By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Not all students will learn in the same way, when you teach yoga classes. Many students will be able to listen carefully and learn from verbal cues. Others still will further benefit from you personally assisting them with a pose. Visual learners will best learn by observation and will be able to copy a pose by watching you.

Every teacher must be aware of the different learning styles, which individuals may possess. A good teacher will operate accordingly. This means you must be adaptable in your teaching style, while remaining accurate.

There are certain elements that should be taught, in proportion, during each session with your students. The four minimum elements requisite of the Yoga Foundation are asana, meditation, breath, and mantra. The order and proportion is decided by the instructor from their learning and individual class structure. Feel out the class, and decide what rhythm and sequence of poses will best benefit the group you are instructing.

Although we know the benefits of mantra for controlling mind chatter, some students may be resistant to seeing the value of verbal mantra. In this case, teach them the option of mental mantra, or positive affirmation, in their native language.

Another issue to consider, as a yoga instructor, is the ethical side of teaching. The practice of yoga is very intimate, physically and spiritually. The atmosphere, that an instructor creates, needs to be based on the welfare of the students.

Students will experience physical and emotional shifts during their progress. An effective yoga instructor can be there to guide them, but the guidance must be focused on disciplined and ethical alignment. Select carefully the tone of words and music used in the class. Balance of the mind, body, emotion, and spirit, is the ultimate focus of a yoga class.

The role of a yoga instructor can be a very rewarding one. Assist your students with proper yoga techniques and you will see amazing changes. Follow the essential knowledge you have learned in your own training, and you will be able to help your own students find their path. Be patient with the process and treat all of your students with the same level of respect and courtesy. Remember that they are looking to you for guidance on a life long path to optimum holistic health.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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