By Sangeetha Saran
Teaching any type of yoga benefits the instructor as well as the students. The comfort level that is reached as well as the connection created is something that will nourish the soul. There are several elements to teaching Hatha Yoga. Each is an important piece of the class, and helps you to achieve the best class. Postures are only a part of the whole. Though important, the students will not be satisfied nor will they return to your class if the stage is not set.
The space that Hatha Yoga is practiced in should be serene. Peacefulness, cleanliness, and comfort are key. You should have some extra yoga mats that are cleaned daily for new students or those who have forgotten theirs. Always give a brief introduction and run down of what is going to happen so new students are more comfortable.
It’s imperative before beginning instruction to ask if anyone in the class has any health problems or is pregnant. Many new students are not used to breathing through postures and may hold their breath. If you know ahead of time you can watch more carefully, or offer props such as blocks, bolsters or chairs for stability.
Beginning and Introducing Postures
Always begin in a relaxed posture, such as mountain pose or seated. Have them quiet their minds, breathe, and focus. It is okay to spend extra time in poses, or even hand out a “cheat sheet” to beginners that show each posture and how to move through it. Be sure to advise students to not lock the joints, and to not stiffen muscles in postures. It is also okay for them to keep their head in a comfortable position rather than looking upward at hands. Explain that yoga is about comfort not strain. Instruct for students to focus on using their core muscles for support, which encourages joint health. Yoga training is about self-improvement, and injury will only provide set backs, which can be discouraging.
It can never be stressed enough that positivity breeds more of the same. Some people who attempt to take up yoga are downtrodden and seeking enlightenment. If you encourage students and have a positive outlook even if they are in dire health, you will be lucky enough to see them be nourished and heal before your eyes. This is healing for not only them, but for you.
© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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