As a yoga instructor, what intention(s) have you set for yourself?
Here is what we’ve heard from some of you:
- Establish a solid reputation amongst your peers and students
- Develop a relationship of trust between you and your students
- Enhance your visibility in the yoga community
- Increase your class size
- Encourage greater student retention
- Provide a positive and mindful class experience
- Provide safe instruction and ensure your students avoid injury
- Offer quality information, education, and feedback to your students
- Discover what makes you unique, as a teacher, and develop your niche
My intention, in designing the Gurugrid, was to help any yoga teacher, practitioner, and student get the most out of their yoga practice.
If you are open to expanding on your teaching skills by using the Gurugrid's alignment system, please take a few minutes to read on – you may find something that resonates with you.
1. TURN SUBJECTIVE CUES INTO OBJECTIVE CUES
Each student interprets information differently. Some have a hard time distinguishing between right and left, others have better spatial awareness than others, and let’s face it, some of us are just not great listeners. The Gurugrid gives you the opportunity to quantify what can sometimes be received as vague directions.
- “Align your feet” becomes a clear instruction with the Gurugrid’s midline
- “Place your hands shoulder-width apart / feet hip-width apart” are easy points to establish, find, and repeat
- “Place your feet 4’ apart” becomes crystal clear – each foot goes at a 4 on either end of the mat. (The 4s are 4’ apart, 3s are 3’ apart, etc.)
2. ATTRACT NEW STUDENTS AND BEGINNERS TO YOUR CLASS
If growing your class is one of your intentions, promoting an introductory class by allowing new students to use the Gurugrid in their first class is a great way to encourage them when taking this first step.
- Before the first class, show students how to find and establish their shoulder-width, hip-width, 4’ and 3’ distance, and midline on their mat
- They will feel less overwhelmed and more focussed when they are confident that their on-mat placement is correct
- New students will learn quickly and catch up to the rest of the class faster
3. IMPROVE RETENTION FOR FIRST-TIMERS AND BEGINNERS
3 reasons beginners don't continue after their first class are; fear, anxiety, and intimidation. They are bombarded with a lot of new information in an unfamiliar environment and, unfortunately, you don't have the luxury of doing what amounts to an intro workshop.
- Their Gurugrid gives your new students a chance to have their own little piece of familiar territory
- With the spacial reference clearly before them, set up, transition time, and corrections take less of their attention as students have the reference points to guide them quickly and efficiently for their "on-mat" placement
- When new students feel confident that their "on-mat" or "base" positioning is correct, they can put their attention into learning the "above-mat" element of their poses
4. IMPROVE SAFETY FOR YOUR STUDENTS
A study posted in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine in November 2016 shows that yoga injuries have been rising since 2001, especially among older adults. With new students starting yoga at an increasing rate, safety is more important than ever before.
- Help prevent acute injuries like a fall, or muscle tear/strain due to improper positioning or lack of attention or focus
- Help prevent chronic injuries due to repetitive incorrect positioning (like arms placed too wide in Chaturanga or feet too close in Warrior)
5. DEEPEN YOUR OWN PRACTICE
I have to admit - getting comments from life-long teachers about how the Gurugrid has helped them learn or achieve new things gives me a little thrill. Check out some testimonials here.
- Uncover abilities you never knew you had. (I heard from one teacher that she couldn’t do forearm stand until she started using the Gurugrid.)
- Discover new things about your own body by using the Mirror Image system of the Gurugrid
6. EXPAND, EVOLVE, AND DEEPEN YOUR TEACHING TECHNIQUE
The evolution of your own practice + learning from your diverse group of students = a huge opportunity to go beyond the asanas and class structure into what makes you truly unique as a teacher helps you develop a niche for yourself.
- As your class demographic and societal habits change, responding and adjusting to this dynamic environment gives you an edge as a teacher
“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be."
- B.K.S. Iyengar
7. PROVIDE PERSONALIZED FEEDBACK
The symmetrical grid provides the perfect opportunity to see how the human body functions within the parameters of the Gurugrid and allows you to easily gather valuable information for you and your students.
- When their limbs are placed in a symmetrical position on the mat, it's really easy to detect imbalances in your students’ torsos
- Offer feedback to your students either to make them aware and adjust while in the pose or to follow up on with a doctor or physiotherapist. This can be a huge asset to you as a yoga teacher.
- Everyone needs to feel that they are seen - when our teachers are sincerely paying attention to us, it just feels good and strengthens our bond.
8. IMPROVE EFFICIENCY DURING CLASS
You have invested a lot of time, energy, travel, and money in your career as a yoga instructor. Walking across the room to move your students' hands or feet a few inches is not the best use of your skills. Use the limited amount of time and energy in each class to give your best to your students and get their best in return.
- Give more adjustments and fewer corrections
- By using verbal rather than physical cues, you can address more students in less time
- Corrections and cueing become faster, easier, and clearer - especially for complex poses that have several "on-mat" contact points
- You will have more time to physically demonstrate the asanas
- Use that extra time and energy to teach the deeper aspects of yoga such as body alignment, Mula Bandha/pelvic floor, breathing, balance, focus and mindfulness
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found something of value to use in your practice.
Heather :) xo
P.S. We have special pricing for teachers. Click here to see the mats. :)
© Yoga Gurugrid Inc. and www.thegurugrid.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Yoga Gurugrid Inc. and www.thegurugrid.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.