Do you feel like you’ve been doing the same type of vinyasa flow yoga class repeatedly? If your class plans have gotten a little stale, here are 8 ways to freshen up your yoga classes.
Practice yoga at different studios with different teachers
Restorative, yin, chair, ashtanga, trauma informed, yoga nidra and more. The list goes on and on for styles of yoga and each individual teacher has their flavor of yoga asana practice. Yoga movement varies so greatly that simply taking classes in different genres than your own will inspire new ideas. While on vacation, and yes I do have a travel yoga mat, I always take yoga classes from studios in new places. Not only is it a luxury to go to a yoga studio (group exercise gym gal over here) from a vacation standpoint but it also gives me fresh ideas from teachers in an entirely different geography.
You can try out my Yoga for Runners eBook with 20 hours of recorded yoga to get some inspiration from my yoga journey.
Read yoga philosophy, theming, and asana form books
I have a dedicated shelf on my bookcase to yoga and movement inspired book. There are many that I love to reference, and if you’re stuck on cueing or class plans it is always wise to go back to the source. I will review a pose in Light on Yoga, the O.G. of yoga asana instruction. I also love reading passages from The Body Keeps the Score and One Simple Thing. Particularly in my 200- and 300-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings there were flex hour requirements that I spent reading yogic texts. I went hard at the library and it really inspired creativity to gain perspectives from different yoga expressions.
YouTube “adjective + yoga” to get ideas from other yoga teachers across the globe
Physical boundaries are no longer a challenge when you can get ideas from teachers on YouTube. Many times, I’ve been thinking about how to cue crow or get students into a particular pose without it seeming “clunky” during class. I’ve borrowed from the generous yoga teachers on YouTube some movements that worked well in my own body to add to class flows.
Take a training or certification, or review some of your YTT materials
This could mean diving into a Yoga Teacher Training 300-hour program (I love programs by My Vinyasa Practice!) or another certification like Ayurveda Fundamentals. When I’m getting stuck or in a rut with my teaching I’ll review my old training materials that go over the 8 limbed path of yoga and I’m reminded why we do yoga in the first place. Going back to basics is just as inspirational as learning new things.
Try other forms of movement
Pilates, Barre, HIIT, Cycling and all other functional or group fitness classes are great to attend and get ideas on how to convert those movements or teaching into a yoga movement. High intensity interval training has been particularly interesting to think of how to significantly slow down the movement and flow into a pose that may be more strength oriented like you would see in a HIIT class. HIIT and yoga don’t seem to overlap, however if you approach it with a “how do I yoga this?” lens, you’d be surprised how much of the world looks like yoga.
Free form on the mat without distractions
Take a moment to get out of your head and back into your body. By free forming on the mat, you can tune into your own body’s needs and use that as a guiding light for what other folks may need in class.
Follow yoga and other fitness professionals on social media
I can’t count the amount of Instagram yoga people I now follow. The best grassroots yoga teachers are on my feed and I’ve saved many posts down to reference later if a particular transition is fun or unusual. This harkens back to the earlier point where it is good to follow a variety of people, not just yoga or people that look like you. Some of my best ideas come from mat pilates teachers and physical therapists.
At the end of the day, humans love consistency
There is a reason people keep coming to your class. Sometimes folks don’t want creativity and a constantly evolving practice. Sometimes they want to show up on the mat and know what they’re doing the entire time. There is a way to deepen the practice by incorporating more yoga philosophy rather than changing poses all the time, and that may be exactly what your students crave.
Why I Quit Teaching at a Yoga Studio
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