Teaching a Yoga Class

Published on 1 April, 2020 | Case Studies

yoga outside class

Teaching Yoga

Case study example of a yoga class

Creating the class and inviting the students: 

If you want to teach a yoga class this case study is a great example of how to start your own yoga class.

A week before I started the class, I contacted some of my friends to say that I would be Teaching Yoga.  Where I live Autumn is on the way and leaves are beginning to change and the mornings are cool and slightly brisk. I wanted to enjoy a class outside in nature among the changing foliage of Autumn.

September 5th is Labour Day and a Statutory holiday here so I felt it would be a perfect day to be out in nature. I contacted my students and advised them to where warm, breathable, loose fitting comfortable clothing, bring a bottle of water, a yoga mat and ensure they bring a toque to lock in all their body heat. My students were very excited for the class and should much appreciation prior to the event.

autumnleaves

On the day of the class it was a brisk 5 degrees Celsius, and my students arrived bright an early. The class was held in one of beautifully treed areas of a local park. We set up our mats under the  the large cottonwood trees. I welcomed each student for joining me on the chilly morning and ensured everyone had weather appropriate clothing on.

Introduction to the class, beginning pose and breath work

yoga outside class
I began with a brief introduction on how I am taking a Yoga Freedom course and want to take my knowledge of Yoga and Energy Healing to the next level by facilitating a Yoga Freedom session. I had my class start in mountain pose. Here we started with 5 shoulder rotations in both directions to begin to warm up our muscles. I invited the class to stay in mountain pose but to bring their hands to a prayer position in front of their Heart Chakras. I spoke with class on breath awareness and we did a quick check in to ensure that everyone was aware of their breath, the changes of breath with in each movement and the importance of being mindful of a rhythmically paces breath and when their breath may be struggling then that is where the poses can be altered to bring the rhythmic breath back into awareness and pace. We took a few long soothing breaths here, while we set our intentions for this class to be filled with mindfulness, self awareness, and breath observation. I spoke to my students about how this class is intended to be calming and peaceful and if they are ever uncomfortable or in pain, they should move to a more comfortable position.

The Sequence
I then instructed the class to move from mountain pose to the chair pose. This movement was not held. It was a slow flowing movement from mountain pose, slightly squatting then raising our arms up above our heads. We completed this movement 5 times to assist with warming up our muscles. From here I instructed to step forward with the right leg to Warrior 1 position. I discussed with the class that they can leave their arms and hands straight up or if moved they can go into a mudras, I suggested lotus flower. After 2 slow breaths we moved on to Warrior 2, then back to Warrior 3. I discussed how I enjoyed the flow from Warrior 1 to 3 because the pose starts off strong and as some find difficulty holding the lunge position, focusing on breath is often a great focal point. Ending in Reverse Warrior gives me a feeling of “tah dah” I have finished strong and empowered.

yoga split pose

The class was instructed to step their front leg back and slowly ascend into a forward bend and into the downward dog position. The class was instructed to engage their abdomen muscles, press their heels to the ground and lift their tailbone for a full stretch from back up to legs and strongly down their legs to their heels.

From here we swooped down, forward and up to the Cobra pose. Everyone’s arms were strongly extended, with backs nicely arched they stared up at the colorful leaves above us. After a few breaths, I instructed the class to come down on the exhale and sit back into child’s pose with their arms extended outwards. I advised the class that if anyone was having difficulty with this they could stack their fist together and rest their foreheads on their fists.

After a few restful moments and once everyone had regained their breath awareness, they were instructed back into the cobra pose for a few breaths and then back into downward dog. We stayed in this stretch for a few moments and allowed our breath to work with the stretch, deepening it with each exhale. From there the class was instructed to lunge forward with the left leg to a Warrior 1 poses. I noted that many of my students had Mudras instead of the traditional hand pose. After a few breaths we moved to Warrior 2 and then finished again with Warrior 3.

I next instructed the class to face forward and bring their feet together. The class was instructed to go into a forward bend and then on to their knees. This motion of bending forward can sometime create dizziness, to ensure this did not cause any issues, we sat on our knees, regained our breath and awareness.

The class was instructed to sit tall on their needs and bend back to a Camel pose. I discussed with the class that if this was too difficult for anyone, they an remain in the seated heeling position or take child’s pose here as well. From here the class was instructed to lay on their backs and ascend into the bridge position. With both feet firmly on the ground the class was instructed to lift their pelvis from the mats. After a few breaths I instructed the class to lift their right leg on the inhale, exhale then inhale and then release their leg to the floor on the following exhale. I instructed to keep both feet on the floor and lift their pelvis again into the bridge position. Then we completed the same sequence for the left leg. I then instructed the class to lay in Savasana pose and to ensure that their palms were turned up.

They were instructed to lay there for a few long soothing breaths, then to roll to their sides, and use their hands to gently assist them into a cross legged position. Here in this position, I instructed the class to hold their hands as if they were holding a ball of light, they were instructed to hold this ball for a few breaths above their heads and bring it to their chests and to absorb the energy of this ball. I finished the class with Namaste.

After the class
Immediately after the class I asked everyone how they were feeling. I discussed how they should drink plenty of water to assist with proper hydration after the class. I then told the class that as a thank you I have brought a thermos of hot green tea for us to enjoy if they wanted. The class thanked me for putting together the class and all were interested in the class becoming a weekly event while the weather permits. I discussed with the class that I was available for questions or additional classes. We left the park with a feeling of calmness and a general sense of wellbeing.

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