Musings from the Mat

Tips For Teachers: Where Do You Stand?

Do you always teach from the front of the yoga studio, with your students facing you? Of course, that’s where you would want to be … much of the time, unless you’re moving around the room to offer gentle assists or whispered words of encouragement or guidance.

But there are some times when you could refine your teaching by positioning yourself at a different spot in the room, with better results.

The Problem: You are teaching a creative sequence that involves moving the class from, say, Warrior I, to Warrior II, to other poses sequenced into the flow. Your students will be facing the front of the room when you first start the sequence (Mountain, Warrior I, Sun Salutation); then they will face the side of the room for Warrior II and perhaps some other fun “open hip” poses (Stargazer, Side Angle, Half Moon) that you’ve choreographed into the sequence. To do the sequence “on the other side,” the class will be transitioning to face the other side of the studio.

And where are you? At the front of the room, where most of your students can’t see you for a large portion of the sequence. 

Your beautiful demo isn’t going to be effective if no one can see you, or your students have to crane their necks to see what you are doing.

Is there a better way? Yes.

The Solution: When the class is facing the side wall of the studio, GO OVER THERE and demo the poses while facing the class. When the class faces the front of the room, MOVE THERE. And when you lead your class through the sequence on the other side, MOVE AGAIN, this time to the other side of the room, so that it is always easy for your students to find you, and for you to see them. 

There are three rationales for this:

– we want our students to be able to see us, so why not make that easier for them?

– when we stay glued to our mats at the front of the room, our students will turn their heads in order to see us; this has them twisting their necks uncomfortably, or moving in ways that take them out of proper alignment, and might strain necks, shoulders, low backs and knees.

– it is WAY easier to move one person (you, the instructor), rather than an entire class; this is simply more efficient.

Try it and let me know how it works for you!

Tips For Teachers: Where Do You Stand?
Scroll to top