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5 Essential Tips for New Yoga Teachers: Building Confidence and Finding Your Unique Teaching Style

Do you recall how you felt before teaching your very first yoga class? What emotions come to mind? I embarked on my first Yoga Teacher Training without any intention of teaching. It was in the process of the training that I realised, sequencing and teaching yoga came quite naturally to me. Nevertheless, I was super nervous when it came to teaching my first ‘real’ yoga class in a studio. So, if you’re out there, at the beginning of your yoga teacher journey, nervous about teaching your first classes, let me tell you this: you are not alone and you are doing great!

Embarking on the journey of becoming a yoga teacher is an exciting and transformative experience. As a new yoga teacher, it is natural to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness about sharing your knowledge and guiding others on their yoga journey. Building confidence and finding your unique teaching style is a process. But to make the start a little easier, in this article, we will explore some valuable tips to help new yoga teachers build confidence and discover their own voice and teaching style.

1. Embrace Self-Reflection and Personal Practice

The best way to find an authentic and confident way of teaching yoga and your own style is to have a regular self-practice. Your own yoga practice will bring to light the things that you enjoy and what works for you. It allows you to develop a deeper connection to yourself and your yoga practice, the opportunity to experiment with styles, transitions, and new poses, which will enhance your understanding of how different poses and transitions feel in your body, and your ability to guide others.

Through a personal practice and self-reflection, you can learn to understand what makes sense in your practice and body, what feels good or doesn’t feel good and what qualities of yoga and your practice bring value. A great way to reflect on your practice is to journal. Journal about your experiences on the mat, noting any insights, challenges, or breakthroughs. Reflect on the impact of yoga in your own life and how it can positively influence others.

For me, teaching yoga is a lot about sharing your love for the practice. When you teach from that authentic space, you are guaranteed to find your unique and genuine style.

2. Embrace Vulnerability and Authenticity

It’s important to embrace vulnerability and authenticity as a new yoga teacher. Remember that it’s okay to be yourself and show up as you are. Share your own experiences and insights with your students, allowing them to connect with you on a deeper level. Embracing vulnerability fosters an environment of trust and openness, where students feel comfortable exploring their own practice and embracing their vulnerabilities as well.

My yoga teacher always said: “You cannot mess up.” It is those words that stick with me until today. So, what if you forgot a pose on one side? Or maybe forgot one side of the flow all together? It happens to all of us and it’s okay. It’s yoga. Maybe everything does happen for a reason and it is merely an invitation to explore another layer of yourself and your teachings. Keep breathing, you got this.

3. Seek Inspiration and Continued Education

As you start out on your yoga teaching journey, it can be really helpful, inspirational, and educational to go to other yoga classes yourself. Go to different teachers and try out different yoga styles. Explore what you like about certain teachers and what maybe doesn’t resonate with you. What yoga styles or flows really make your heart sing? Use that as inspiration in your own practice first, and then in your teaching, too.

My teacher also always said: “The training starts, when the training ends.” A yoga teacher training will set you up to take the first steps, but becoming your own authentic Self as a yoga teacher is a journey. Continue to expand your knowledge by attending workshops or retreats, reading and educating yourself, and by always allowing time for your own practice.

Some tips to continue your learnings are:

  • Attend workshops or trainings on specific yoga styles, such as Vinyasa, Yin, or Ashtanga.
  • Enroll in courses that focus on anatomy, sequencing, meditation, or yoga philosophy.
  • Read books, listen to podcasts, or follow online resources to expand your knowledge base.

Get your free copy of my Vinyasa Yoga Sequencing Workbook to step up your sequencing game and design Vinyasa classes in 5 easy-to-follow steps!

Download your free copy of the Vinyasa Yoga Sequencing Workbook to elevate your yoga teaching and create yoga classes in 5 easy steps.

4. Be Open to Feedback When Teaching Yoga

In the beginning, you could practice teaching your friends or family that you trust and are comfortable with. Teach them as you would a ‘real’ class, using a flow that you prepared, props, cues, and variations. Ask your friends and family for feedback. How did the flow feel for them? Did they feel warmed up properly for the ‘peak pose’? Were your cues clear and understandable? How was the general tone of your voice and your pace of teaching?

Be open to receiving constructive feedback and incorporating it into your teachings. It could be helpful to look over your script and cues again. Where can you take out unnecessary ‘fluff’? Where can you be more specific? Also reflect on whether you offered enough variations and modifications for different levels and types of students.

Practicing teaching with friends and family will not only provide you with valuable feedback but also give you an opportunity to become used to the role of teacher, remembering flows, moving around the room. When you then step in front of your first ‘real’ class, it won’t feel so intimidating anymore.

5. Stay Openminded and Trust the Process

Reflect on the first classes that you teach, maybe journal about these, too. What went well? Were there any opportunities to growth? What were you especially happy with and what might you want to adapt next class?

Even though with time and more experience, you will develop your unique and authentic teaching style, teaching yoga is much like the yoga practice itself: it is a journey and a process. Trusting the process while being openminded to grow and adapt will make you a great teacher!

As you develop your teaching style, trust your intuition and let it guide you. Allow yourself to be intuitive in sequencing, cuing, and creating themes for your classes. Trust in your ability to connect with your students and adapt your teaching to meet their needs. Embracing your intuition adds a unique touch to your classes, allowing you to create an authentic and meaningful experience for your students.

Download your free yoga resources for new yoga teachers to elevate your yoga teaching and own practice.
Check out my free resources for new yoga teachers and advanced practitioners!

I strongly believe that you cannot mess up. Always make sure that your students are safe by providing the necessary alignment cues. If you have that covered, you don’t need to worry about anything else. Your yoga teaching will ultimately be an expression of your unique self and as long as you share the practice from a place of honesty and authenticity, you cannot mess up.

Mula bandha and keep breathing! You got this.

Also be sure to read some of my other articles to deepen your own yoga knowledge and practice and therefore elevate your teachings.

My article Why To Do Yoga explains the 10 main benefits – both physical and mental / emotional – of a regular practice. These are nice little facts you can insert into your classes!

If you want to learn more about meditation and its benefits, be sure to check out my article 5 Main Benefits of Meditation To Improve Health and Well-Being.

And last but not least, here is another good one for new yoga teachers that want to learn more about sequencing yoga classes and common mistakes to avoid.

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