How to Teach Vinyasa Flow Yoga

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Teaching Vinyasa flow yoga takes creativity, a flare for sequencing and the ability to help connect students' breath and movement. Vinyasa flow differs from other styles of yoga in that is it really like a dance and you are the choreographer. In addition to creating the class from start to finish, you must be comfortable being up in front of the room and must be ready to walk, talk and give students adjustments—all while maintaining the flow of the class.

Things You'll Need

  • Yoga mat
  • Music
  • Flesh out your class on paper before you show up to teach. Decide what you will work on. Will you have a key pose? A theme? Or will you work on a well-rounded class, one that includes balances, backbends, twists and other types of poses? You may choose to write the class out step by step, and use it as a "cheat sheet" while your students are in downward-facing dog or child's pose and can't see you looking.

  • Pick the right music. In Vinyasa flow, the class builds from slow movements to fast ones. Start by using gentle, calming music and then use music with increased tempo as the pace of the class builds. Many students love traditional yoga music (like Krishna Das or Wah!), but others enjoy contemporary music. Including newer artists like Moby, Coldplay or U2 can make your class fun and exciting. Use an iPod to make different yoga playlists.

  • Have the class begin seated and start with a short reading or meditation, if you choose. From there, move into gentle seated twists and poses on all fours. Then, take class into their first downward-facing dog. Guide the class through externally rotated poses such as warrior II and triangle; interally rotated poses such as warrior I and warrior III; balancing poses, backbends, hip openers, core work, and finally, poses done lying down.

  • Stop and give each student personal attention during the class. Students need to be corrected and adjusted, so keep your eye out for students not doing a pose correctly. Remember: Most injuries happen during transitions. You always want to keep your students safe.

  • During savasana (final relaxation), you may choose to go around the room and give each student a gentle shoulder adjustment or use calming essential oil on their temples. Be sure to ask students before you start going around the room if they would like to be skipped.

Tips & Warnings

  • Change your class up from time to time to keep students coming back and bringing friends. Continue to inspire yourself by taking classes as a student on your own and seeing what other teachers are doing.

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  • Photo Credit PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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