Below are the key tips that I share with my teachers and trainees to help them put their best foot forward — not only in teaching, but in their own personal journey as well. To me, that is what yoga is all about and if you can make that personal growth, it becomes a lot easier to be an effective yoga teacher.
1. Stay a student.
When we think we know it all and stop learning, we stop re-evaluating what we are doing and stunt growth. Being a student means that, as yoga teachers, we continue to learn from others, take classes, read lots, and take trainings or workshops. On top of that we, work to discover our strong as well as our weak areas. When we stay a student we also stay humble and compassionate, which is a very important quality for a yoga teacher.
2. Know your students.
I know it seems obvious, but what type of investment are you really making in your students? Many of them trust you more than other authorities figures in their lives. So knowing your students is more than knowing their names but learning to read both their body language and body mechanics.
Day One of my teacher training, I teach students how to train their eye to detailed observation. When you start to apply this type of approach to your students, you notice that Sally in the back is always rubbing her neck before class, and Bill in the corner makes a funny face every time he’s in cobra, and Jill up front wears glasses into yoga but not during yoga.
This is what I call the hidden investment, meaning these are things you are noticing but they may not notice you noticing them. When we assess this way we are better able to give our student what they need without asking them directly (which we all know doesn’t always get us an answer or maybe not the real one).
This knowing leads us right into things like speed of speech, body language, type of conversations they have in class, outside activities from yoga, the list goes on. But as a yoga teacher or any effective “life” teacher this is important to do and understand its importance.
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