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5 Tips to Connect More with Your Students in Class

  • Take the time to learn names and a little something about each student. Get to know them. If you weren’t able to connect with them before class, invite them to introduce themselves after class. Learn a little something about each student will help you to remember their names and to give you something to talk about the next time you see them.
  • One of the best tools for real and honest feedback is to record your class. Once you have the recording, make the time to take your own class. Take notes, listen for timing, rhythm, length of holds, clear language, filler words, and gems. It can be a little scary to do this but in the end, you’ll learn a ton about what you do well and where you have room to grow.
  • Face your students. One of the simplest ways to create and stay connected with your class is to face them and make eye contact from time to time. If they’ve turned to the side for a pose like prasarita padottanasana face the group rather than turn your back to them. This gives you a chance to make easy eye contact and also check-in with the energy of the room. Do they look focused, tired, overwhelmed, etc.? This then gives you an opportunity to adjust what you’re teaching if needed.
  • When offering a theme to your class, teach what you’ve experienced. Only offer what resonates with you, not what you “think” you should be teaching. Keep it simple, it doesn’t need to be complex. Remember, the yoga is enough.
  • Practice. One of the biggest pitfalls I see for teachers is when they don’t practice. It doesn’t have to be a 60 or 90 minute practice, it could be 5-15 minutes. However, it’s critical to staying connected to why you want to teach and allows you to share more with your class. It will keep your teaching fresh and you excited. When you do practice and need inspiration, listen for new cues, sequences, or simply let your heart be open to new messages. One of my favorite sayings is, “I practice for my students and teach for myself.” If we put the time in to learn and explore we can share these experiences with more clarity and understanding. Remember, practicing doesn’t always mean asana, there are 7 other limbs to explore, too.

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