A shift in the conscious of individuals has drawn them to the doorstep of yoga. They believe in making a deliberate effort to bring themselves to mat, not just as physical practitioners but as patients too, who are dealing with various limitations. Ranging from physical to emotional and to mental, these limitations can come in any form or size. The medical effect of yoga is so profound that it is the new ‘It’ practice. But what does a teacher do when he teaches a mixed batch of multiple levelled students with varied limitation. Sometimes we have the privilege to segregate the classes on basis of levels or specific ailments or routine. But other times when we do not have the liberty to segregate, we have to play by safe rules, so as to offer maximum results for all the students can be derived.
Here is what you can do to have a global approach in your classes:
Know the students
As students when we took yoga classes, we wanted to have a personal connect with the teacher in order to feel more comfortable. Similarly, every student wants to develop a personal touch with their teachers. The best a teacher can do is, go up and speak to a new student in detail and create an open dialogue with all of the students (new or old). Know their reasons for joining the class, understand their limitations and strengthens. This would allow you to cater at a deeper level. Forging an emotional connect will have a deep seated impact in the mind of the students.
Adjustments and modifications
A multi-level class demands for modifications in almost all poses. While the advanced might be able to master a pose, a beginner would want several sessions to reach a certain level. Appreciating their abilities, physically adjust the newer students. Offer props like blocks, blankets or belts, to avoid any form of injury. Taking everybody together can be a bit challenging but when we allow personal tailoring on the part of the student, we are creating their ability to trust themselves and yoga as well.
Explain the drill
Explain the poses in detail whenever you can along with contra-indications. Also, explaining their positive effect on the body along with a little alignment techniques, can lead to a personal dialogue in the mind of the students. When they understand benefits, methodology etc. they can tailor it and decide their performance levels and practice the pose accordingly. Contra-indications are a great tool to further incorporate everybody.
Due to shortage of time, sometimes we cannot focus on personal questions. But important thing to consider is, problems faced by one student can be a generalised problem for the whole group as well. Addressing some personal questions, will sort out common mistakes and encourage others to discuss their issues as well. One can also take up questions after the class for 15 minutes.
Pre-Plan the sequence
Little planning goes a long way in any field. Strategically plan your classes in advance once you know the type of students coming to your classes. Extending an all round, well researched classes builds credibility on the part of the teacher. Students know that there is something for them in the class bringing them back next day to the class.
Both novice and Experienced Teachers suffer from certain limitation when it comes to catering to group classes. With a deliberate attempt and a blueprint of the classes, one can achieve much more. Yoga is a form of social service, when we go to a class, we should aim to extend benefit to maximum number of students.