Eight Tips for Creating Great Hatha Yoga Classes

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Eight Tips for Creating Great Hatha Yoga Classes

By Sanjeev Patel, CYT

The eight tips suggested below are also good rules to keep in mind when planning a Yoga class lesson plan. Hatha Yoga teachers should be very intuitive. This is difficult, but with careful observation and communication it is possible to surpass your perceived teaching level at this point.

Some Yoga teacher training graduates may leave feeling a little bit depressed after witnessing gymnastic tricks at the intensives. Never fear – if you watch, assist, help, and show compassion to your students, you’ll be a great Yoga teacher! Let’s face it, some Yogis and Yoginis like to show off like they are competing at an audition for Cirque du Soleil.

This is wonderful to have such a flexible body, but can they teach their students how to do it? No way, because each student has a uniquely different anatomy. Most of the time, the naturally flexible person can’t understand why a person has tight joints.

Why don’t naturally flexible people understand? When the Yoga teacher trainer was discussing anatomy and joint capsules, these super flexible interns were staring out the window thinking about kicking the inflexible students out of their classes. They don’t want to deal with Yoga students who need extra attention. They prefer young athletic students and they want their Yoga classes to be their own personal workout time.

The following eight tips for creating a Yoga lesson plan are useful and some of you may recognize the principles from James Hewitt’s writings or Paulji’s teachings, but they are only common sense.

1. All Yoga practitioners should include a warm up to prevent injury. This is true for every form of movement and it’s true for Hatha Yoga too.

2. Students should proceed logically from easy to more difficult postures, only when they are ready. Competition should not be endorsed or encouraged and there is no need to praise younger athletic students.

3. The smoothest flowing asana sequences are usually from standing to sitting and kneeling to prone, and finally to supine asanas.

4. A satisfying Hatha Yoga program is diverse and contains many techniques including pranayama, bandha, mudra, meditation and relaxation. A wide variety of specific types of asanas should be included to manipulate the joints and muscles.

5. Never force muscles, joints, or limbs to discomfort or pain. Yoga is not a boot camp. If a Yoga teacher likes to push and hurt people, he or she should take up boxing or submission fighting.

6. Never push students beyond their natural limits by bringing them to the point of fatigue and quickly moving them through Yoga asanas or dynamic pranayama without proper attention to the correct technique.

7. Create a Yoga class lesson that balances the body, mind, emotion, and spirit. Your students with then be ready for complete relaxation. Yoga Nidra, relaxation, and meditation is the dessert of Hatha Yoga. To skip it is a complete misunderstanding of Yogic principles.

8. When considering asana, work the body forward, back, sideways, and twist on both sides. This is good for balancing the spine, skeleton, joints, connective tissues and muscles.

A Yoga teacher who incorporates the above-mentioned tips, when planning a class, provides a nurturing environment, safety, gradual challenges and stimulation for all students.

© Copyright 2010 – Sanjeev Patel / Aura Publications

Sanjeev Patel is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.

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