As your class begins, you stand before your students and scan the room. Usually, you will see familiar faces, sometimes-even friends, but always there are a few newbies. It is important to have some techniques for quickly assessing those who may be prone to injury.
Unless students hobble in on crutches, covered in bandages, the signs of injury-prone students will be subtle. By learning to tune in to a few key signals, you can zone in on those that need a little extra attention.
As more and more beginners are delving into yoga, it may be time to adjust the routine. Many teachers begin the class with a vigorous sun salutation or a flowing Vinyasa routine. A new idea could be to start the class with gentle beginner warm ups to give yourself the opportunity and the extra time to evaluate your class. Go slow and look for the following red flags.
• Posture: Poor posture causes chronic pain and shallow breathing. Keep an eye out for those that are misaligned and help them to engage in properly aligned asanas with gentle adjustments.
• Balance: If a student seems wobbly as he or she moves between poses, you may want to suggest the wall before you begin balance poses.
• Eager or Competitive: One of the highest dangers students can present to themselves is trying to outdo others in the class. If you notice a student paying more attention to others than to themselves, subtly begin to verbalize the importance that each student listens to their own body.
• Lack of Focus: This is another warning sign. If a student does not seem present in the class, and you notice them zoning out repeatedly; try to utilize a method to bring them into the moment. Often, a gentle touch and a couple of words will bring them back.
• Poor Physical Condition: A slow warm-up will give you the opportunity to assess the physical condition of students. You can get a check on their flexibility, and listen for labored breathing after mild activity.
• Hyperextension of Joints: Very easy to notice is hyperextension of knees and elbows. Always gently suggest a slight bend to joints, when you see a student with hyperextended joints.
Of course, always begin the class by letting your students know that if anyone has a specific injury they should let you know. The last thing you want to do is to make an adjustment on someone with a torn rotator cuff or a knee injury.
© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching therapeutic yoga sessions and our selection of online yoga instructor training intensive courses.
If you are a teacher, yoga school manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!