Now that you have graduated your yoga teachers training program, it is time to take your first class. And quite logically, you are stressed. There are a hundred questions running through your mind. What if they don’t like my style? What if I forget something? Such thoughts are absolutely normal and very common for new trainers. While the entire process of overcoming your fears and gaining confidence as an instructor is very personal to each individual, there are some universal tips that will always make this easier. Here are some simple pro hacks that will help you navigate through your first few classes and make you feel much more positive as you begin this incredible journey:
1. ARRIVE EARLY
This is a habit that trainers must try to inculcate at the earliest and most importantly, stick to it even once they have transitioned into seasoned yogis. As your first class approaches, you will be quite jittery and would want some time to settle down and prepare for the session. This means that you need to get to the studio, park your vehicle, sign in, change into your clothes and then find some time to compose yourself. So it is best that you arrive early. Always clear your schedule before a class and try to have an hour to yourself. Perform some basic postures that will calm you and connect your body to your mind. Make sure you do this each time; not just before the very first class.
2. HAVE YOUR GO-TO SEQUENCE
For the first few classes, it is advised that you have very simple and standard sequences. Don’t opt for complicated lesson plans. Think of an easy, fluid class plan and incorporate postures that you are most comfortable with. So if there is any need for changes, you can quickly and easily modify them. Use simple, action-oriented language that is easy for you to remember. It is best not to include complex Sanskrit phrases and extra information just yet. Exactly how students need time to perform the more difficult postures, you need some time and experience to come up with more experimental and creative sequences. So for the first few days, go easy on yourself and begin with something simple. Finding your groove as a trainer is not something that happens overnight
3. LET THE CLASS FLOW
Every new instructor has a fair idea of how they want their first class to go, often mapping it down to the last minute. While preparing and planning are essential, it is always better to draw a line. If you have a bunch of rigid goals to achieve, the slightest changes will disturb you. Think about it. There will be someone who is late. There will be someone with an injury. There will be someone who strikes up a conversation. All of this can delay the class, cut down practice time or require you to change your plans. And the only way you can take this into your stride and still make it work perfectly is by not being hell-bent on the idea of a perfect class. Just because your class didn’t go as per your initial plan, it doesn’t mean that it was a bad class. You will take time to become more relaxed and open around your students.
4. EMBRACE YOUR MISTAKES
Our years of experience tell us that you are bound to make a few or even a bunch of mistakes during your first couple of classes. You can miss out on a transition, mix up left and right or you can simply forget something. Don’t be hard on yourself. This is just your first class and it does not reflect on your capabilities as a trainer. Indeed, what we suggest is do everything that makes it easier for you. Write down your sequence in a notepad and bring it to class. Refer to your material whenever you feel the need for a quick recapitulation of what comes next. It is absolutely fine to take a minute and go through your notes. Most importantly don’t launch into a full-blown apology at the slightest error. Take a deep breath. Calm down. Go through your notes. Start again.
5. TAKE YOUR STUDENTS INTO CONFIDENCE
It will take you a couple of weeks before you begin to feel comfortable and confident around your students. But you should make an attempt to foster a friendly relationship from the first day itself. This doesn’t mean going out of your way to interact with them. But simple efforts go a long way. Start by telling your students that this is your first class and that you are excited to begin this journey with them. They too will have a bunch of questions. It could be yoga-related or even personal. The best approach is to always be honest. Don’t be the first to leave. Wait till all your students have left. You can also conduct a quick feedback session after the end of class. Such small gestures encourage your students to open up to you.
Emerging as a confident trainer is not something that happens immediately. You will be nervous, you will make a few errors and there will be days when you won’t feel up to it. One must be kind to their selves, embrace their mistakes and learn from them. Don’t forget to have fun. Remember that you’re fortunate enough to be doing what you love every day!
If you are a yoga enthusiast and planning to become a yoga teacher, you can request a free counselling session on [email protected] or call us at 9686002222.