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The Tales of The Traveling Yogini TM

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With an eye towards the future, but steeped in wisdom from 39 years of practicing yoga Stephanie Spence is a Yoga Educator, Author, Inspirational Speaker, Activist, Entrepreneur and Creative Leader. 

 

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  • Stephanie Spence

Three Mistakes New Yoga Teachers Make

Updated: Jan 29, 2019

As a teacher myself, I too have made mistakes from time to time, but I often see newer teachers fall into these habits more often than not.


Talking too much, demonstrating too less


We know you’re excited, but you may be overwhelming people with talking to much. Balance that with SHOWING them how to do the poses correctly. All of the great wisdom and other 8 limbs of yoga “education” are important and it’s critical that you give them EVERYTHING – and you will… but try and keep it simple.


If you aren’t teaching a beginner class, the greatest challenge is to address the beginner study all the way through the advanced. There is an art to this, but you can do it.


Demonstrate the pose FROM beginner to advanced– suggest the more advance posture “if it is available to them that day”. Remind them each day we begin as if it was the first day.


Help them cultivate beginner mind.


New people are still showing up with that New Year’s resolution. We can’t loose them now. They are hungry for the “real deal” – give it to them. Believe that a mix of alignment cues (and/or hands on beginner adjustments if they have agreed to that), your unique teaching style/voice, philosophy and general concern that the person has a positive experience go a long way. Trust that you are giving them everything, but keep suggesting they talk with you after class with any questions/concerns they may have.


Pushing people to their edge


Yes, we are a goal-oriented culture here in the west. A ton of people who are drawn to asana are high achievers. Yes, there is a “healthy edge” that you can go to and explore, but I’ve seen a huge increase in pushing past that.


You KNOW yoga is about living a life of vitality grounded in the present moment, self-aware and grateful for all your gifts… You will teach them that too. You will loose them, though, if they get injured and don’t come back.


The gym near my house has added a hot yoga room. The sequencing is dangerous. They are trying, but failing. Don’t fail your students. Check in with them.


Trying to be everything for everybody


This might seem to contradict what I’ve been saying, but it can all be wrapped up in JUST BE YOU. Your unique contribution will touch and shape and inspire – I just know it.

I’ve been finishing a book on yoga I’ve been working on for years. I’ve interviewed some amazing yoga teachers. I am in awe of how loving and smart and caring they are.


Be THAT teacher they fondly remember that set them on a life-long journey of health and vitality.


Namaste ~ Stephanie

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