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Teaching Yoga: Creating a Signature Experience
As a yoga teacher, one way that you can make your classes and teaching standout is by creating a signature experience. Finding that one special thing you can add to your classes can help set you apart and build student loyalty and class sizes.
What type of experience you offer as your signature is dependent on your passions, what you do well and what you would like students to remember.
Here are some things to consider when creating your own signature experience. These can help guide you to figure out what fits your personality and the interests of your student base.
Teach Your Passion in Your Yoga Class
Sprinkling yoga philosophy into your teaching
A particular kind of music or ambient sound(s)
Thoughtful hands-on adjustments
A really great guided relaxation
A more extensive Savasana
A restorative pose at the beginning and/or end of class
Playing a musical instrument
Chanting and/or mantras
People enjoy experiencing what it is you are passionate about doing. Do what resonates most strongly with you and something you love about being a yoga teacher. It is important to find something that is authentically right for you. That is what people come to your classes for your passion and authenticity.
Align Your Signature Experience with Your Yoga Students
Note that there are quite a few people with fragrance sensitivities. If your signature experience is going to be using aromatherapy in your class, please check with students prior to the beginning of class. You can use verbiage something like this, “I use aromatherapy in my classes. Please let me know if you have any sensitivities.” It is a good idea to get feedback not just from students, but check in with the studio and be sure that using fragrances is within their guidelines.
If you’re going to make physical adjustments a part of your signature experience, you will also want to get consent from the students and the studio. If you teach in a studio that isn’t in favor of students being adjusted, you need to know that. Do a little research and get feedback prior to offering this as your experience.
With any signature experience, try it out before offering it publicly. You can receive feedback on what works well or discover areas where you might need to do a bit of tweaking.
With creating a signature experience, consistency is important because it needs to be something that you do all of the time or it won’t have as much impact.
This is an easy and fairly quick way to upgrade your class experience to make it just a little bit more indulgent and relaxing.
Want more helpful teaching tips from writer Emily Hardeman? Read 10 Tips for New Yoga Teachers.
Study online with Dr. Baxter Bell and YogaUOnline: Yoga for Healthy Aging - Curbing Inflammation to Prevent Chronic Disease.
Reprinted with permission from Emily Hardeman
Emily is passionate about yoga, anatomy, and sustainable movement. She is a yoga teacher, IAYT certified yoga therapist, and massage therapist. Emily has created both a 200 and 300-hour yoga teacher training program focused on therapeutics and a solid understanding of how yoga asanas can be adapted to fit anyone's needs. She also has written CE trainings to help teachers fill in the gaps after graduating from Yoga teacher training and their real-world experiences. Her belief is that Yoga is not just for skinny, flexible people. Yoga is for everyone regardless of size, age, and health. One of her goals is to help yoga and movement teachers gain high-level training and education so they can in-turn change the world through yoga. She has over 2500 hour of training and well over 4000 hours of teaching experience. Her teaching has ranged from working with professional athletes to those confined to chairs.