Yoga Teacher Training Forum
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April 27, 2015
How to Create Community in Your Yoga Classes
While many people begin the regular practice of yoga for their own benefit, the sense of community that comes with belonging to a yoga class can be an unexpected pleasure. Bonding with their peers is a way for students to grow individually, as well as they can learn how to work with others comfortably. It is your duty as an instructor to create this sense of unity between your students within the classroom.
The best way to initiate feelings of community among your students is to be welcoming and open to them. Yoga is unique in that the bond between the students and the teacher is not a cold, rigid, formal one. Teachers are able to create personal relationships with their students and it is encouraged, rather than questioned. By creating an open and welcoming bond between your students and yourself, it allows them to open up to one another as well.
Holding group sessions is not enough to create community within a class, but organizing the class into small groups that are meant to work together is a good way of achieving this. When students have to work together, there is a sense of unity formed. Giving your students tasks, such as problems or puzzles, or teaching them to perform poses together can be useful in creating a sense of community.
Another great way is to have your students share a piece of themselves with the class. Having a day where everyone gets to know one another is good, and another way that this can be achieved is through the use of props brought from home. By having your students each bring a specific type of prop, such as a scarf or necktie, and swap them for use in class teaches them to broaden their minds and to share with each other. These personal items may also speak volumes about their owners.
Moving the class to an external location can also help form bonds between students. New areas, such as a park or a lakeside beach, may be the perfect locations to try new poses. Most of the students will be new to this, especially if they have only practiced yoga in a studio, so it is a new experience for all of the students to enjoy together. A sense of community is one of the most important things that can be gained from taking yoga classes, and fostering this is the teacher's responsibility.
April 27, 2015
I have seen yogis that are doing an online invite for a yoga class that will be done at the center of a certain community; e.g the park, or a certain vacant space with a lot of foot traffic. It can result into thousands of participants if done well. This can be an initial spark for other members of the community. The initial awareness will come from an invite, but people seeing the bulk of yoga practitioners doing yoga in one place will have a great impact.
April 27, 2015
I think would do well if you put the video on YouTube and share it with your Facebook account. Then you could target the distribution in Facebook to reach members in your geographic area. You might have to pay a little for the video to get that specific reach, but this would give potential members a chance to see what you do and what kind of yoga instructor you are. Great idea Julie and anyone can shoot film with a smart phone or tablet.
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