5 Tips for Planning a Great Yoga Coursec

4 min read

Yoga class planning is a lifelong journey that evolves with the ever-changing yogi. From an instructor planning to teach their hundredth class in front of a thousand people to a student doing their first home practice, all students and teachers benefit from friendly reminders and simple tips to plan a great yoga class!

Try these tips whether you are a yoga practitioner at home or a yoga teacher who is just starting.

Outline Learning Objectives

It is easy to become frustrated and lost when unsure of where to begin. By focusing on a set of learning objectives, you can create a starting point for your class.

Ask yourself these questions:

What is the theme/topic of the class?

Who is my target audience?

What is the most important thing I want my students to learn?

What am I hoping my students will be able to do by the end of my class?

What is the most important thing I want my students to take away from practice?

Introduce the learning objectives.

Students can feel lost when they are unable to translate the objective into action. Teachers may want to teach their students how to balance themselves in Tree Pose (Vrksasana); however, without introducing this idea to the students, they are setting them up for failure.

When a teacher begins class by introducing foot anatomy, weight placement, and balance poses, they will be setting up their students for success once it comes time to practice Tree Pose. Start class with anecdotes or discoveries, a Yoga Philosophy lesson, a thought-provoking question, etc. They are great ways to introduce and develop a class goal.

Plan an Activity or Peak Point

Create a class that is tailored to the goal after developing an introduction and learning objective. Spend time building momentum towards the peak: If Wheel Pose ( Chakrasana ) is the peak of the class, create a warm-up that focuses on gently stretching shoulders and opening the hearts.

Take time to explore the peak point. Try new variations and ways of cueing. Once you have reached the peak, allow yourself time to cool down gently. When Wheel Pose is your peak, fold forward to lengthen the spine and the back. Consider different ways to engage students at various levels and help them understand the concept you are trying to convey.

Practice the Flow

What happens when you take the class from the paper to the mat? What movements made sense to you in your mind but not on the mat? As needed, alter. You may need to try different ways of teaching, as your students might be auditory, visual, or even kinesthetic.

What questions can you ask students to ensure that they understand your goals and are able to follow the flow of the class?

Classes will continue after the closing.

You went to the gym and kicked your ass-ana while teaching class. Stay around and check in on your students. Reflect on your practice and bring inquiry to the class. Yoga is a dynamic process of constant change. Your flow will transform when you are curious about the next class and how it can be improved.

It is impossible to predict or plan what every class moment will be like, nor what energy students will bring. The best yoga classes are shaped by the act of discovering and trying new things.

The willingness of students to learn and the teacher and students working together to create a yoga class are the key ingredients for a great class. Have you ever taken a great yoga class? Or do you have tips on how to create one? Please share your comments below!

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