This is a great topic for me, as I remember my first class well. I also have a perspective on teaching your first yoga class, and any yoga class for that matter.
Many have asked me: “How should I get started? How should I teach my first yoga class?”
For me, the foundation of teaching or sharing anything is understanding what you are sharing. So having a strong yoga practice or a solid foundation in yoga is essential. If you have a strong yoga practice, it is safe to say you are benefiting from yoga. Otherwise, you would not be practicing yoga yourself. So how to teach a yoga class or how to teach yoga is simply teaching or sharing what you do that is benefiting you with others. It’s not much different than if your grandma has passed you a wonderful recipe for chicken soup. You now have this recipe and for a while you have been making delicious chicken soup. One day you prepare this wonderful chicken soup for a friend named Jack who is visiting you. Jack loves this soup and Jack asks you for the recipe. So you share your grandma’s chicken soup recipe with Jack and now Jack can make it himself. Jack could take this recipe home and make the soup for himself. Jack could add more salt if he wishes or he could add a little hot pepper. He could also remove the celery as he has never been a fan of celery. Now the recipe is his and he can do as he pleases. This is the way I view how to teach yoga or how to share yoga.
You have something that works for you and you share it with others! It’s simple! If you inhale and reach your arms to the sky and then exhale and fold forward and it helps you feel better then why can’t you share that? This is all I have done and all the teachers before me! As when we came up in the yoga world, there was no such thing as a teacher training. This doesn’t imply there are not helpful keys to sharing yoga. Certainly, the more you teach or share this yoga practice, and the more experience you have in teaching or sharing, the more you learn and refine your teaching skills; this is natural.
There is also a possibility to learn skills and techniques from others who also have been sharing this yoga and maybe sharing it longer than you ( this might be called a “teacher training” ). Yet like anything, you certainly improve at this craft of sharing yoga over time and with experience yet you have to start somewhere and sometime. There are no rules in place that stipulate you cannot start sharing this yoga practice whenever you see fit. Just like there are no rules about sharing your grandma’s chicken soup recipe! In a lot of ways, being a good teacher is a gift of intuition. So how to teach a beginners yoga class comes with the understanding that these folks may be beginners and beginners need to start with some basics. So you would not put too much info out there for them too fast, as they may not be able to digest so much so fast. I know this seems obvious, but this might separate the good teachers from the rest. This intuitive ability to discern what is appropriate at what time.
I feel that the most challenged learners tend to make the best teachers as these people tend to make the greatest effort in expressing information. People who learn very easily might not understand that others do not digest or assimilate info so easily.
I guess I could blog forever, so I will stop here.