Yoga has gotten more mainstream attention because of the seemingly endless health benefits with as little effort as possible. While this is largely untrue, the practice of Yoga requires a lot of breathing exercises and concentration, this misconception has led thousands of people to yoga gyms all over the country. Yoga beginners often come in full of these misconceptions.
From your end as a Yoga instructor, getting beginners to feel welcome during your Yoga classes is important as every person who shows up to your classes have come with an open mind and curiosity about Yoga. It is up to you to nurture that curiosity into practice.
Here are a few suggestions on how to make people feel welcome:
- Suggestion 1: Spot the newbies. If you’ve been conducting classes for quite a while now, you can recognize your regulars in the room in a heartbeat. So any new faces are newbies. Take the time to talk to them before starting to get to know their names. This will help you establish a bond with them as instructor and student and that you acknowledge that you will take care of them in the next hour.
- Suggestion 2: Get to know the newbies. Get to know them a little better by asking questions like: how did they learn about Yoga? What are their expectations? Are there any injuries you should know about? Learning this about them will let them know that you are approachable and that you’re making an effort to reach out to them. Use their names often!
- Suggestion 3: Show them the ropes. Take five to ten minutes before classes start to orient the newbies on where the mats and props are some basic breathing exercises, how you’ll be conducting the class. Let them know that you’re there to help them along the way and that they should not hold back in speaking up during your class.
- Suggestion 4: Give the newbies some attention during the session. Let them understand that you don’t expect them to execute the poses perfectly and that as long as they give their best, it’ll be enough for now. You’re going to have to walk that fine line of giving enough attention to let them know that you’re looking out for them and not giving them too much attention that they’re not accomplishing anything on their own. It’s a tightrope walk, but you’ll get the hang of it.
- Suggestion 5: Give verbal cues and encouragement. This is a subtle motivational tool that will help your newbies gain confidence to keep in step with the rest of the class next time around. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way!
- Suggestion 6: Talk to the newbies after the session. Ask them what do they think of Yoga? Did they feel any different? Is Yoga for them? Little personal touches will help them gain the confidence to come back.
With these suggestions, you should be able to make the Yoga beginners feel welcome and at home in your classes.