4 guidelines to create a proper environment in your yoga class
When you teach a yoga class the first thing people see when they enter your class is the setting of the class. This immediately creates a certain atmosphere and sets the energy in the classroom. And during a yoga class the energy is very important. Even though a yoga teacher might give wonderful classes, if he or she doesn’t provide a proper class setting, it is very likely the teacher won’t obtain the desired effect with the students. Below you can find some tips on how to create a calm and relaxing yoga environment in your classes in order to give your students maximum benefit and to keep your classes full and successful.
1. Setting of the class
The first important aspect in creating a class atmosphere is the setting of your class. Where do you position yourself as a teacher and where do you place the mats of your students? Some yoga teachers feel uncomfortable in telling their students where they have to place their mats. As a consequence people place their yoga mat in an unorganized and chaotic manner. In this situation not only the mat structure will be chaotic but for some people it will also create a restless energy and they will find it difficult to relax in this type of setting. As the teacher of the class you are in control of your class so you decide where your students place their yoga mat. If you don’t feel comfortable in telling people how to position themselves you can provide yoga mats yourself and lay them out before students enter the yoga hall. In this situation students can either practice on the mats you provide or place their own mats on top of yours. Your class will look structured and clear and it automatically creates a space where people can calm down and relax. In the outside world, chaos is everywhere. Why not offer your students a place free from chaos, a place where they can calm down and relax? To ensure a calming atmosphere it is also advisable to use minimum decoration. Some candles, soft light, and a small amount of decoration can be nice, but try to restrict the impressions to a minimum.
2. Incense… yes or no?
A common question when it comes to setting up a yoga class is whether to use incense or not. Maybe you have been to yoga classes where the room is small and the incense is burning throughout the practice. The room becomes smoky, the smell is too strong and after a while you just feel suffocated. Most probably this is not the atmosphere you are looking for. The use of incense can be very nice and relaxing. However if you decide to use incense it is advised to burn the incense at least 30 minutes before the starting of your class and make sure the smoke is gone before students enter the yoga room. A soft fragrance of incense can be very calming, but it is also important that the air is fresh and full of oxygen. During yoga practice you might also do some breathing exercises which definitely requires fresh air.
3. Background music
Using music in your yoga classes is not a must but it can be a helpful tool to guide people into a deeper relaxation. When you use music in your classes keep the volume to a minimum level. The choice of relaxing music is endless so surely you will find something that suits your needs. Keep in mind that soft instrumental music and nature sounds are very effective. Whichever music you decide to use, make sure it is a very soft and subtle background sound. It shouldn’t be so loud that it becomes disturbing and conflicting with your own voice.
4. Be aware of your personal outlook
Maybe this is not something you would consider as an element in creating atmosphere, but also your outlook can have an influence on the class energy. Your clothes but also your jewellery, make-up, hairs, etc. show a lot about yourself but they also radiate a certain energy. Loud colours, a lot of decoration, etc. can be very nice outdoors, but in a yoga class it might be too active and distracting. Therefore you might want to keep it simple. People constantly get a lot of impressions in the outside world. In a yoga class it is advisable to reduce the input and impressions on people. This allows them to turn their focus inwards and to calm down the mind. Fewer impressions are obtained by creating a clean, simple room with minimum decoration, but it also includes simple clothing, minimum make-up and neat hairs. A simple trick is to keep a specific “uniform” for your teaching. This saves you the trouble of having to think what to wear each time you teach and for the students it becomes a fixed and comforting element in their class.
For those who already have a 200 hour yoga teacher certificate we also organize one 300 hour yoga teacher training per year.