Hatha yoga is practiced to attain physical and mental health. When teaching beginners yoga lessons, it is important to keep things interesting. Why? This is because beginner students usually use these classes to gauge if they really want to pursue their endeavor. Having a boring and monotonous class might not only discourage students from attending classes, but they might also decide not to pursue yoga altogether. That would surely be a waste, wouldn’t it? So how do you teach a memorable Hatha yoga class to beginners?
- Treat your students equally. Welcome them with warmth, regardless of what type of class they chose to attend. Try to go to each student individually during class, encourage each one and correct his forms if needed. This will make them feel that you care for them individually, and that despite being with a group, each of them does matter.
- Always start the first session with an introduction. There is more to yoga than just doing poses – it is actually a way of life because it teaches practitioners to focus on their spiritual selves as well. It is your job to help your students internalize this.
- Be very patient and positive. Remember, these students may still have doubts whether or not they want to do yoga for the rest of their lives. It is up to you to guide them until they become better at it. Dispel their fears that they need to be flexible right away in order to start learning yoga.
- Keep the classroom clean, peaceful, and comfortable. The idea is to provide a venue for the students to concentrate and not be distracted by what is going on around them. These can create additional stress for students, and that is not what yoga is about, after all.
- Have a set schedule for the next few weeks. It should comprise a quiet time to help the students meditate and center themselves before moving on to the actual exercise. This should be followed by warm-ups, different poses and twists, and a cooling down. You can also add another quiet time at the end. You may introduce new poses as you deem fit.
- Encourage students to participate. Ask for volunteers who can do the exercises with you in front. You can even ask more advanced students to sit in one of the sessions so they can encourage the beginners as well. It is always good for the students to find out that they are not alone in finding difficulty with poses at first.
- Be approachable. Make time for questions afterwards. Try to gently draw out even the most timid student. Recommend books that they can read for more information about Hatha yoga. Instruct students in simple exercises they can do when they are home, or when they are taking a break from work in the office.
Lastly, leave your students a positive thought or yoga concept at the end of the class. These reminders can help your students maintain peace and tranquility even as they leave the classroom. These little things are good encouragements for beginner students.