Five Crutches That Hold Back Yoga Teachers

Crutch definition: anything that serves as a temporary and often inappropriate support, supplement, or substitute; prop.

1. Practicing with the class

New teachers are sometimes fearful to step off of their own mats and interact fully with their class. By sticking on our mats in the front of room our role has been diminished to a demonstrator or a model.  As a teacher, we are obligated to see what we are teaching and how effective it is landing for the classroom.

When a teacher is practicing with the class, they cannot see what is happening with their students bodies.  They also lose their presence in the room and the ability to truly connect with the students in the class. It sets up a physical disconnect as the teacher is up there and the student is back there.

Commit to moving around the room fully, even if it feels uncomfortable and scary to step off of your own mat.  Let go of the crutch of having to do all the poses with the class in order to teach them. (The exception is if you are teaching brand new students and you need to demonstrate a handful of the poses.)

2. Being overly creative in your sequencing

When we teach with the hope of wowing the class with tricks, it takes away the practice of learning to teach a solid effective sequence. We know that the basic yoga poses work. We can do warrior 2 for decades and still feel the power and challenge. Practice teaching basic poses and adding different alignment cues to get students deeper into their bodies. It will give more depth to your teaching and the students will benefit as well.

3. Talking too much

When we talk too much, we take away space from the students to experience the practice fully. It becomes more about us and less about them. Often new teachers feel uneasy with not talking and nervous if they run out of something to say and instead compensate by filling the space with language that is filler. Stick to essential language and allow the practice to work its timeless wisdom. The yoga space is truly a sanctuary for connection and it is ok to have space to listen to the sound of our own breath and the sensations arising in our bodies.

Continue reading the full article here