judging me and thinking badly of my teaching, or worse, me as a person. Every class was completely planned and learned off by heart and if I missed something out I would get so upset and beat myself up and think I was the worst teacher out there. I had only just qualified why would anyone want to come to my classes? (despite practicing for 6 years prior to training) I would see people look so serious and stare back at me thinking they just hated it. I’ve since learnt that this is just the “Yoga face”
This level of anxiety is something that a lot of new Yoga teachers have experienced and I just want you to know as soon as you find your style, those feelings will disappear. Every style of Yoga is completely different and then interpreted again by the teacher which, when you think about it is such an amazing thing. You can truly get to know your Yoga teacher and have a different style every day of the week; what an amazing gift.
Over the last 4.5 years, my style has completely changed and I am sure it will keep evolving as I continue on my journey, reflecting things that are changing both in my life and spiritual awakening. Here are my five key characteristics that you will find in my class in order to keep it fresh and unique:
- Music. Now, this is a controversial one as many teachers do not play music (but you do you babe) for me this is a reflection of my personality and how I am feeling that week. I play anything from Techno to Classical music as I truly believe we have the power to take our Yogis on a beautiful journey, and for a lot of them, they get totally lost in the music.
- Pick a theme. This is your opportunity to get creative and put together a class that feels good for the soul. I love using one of the chakras as my base and then get on my mat, music blaring and just flow creating sequences that are unique. It also gives you a chance to talk about the spiritual side of the chakra (or theme) and educate your lovely Yogis.
- Ambiance. Here is one thing I will never understand – why are Yoga studios white and covered in mirrors? I have always been about the experience, the first Yoga class I ever taught was on a rooftop in Hackney to hip hop music! I’m lucky to teach in a studio where we work hand in hand and create concepts together. We flow in the dark, with candles (fake don’t worry) loud music and beautiful imagery on the projector. People walk into the dubbed “Zen Den” and truly feel at home.
- Creative sequencing. Man, this is my baby, I love it. Take the time to work out your theme, a rough playlist and get on the mat and move. I can’t stress how important this is. I still plan every single class and take the time to practice it, work out the transitions, a fun way to move from all corners and sides of the mat. Find a way to move laterally as much as forward and back, remember we are trying to balance the whole body so let’s work with that. I even incorporate the moon: if its a new moon, let’s get moving in a way to open up the body for new beginnings and opportunities. There is so much scope and its so exciting for you to figure out your style.
- Believe in yourself. You will receive feedback (probably on classpass, imagine if we came into your workplace and rated you hun!?) 99% of the time that feedback will have nothing to do with you, it could be the place you are teaching in, or the mood of the person that day. Please do not get disheartened, remember not every class is for everyone, just stick to your passion and you will build your tribe around you.
Tell me what works for you. Let’s all share our knowledge and gifts together…