Teaching Hatha Yoga: Cueing Insights for Yoga Teachers

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Teaching Hatha Yoga: Cueing Insights for Yoga Teachers

job opportunities for yoga teachersBy Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Have you ever heard a Yoga teacher cue without thinking? Did you ever wonder if cueing was actually covered in his or her Yoga teacher training? Let’s take a look at some common mistakes Yoga teachers make when cueing.

Most Yoga students retain information by actually performing a technique. Some studies estimate that 90% of all people learn by “doing.” In comparison, only a small percentage (10 to 20%) of your Yoga students will retain what you demonstrate or what they hear.

Below are some examples of what never to do when cueing your Yoga students.

The Introverted Yoga Instructor

Over the past few decades, I have found introverted Yoga teachers to be some of the kindest, warmest, and gentlest souls on this planet. If you fall into this category, speaking up is the biggest obstacle you have in front of you.

For the sake of your own Yoga students, please set an audio recorder at the far corner of the room you teach in. When you have time, listen to it. If you cannot hear anything, neither can your students.

You can do this as an exercise or find a “coach,” who will empower you to speak up. An honest friend, Master Yoga teacher, or a Professional Speaking Coach, could easily improve your life immensely. This might not seem to be a major problem to the “outspoken” Yoga teachers, but it is very hard for some of us to “speak up.”

The “Hey You” Yoga Instructor

Speaking of outspoken Yoga teachers; have you ever heard a Yoga teacher call out a student’s name to make a correction? It sounds something like this, “Hey Dave, turn your back foot in 45 degrees!” Some students come to Yoga teachers for stress management or self-esteem. Do we know every one of them?

First demonstrate the Asana, then cue, and mildly repeat if “Dave” does not catch on. If he still does not get it, walk over and give him an assist – if it is permitted. You could also give assists to other students, or at least observe your other students, on your way, to or from, Dave. Never intentionally draw attention to the student who has difficulty. We teach Yoga, and we must show compassion for our students, at all times.

The “You can’t do anything right in my Yoga class” Instructor

Remember Ahimsa (non-injury) and always to cue with a constructive purpose. If the purpose of a cue is to bolster your own ego – it is wrong, and it will be felt by all of your students. Yoga teacher ethics teach us to cue and assist without harming.

Yoga students enter a Yoga class to improve their lives and this is what teaching Yoga is all about. The Yoga class is tailored for the Yoga student. The Yoga teacher’s purpose is to gently guide students down the best path without ego.

© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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