Survival Guide for Beginners Yoga

Your Survival Guide for Beginners YogaBeginners Yoga - What You Need to Know

Google image search for the word ‘yoga’ and the results are terrifyingly intimidating!  Skinny minnie bendy Wendy’s in very little clothing on an exotic beach doing their best pretzel impressions. Trust me if this is what real-life yoga is like so can count me out!! But fortunately, it’s not! Yoga truly is for everyone, all shapes, all ages, all fitness levels, all degrees of flexibility, all genders and all personality types. My Beginners Yoga Courses in Southampton are suitable for all and we love to see a diverse mix of people taking to the yoga mat.

So here’s my Survival Guide for Beginners Yoga

1) You don’t need to be flexible to do yoga. In fact, yoga has nothing to do with touching your toes, but improved flexibility is certainly a by-product of doing yoga. Telling me you’re too stiff to do yoga, is the same as saying you’re too dirty to have a shower. I know the media is full of bendy, skinny people in fancy yoga poses but this isn’t what it looks like in ‘real life’! Beginners Yoga poses are really attainable for all.

2) Nobody cares if you giggle or fart and you can’t make a fool of yourself either. Everyone else is too focused on what they’re doing to even notice what’s happening with you. I promise!

3) Don’t wear Tesco leggings (or other really cheap makes) they’re see-through when you bend over – trust me I’ve seen A LOT! Get someone at home to check for you before attending your first Beginners Yoga class.

4) Take your shoes and socks off, yoga is practised barefoot on a non-slip mat. Your yoga teacher will have a few spare mats, but if you enjoy it then buy your own mat – much more hygienic!

5) If you arrive early to your first Beginners Yoga Class, sit down on your yoga mat, relax and smile at the person next to you. Yoga classes have a really friendly community atmosphere and everyone remembers how daunting being new can be.

6) Wear a couple of layers,  like top/t-shirt and a jumper. It’s likely you’ll get pretty hot halfway through and then cold during the relaxation. Ladies remember a sports bra or things may just pop out when you bend forward.

7) You’ll do a yoga pose called Downward Facing Dog a lot, it’s hard when you start as it uses upper body strength and hamstring flexibility but after awhile it’ll get easier. Know it’s OK to put your knees down and use all-fours anytime. If your teacher says ‘Downward Facing Dog is a resting pose’ try and ignore the urge to yell out and curse at them, they’re probably just forgotten how freaking hard this pose is when you’re a Yoga Beginner.

8) It’s OK to rest – yoga is not a boot camp and it’s not about forcing your body to do anything.  it’s about listening to and respecting your body. So if you get tired and want to take a little breather, then do it! It’s all about you.

9) It’s OK to be confused – when you attend your beginners yoga class everything is new, so understandably you might feel confused. See this as an exciting reminder that you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and something good is coming your way. By your 3rd class, you usually feel like you’re getting the hang of it. Although I’ve been practising for 16 years now and I still get confused and often feeling like a yoga beginner!

10) Your life will change! It’s crazy magic, just 1 hour/week of yoga, bending, stretching, strengthening and breathing deeply and everything changes. Your ability to handle stress, the ease in your relationships, the confidence and calmness you feel in yourself, the relationship you have will your body. Quite simply put yoga makes everything better!

Ready to give it a try? I have 2 Beginners Yoga Courses in Eastleigh and Southampton starting in September and a Beginners Yoga Classes on Thursdays:

Join our 6-week yoga beginners courses for a fun, simple, and safe introduction to the awesome practice of yoga. Or if you’re available during the day, pop along to our drop-in Beginners Class.

6 Week Beginners Yoga Course

Starts: Monday | 17th September 2018
Finishes: Monday | 22nd October 2018

Where: Richard Taunton’s College, Southampton
Time: 18h00 – 19h00
Taught: Caroline Eyles
Course Fee: £46

6 Week Beginners Yoga Course

Starts: Monday | 17th September 2018
Finishes: Monday | 22nd October 2018

Where: The Hub, Bishopstoke Rd, Eastleigh
Time: 19h30 – 20h30
Taught: Veronique Dumont
Course Fee: £46

General Beginners Yoga Class

Resumes: Thursday | 13th September 2018
Drop In: Pop along anytime

Where: Turnpike Pavilion, Hedge End
Time: 09h30 – 10h30
Taught: Gemma Witcomb
Course Fee: £8 drop in or £35 for 5

Email to Book!


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The Art of Being a Cover Teacher

YO

As a trainee or new yoga teacher a great way to get extra yoga teaching experience is by offering to be a cover teacher at your local yoga classes. But being a  Yoga Cover Teacher for a regular yoga class can be daunting, even for an experienced yoga teacher.  This is a topic that is covered in my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training  Course, based in Southampton, but I’ve put together a really easy at a glance guide that should help you through the most tricky of situations when it comes to covering yoga classes.

 

Start by preparing. Get as much information as you can from the yoga teacher in advance…

How many yoga students?

Demographics? Age, experience, likes dislikes.

Arrive Early! 

Aim to arrive before the yoga students start showing up. This way you have seen the space you will be in and given yourself a few moments to orientate yourself and take those Full Yogic Breaths, to calm any nerves. Trust me it’s normal to feel nervous before covering a yoga class, even after teaching for 8 years I still get nervous if I cover a yoga class here in Southampton.

As your yoga students trickle in you will be insitu, ready to greet and introduce yourself. Find out more about the students you will be teaching that class, which leads me to my next point. If you can’t get inside the room, still be early, wait outside the class room and get chatting.

Ask Questions

When chatting before the class ask people there names, repeat their name back “Hi Jane, so nice to meeting you”  and then try to use their name during class. This goes along way!

  • Introduce yourself publicly once everyone has arrived and ready to start class, remember to introduce yourself using your full name so that they can connect with you through social media afterwards “Hi, I’m Laura Green, I’ve been teaching yoga in Southampton for over 8 years now and I’m delighted to be covering your class today.”
  • Ask about injuries, likes, dislikes. Find out more about the type of things they would like to have in class.
  • Do they like long or short savasanas?
  • What about crow, or sun salutations?
  • Get the students to show you the layout they normally work in
  • And don’t dwell on resting bitch face (I know you know who I’m referring too!)

Yoga Southampton

Be Memorable 

Aim to teach them something. It’s okay to say that the yoga class is going to be different, I am not like “Jo” but I’m certain we will have a great session! Ideas such as:

  • Use a great piece of music for Sun Salutes.
  • Try introducing essential oils in the beginning of the yoga practice. Make sure to ask if the yoga students are okay with this.
  • Bring eye masks to use in savasana.
  • Try a guided chocolate tasting meditation at the end.

Yoga Teacher Southampton

When it comes to cover teaching, success comes down to a balance of charisma and skill. Charisma comes from confidence, a big smile and making eye contact. It’s easy not to feel confident when you are walking into a room full of strangers, half of which have resting bitchy face syndrome because you’re not their usual teacher but trust in your yoga, take a big breath and strut your stuff – you know you’ve got this, you know your a good teacher and they’re gonna have a damn good class with you!

Final note – don’t poach students,  word will get back to the regular teacher and you won’t be asked again. But if a student comes up at the end of class and actively asks where else you teach proudly tell them and invite them to attend one of your yoga classes.

If you want any more support in how to have a rocking career as a Yoga Teacher, check out my one:one 3 Month Yoga Teacher Mentorship Programme and I’ll have you flying in no time!


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Medical Contraindications for Yoga Poses

yoga pose contraindication Medical Contraindications for Yoga Poses southampton teacher training

Ever looked for a Yoga Pose Contraindication Fact Sheet?

Yep, me too ! After a quick google search looking for an easy reference document on contraindications for yoga poses, I found nothing that would work as a one sheet reference card, so I created one myself. I hope you will use this simple straightforward guide created for yoga teachers enabling you to support your students with confidence when they present with a yoga pose contraindication. Print Medical Contraindications for Yoga Poses Worksheet.

Yoga students come to class with a variety of physical conditions and in most cases common sense combined with controlled and pain free range of movement will keep yoga students safe in your class. But there are a few medical conditions and injuries for which certain yoga poses are contraindicated and other poses would be particularly beneficial.

For example, contraindications for:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition due to compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel. The main symptoms are pain, numbness, and tingling, in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring fingers.

Find out from your student how it feels to bare weight on the hands and wrists

Poses to avoid: Handstand, wheel

Poses to practice with caution: Downward Facing Dog, Plank, Chataranga

Hamstring Injury – If your hamstrings are weak and tight, they’ll tug on your hips – tipping them forward – and compromise functional movement. Often hamstring tightness is indicative of weakness, so make sure to include some hamstring strengthening as well as stretching in your yoga sequencing.

Depends how recent and how acute, if acute and recent 

Poses to avoid: Downward Dog, Hanumanasana, Forward Bend

Recommended poses to practice:  Locust, Hamstring curls

So print of this PDF, laminate it and keep it in your teaching bag.  This is by no means an exhaustive list but it covers what I have commonly experienced during my 8 years of teaching yoga in Southampton.

Maybe you have an established yoga practice already and want to deepen your knowledge. Feel free to print this for yourself to reference at home. If you would like to learn more, you could sign up to Laura’s Mentoring Programme, join Laura in class or if you are interested in a  200 Hour Yoga Alliance Professionals Accredited Teacher Training Course, Laura is taking applications for the 2019 training course located in Southampton.

 


 


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