The Yoga Guide

How to Teach a Memorable Hatha Yoga Class to Beginners

You'll learn how to insure that a beginner Hatha yoga student feels comfortable enough to return for future Hatha Yoga classes with you.

Have a nice, peaceful, comfortable and serene space for your students. Welcome all students and have new students know they can select to choose a contract for 5 weeks, 6 weeks or whatever packet you decide to offer to your students. I have students introduce themselves using a couple of sentences about themselves and why they decided to come. This sharing helps a newbie feel related with others on some level.

I would offer one free class at the end of the 5 week packet and let there be a discount if they choose to sign up for 5 or 6 week course. Explain to them a pre-paid packet gives them enough time to judge whether this helps them, is the correct thing for them at this time. They may elect to come as a walk-in before they decide to sign a contract that is pre-paid. Have a place for them to leave their checks or cash up away from the floor. I would ask if there are any health issues or concerns I should know about so postures can be modified for them.

I always start them in savasana, with the intention of having them get centered, quieted and removed away from outside thoughts, cares or concerns. Once they enter my yoga entrance door, it's yoga for the mind, body and spirit. I choose a mantra that I share while they are in savasana that is very soft and gentle and healing.

They spend about 7-10 minutes going into the pose, staying in the pose and coming out from the pose. I have them turn over on their right side, drawing their knees close to chest as their brain and body connect with the downloading of any information, revelations or healing for themselves.

I offer a sheet of basic postures (asanas) for each student and we follow them, practice them 3-4 repetitions and I check to see who is having any difficulty being in the posture or getting into a posture. I ask permission if it's all right to place my hands on them to adjust their body or limbs.

I break up the Sun Salutation into 4 parts working on the first four over and over until they are comfortable doing them. During the five weeks, we add new postures and the next 4 postures in Sun Salutation. I never compare one student to another. I encourage working at their own level of competence. I assure there is no need for competition.

I do ask for a volunteer sometimes to show how they move into the posture that was at first difficult for them. This helps the newbie know they are not alone in any difficulty and that it can be overcome with persistence and dedication. I like to have students share how they modify a posture for themselves and to encourage doing as much as they can without too much pressure from within themselves.

I allow for questions, discussions relating to the postures or what might be going on for someone. I encourage them to move at their own pace getting into and out of an asana.

I close with a warm down period of savasana, soft music, or chanting OM 3 x while their eyes are closed. I have them bring their attention back to the room, sit up crossed legged. I give a sheet of paper with some basic Hatha yoga postures on it for them to practice at home and I encourage them to find a quiet space at home to continue with their practice. I make my phone number available if they have any questions and I let them know I am here for them with any questions. I make sure they know to call if they cannot come so they don't miss out on rescheduling a class and that it's a courtesy to me the teacher to know if they are not coming. I thank the class for their attendance, their effort and their commitment to themselves for attending.


Tibetan Yoga