Could I get advice from yoga teachers?
Hi fellow yoga teachers!
I'm curious to know where you get your inspiration for music? How do you switch up your sequencing? What are your favorite poses? How do you cater to certain groups? What is your favorite flow to teach?
I've been teaching primarily private sessions for the past year and half, so I'm not (yet) a career yoga teacher. I'll do my best with your questions though.
For music, I use Spotify, and take time once in-a-while to add to my play lists. I stick to music that I enjoy practicing and listening to. This tends to be low-key, acoustic folk or indie music, what I call "hipster yoga music." My recommendation as a new teacher is to play what helps you feel comfortable in class and you enjoy practicing to. You cannot please everyone, so just find your own style.
With sequencing, since I mainly teach private sessions, every class is different. I know what they're working on, and have a plan in mind, but since there are only 1 or 2 students, if they want a low-key yin session after a stressful holiday, I have to be ready to adapt. Of course, starting off, I wrote out every sequence, and even practiced it myself before teaching it. I also have a few 15min chunks that I'll just pop in when needed. Most of my inspiration for new sequences come from attending other teachers' classes, and researching things like physical therapy.
Favorite poses? Camel, wheel, and fish. The heart opening always does me well.
As for adapting to different groups, since I already do quite a bit of it, I'll look at large groups. I started off both teaching and working as a studio manager, which meant filling in for lots of other teachers' classes. For those, showing up to 20 person classes who haven't had a sub in two months, I prepped my sequence like a script. I would teach more generically, a sequence that just flowed well and felt good. I would also explain my skill level and that I typically taught private sessions. If I got flustered by the large group, they always understood.
I can't say I have a favorite flow to teach, I enjoy variety and pushing students out of their comfort zone. Those poses that get them laughing, or let them surprise me when they jump in and do it.
Hi Madeline, I am a Kundalini Yoga teacher, which is just one of many types of yoga you can choose from. It is a more of a "spiritual" technique that arrived to America in the 1960s brought by Yogi Bhajan. It includes postures, breath exercices, meditation and singing mantras. In it we have to follow the exact sequence of postures or "asanas", with precise duration times, these series of asanas make up a "kriya" in a yoga session. We have to follow the instructions so as to optimize the positive effect assigned to each Kriya or yoga session. For example, there is a yoga sequence or Kriya used to improve circulation or the nervous system, etc. Also, we use a series of mantras and music that have a specific benefit when you sing them. A Kundalini class follows the sequence of first opening by chanting the "Adi Mantra" three times, then we do the streching or warming up, then the series of postures or asanas and after them we do the the savasana, which is also called the "corpse pose", where you can lay down, relax and allow your body to sink in the benefits of all the postures you did. Then there could be a meditation, depending on the particular kriya. To close the class we sing the Long time sun, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1D3ejwQiVg and sing Sat Nam, which means "your true identity". You can find many examples of this kind of yoga in youtube. As you can see there are many types of yoga to cater to all walks of life. Hope thi was interesting and useful. Sat Nam!
My advice to yes, cater to the class, but build a tribe.
When it comes to music I usually start with instrumentals low chanting, slower beats and breathe. Then I build in terms of beat and energy behind the music. Come to climax when you put folks into more challenge postures, and then I bring folks back down. But play you like the folks that resonate with you will continue to flow with you. Play everything from instrumental & chanting to country and hip hop, most songs resonate on love. Trying to be mindful of not triggering folks with explicit language and such.
In terms of flow: Switch it up. Start seated or standing. I always start with with breath and setting intention, and always end with breath, and checking in with folks throughout the class reminding folks to breathe. Check in with the energy of the class. Have a slow flow and a faster flow. Depending on the class.
I love fallen warrior, eagle and pyramid as postures that dont get used very often depending on the practice, also a fan of King Pigeon for more advanced classes. Long holds in forearm plank is also a great resiliency builder.
Hope this is helpful.
I will try to answer your questions one by one:
I'm curious to know where you get your inspiration for music?
It depends on which part of the class I am. Considering that at beginning we normally practice concentration I would suggest some slow Indian relaxing music. some title may be sukhino bhavantu. Just google it and download it. it is very relaxing and inspiring song. Then when you move to asana part you can play some animated song like om namah shivay song. what I mean is you need to play a song which will awake the inner energy. Then for the last part which normally is relaxation (yoga nidra) or meditation (dyana) you can play the sound of the nature such us waterfall music or rain sound music.
How do you switch up your sequencing?
Just according on the part of the class we are going through. just to give an example related with above answer:
1 concentration: sukhino bhavantu.
2 asana: om namah shivay
3 relaxation: water fall
What are your favorite poses?
Padmasana Mayurasana Vrishchikasana or the Scorpion Pose
How do you cater to certain groups?
All groups are different. Go with flow...trust your instinct
What is your favourite flow to teach?
I would say challenging flow but depend on many thing such us the age of the student the season the weather etc.
Bernard recommends the following next steps:
Human body is like a computer and has hardware part and software part.
The postures, physical drill, weights etc will help the hardware part of the body.
The breathing (different types of pranayama) helps the software part. You can also meditation to this part. So I would recommend you to identify techniques in the above categories to get started with a practitioner.
I recommend you to access this website for more details http://www.divyayoga.com/
- My primary focus is working with students who are new to yoga or have some experience.
- the music depends on my mood.
- I read yoga mags, subscribe to various yoga sites.
- Primarily I listen to my students and design classes to address their issues
(M) I'm curious to know where you get your inspiration for music?
I love all kinds of music, so when I teach, I change it up. Many times I use Krisha Das on Pandora, but sometimes I put on super happy music and fast paced to get the flow going!
(M) How do you switch up your sequencing?
I don't switch up my sequencing - I'm Baptiste 300hr teacher. Love the sequence because it works for me and my clients. Not switching gives me more space in my teaching to come from the heart, not worrying about a new sequence to memorize.
(M) What are your favorite poses?
My favorite poses are balancing poses - Eagle and Dancer are my favs. Balance is a vital key to life --- and these show me when I am in need of balancing myself and my life. And it shows me where my students need to balance, too.
(M) How do you cater to certain groups?
Not sure what this means? I am me in front of all groups. If I have older clients, I help them more with props. I always express the importance of child's pose when needing to take a break and listening to the body and not over doing it. If I am with kids, then I make the poses more childlike by giving them fun names - like swing your arm like an elephant's trunk.
(M) What is your favorite flow to teach?
Baptiste Power Yoga! Love it!!