Confidence-Building Lessons for Your First Yoga Class
Once you’ve finished your yoga instructor training, you must tell yourself you’re ready to actually lead a class. Your training at Asheville Yoga Center has prepared you for this moment. You’ve worked hard and even helped out in some classes. You know your postures backward and frontward. You’ve created your own sequence, and you know what you want to say. In theory. Yet you still fear leading your first solo class.
#1: Lead Through Example
To gain confidence, you must practice. Repeat your sequence with concentration until you really know it. Remind yourself what the postures look like when you execute them. Notice how effortlessly you can remain in control. Feel how easy it is to slip out of alignment. With practice, you can more ably lead by example when you get into the classroom. Knowing your sequence will give you lots of confidence. When you’re well prepared, you won’t lose your place. You’ll always know where you are in your sequence and where you’re going to next.
#2: Anything Can Happen
If you think you know what can go wrong in a yoga class, you’re wrong. You cannot prepare for everything that can happen. It’s better to simply surrender to the class. Rely on your instincts. You’ve been trained in how to teach a class. You’re still training. You won’t ever stop training. Expect the unexpected. Be present in the classroom. Only this way can you authentically be ready to teach. By being ready to learn, you can be ready to teach. Humility and flexibility can help you overcome your fear. If you can draw on a sense of humor, use it to diffuse your nerves and relate to your students. You may be afraid the first time you teach a yoga class, but it’s no worse than your first day at school or your first day on a job. Every yoga instructor passes through a feeling of insecurity before his or her first class. It’s natural. Once you get started, the fear will pass.
#3: Focus on Teaching
Your students want to learn from you. Don’t think about yourself; consider their needs. Step out of the way. Focus on their experience. Don’t seek respect, approval or appreciation. It’s not about you at all. Help your students learn. That’s all. You may make a mistake. It’s OK. Learn from it. Admit the mistake to yourself and set it aside. Return your concentration to your students. They will appreciate that. Establishing a rapport with your students can help you take your mind off your anxiety. Step off your mat and engage your students. Teach them directly by adjusting their poses. You’ll forget all about your fear and your students may get the most out of your class.
Your self-confidence should walk the line between pride and bluster. You want to exude professional humility. Let your class know that you are there to serve. Asheville Yoga Center’s instructor training will help prepare you to teach your first class, but you must walk into the classroom by yourself.