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yoga from a teaching perspective

Now that I am halfway into my yoga teacher training course, I realise that I have just dipped my toes in the water, yet I have already gained a completely different perspective on leading a class as opposed to just showing up as a student. Here are some things that I didn’t put much thought into before I began this journey.

Just like a doctor bears responsibilities for the care of his patients and a pilot’s priority is the safety of his passengers, a yoga teacher also has to ensure that they are aware of their student’s medical history, to give clear instructions on how to come in and out of a pose safely so as to avoid injury and to be attentive to the limitations of a person’s body when helping with alignment.

Ability to teach-
A misconception that I held for many years is that teachers have to be able to demonstrate and perfectly execute many asanas before they can teach. The truth is that teachers are just like all of us and experience inflexibility or lack of strength in certain areas. The ability to instruct far outweighs the importance of being able to demonstrate a pose. While it may be easier to give a visual demonstration, a good teacher would be able to help students into a pose simply by giving articulate instructions and assisting with proper alignment. On the flip side, a person who can perfectly execute his or her asanas may not necessarily have the qualities of a good teacher.

Hard work-
It’s tough work to be performing asanas for an hour but as a instructor, you’ll also have to bear the tremendous multi tasking job of speaking, demonstrating, remembering the sequence and helping to align student’s postures. Sometimes a student may have a special condition such as a back injury and you will need to remember that throughout and try to modify poses for them or help them into a variation of the asanas.

Being a yoga instructor actually requires just as much mental work as it does physical!
Stephanie Heng
200h Hatha Vinyasa YTTC
June weekday 2015