Did you ever take a class that was so perfectly paced that it made you lengthen and deepen your breath while your movements become effortless?
How do they do that?
You might be wondering how to figure out the right pace for your own classes and don’t know if you’re going too fast or too slow.
Now while there isn’t a set rule for what the perfect pace is, there is certainly one thing that helps you find the right pace for you and your students.
Early on in my teaching journey, I was often out of breath while teaching. How on earth do people do this, I wondered: talking, moving and breathing all at once? It felt like an impossible task.
But then I realised what was missing: I didn’t connect to my own breath!
I was focusing too much on my sequence, my voice and the poses and forgot to practice yoga while teaching: as ironic as it might sound, I didn’t breathe deeply during yoga class.
Once I discovered this, I started to cue differently: instead of trying to say everything I knew about a pose, I chose one or two important instructions and connected those to the waves of my breath while teaching the inhales & exhales.
It goes something like this:
‘Inhale raise your arms and lengthen the spine, exhale fold and relax your head.’
Now after I said ‘inhale raise your arms and lengthen your spine’ I would inhale, then while saying ‘exhale fold and relax your head’ I would exhale and if some breath was left, I would audibly exhale to help the students.
This not only helps your students connect to their breath, it also helps to find a nice pace for your class since your following the natural length of your breath.
There you have it, such a simple but essential tool for teaching!
Noww try it in your next yoga class and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d love to hear!