The Art of Theming a Yoga Class | Support for Yoga Teachers Looking to Add A Little Magic
So first off, let me be clear you do not need to theme your yoga classes. Teaching Yoga is a tough (but awesome) gig and there is enough pressure put on Yoga Teachers with the expectations of things we should and shouldn’t do, and don’t get me started on social media. But if you’d like to mix things up a bit, bring a more immersive yoga experience to your students and make lesson planning a whole world easier then let’s look at How To Theme A Yoga Class.
So here’s why Theming a Yoga Class works:
INSPIRES YOU & YOUR STUDENTS
- As a yoga teacher, theming your yoga classes helps inspire your creativity and directs the selection of asana, meditation, pranayama, music, quotes, language and imagery.
- It enables you to bring your authentic voice and your unique experience as a yoga teacher to your classes.
- Only you can do you! When you theme your yoga classes it creates a unique experience and helps you to stand out as a teacher.
- For your yoga students, a class theme is a great way to layer a deeper experience, learn about yoga philosophy and explore how the practice of yoga can step off the mat and into life.
WHAT TYPES OF YOGA CLASS THEMES ARE THERE?
Really anything can be a yoga class theme if it is honest, heartfelt and authentic but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Yoga Philosophy – delve into the yoga texts, find and explore the lessons contained within that most speak to you, and communicate these through your experience and your perspective.
- Yoga Mythology – everyone loves a good story and the mythology behind the yoga asanas will give you endless inspiration.
- Body Anatomy – the sacred sacrum, psoas the muscle of the soul, aligning with your core!
- Yoga Anatomy – the anatomy of the subtle body such The Chakras, The Nadis, The Koshas, The Movement of Prana (WARNING – you need to really know your stuff and be working with it in your practice before bringing it to class!)
- Life values, lessons & moral – your inspiration doesn’t have to come just from yoga whatever inspires you – if it has depth go with it!
- The Natural World: the lunar cycles, the changes in the seasons.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD YOGA CLASS THEME?
- Personal Experience – you can’t teach what you don’t know!
- Simple & easy to understand
- Universal & accessible to your students
- Connects to both yoga and life off the mat
WHAT MAKES A BAD YOGA CLASS THEME?
- Cliches – it’s better not to have a theme than a clichéd theme! “Let go what no longer serves you” – please no more!
- Inauthentic – you need to speak your truth, your students will know when you’re simply repeating another teacher’s truth.
- Too Messy – if you’re still working through a life lesson this is not the time to make it a class theme. You need to have come through the other side, to have learnt the lesson before bringing it into your teaching, even then be careful of Too Much Information!
- No Depth – you need to work through your themes and make sure they have enough depth.
GOLDEN RULES FOR HOW TO THEME A YOGA CLASS
- 5 Mins Tops – when your students arrive at class normally they’re ready to get going, get moving and get their yoga on! So set yourself a maximum of 5 mins until you start physically moving. This 5 minutes is time to Introduce Your Theme, Centre and Connect with Breath Awareness and Pranayama. You can further develop your theme during the class.
- Relate the theme to the whole class – Introduce at the beginning, expand in 2-3 points during the class and recap during or after Savasana, then give a final takeaway thought or quote.
- Find different ways for expressing the same concept so that it is accessible to all your students.
NOW IT’S TIME TO FIND YOUR YOGA CLASS THEMES
- What lessons have you learnt through yoga?
- What are important human morals and life values to you?
- What inspires you?
- These give you ideas of your potential class themes.
YOGA CLASS THEME PLANNER
Right here we go! Open and print off the Free Yoga Class Theme Planner to work through your theme.
Below are two examples:
- Description of how to use each box
Worked through example for the myth of Eagle Pose: