Teaching Yoga – Preparing a Class (my beginner’s view)

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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

teaching yoga – preparing a class (my beginner’s view)



Site Areas

Fitness ** Arts ** eBooks


geez, where to start?

and that’s the crux of it at this stage of my yoga teaching career 😉

Adan Lerma
Adan Lerma

i’m overwhelmed with offerings from my mind, my readings, my experiments, and my focus on those usually in my classes

so it’s both a question of what i’ll focus on, and how i’ll present it to the folks in my classes

The What

if there’s a challenge in this area, and there is 😉  it’s choosing from the volume of such interesting things to do and learn about

i suppose, if i was content enough, with simple passes through poses, watching the students for alignments and exertion levels, and otherwise letting them explore themselves experiencing being in-process, then varying the sequence routine would be sufficient

and there is a depth to give and gain from that focus

i just don’t want that to be my class “routine”

my wife and i both have studied and become certified in fitness fields because we love the types of exercises we do, they’re fun and good for us [1]

my goal is to impart both the feeling and knowledge of what we experience

not doing so is not why i would want to teach to begin with 😉


Tomatoes in Poses
Tomatoes in Poses

so what are some of these things that interest me so much i feel the need and desire to incorporate them into each class?

* “safe & effective” as priorities

* exploratory experience of a pose, with a starting point of physical alignment with encouragement for recognizing our personal starting points and limitations

* fitness tips and basic info re physiology, ways of learning (visual, audible, kinetic), contra-indications, cross-training, recovery, music, home practice, etc – spread out over a wide range of classes

* similarities and contrasts of yoga to dance and resistance training and jogging among types of exertion (aerobic, flexibility, strength & endurance)

* asana tips from people like ray long and paul grilley and jill miller among many [2]

* great dvd info from stronger seniors, jazzercise, zumba, denise austin, etc

* the experience of having fun and being kind and gentle and forgiving to oneself

* yet disciplining oneself

* breathing technique benefits, fitness benefits, group exercise benefits, home practice benefits

* the process of integrating and choosing and merging among all these wonderful things life has to offer us


so i find myself wanting to also share all this in writing too

and i have blog posts in progress on asanas, my recent silversneakers yoga instructor workshop, and so much more

but i also need and want to prepare my next classes as thoroughly as i know i will enjoy presenting and sharing it – which leads to how i will do this

The How

this, i think, is shorter to answer, yet will be much longer in the doing 😉

why shorter?

because half the answer isn’t available until i see who is in front of me

mark stephens, in his book, “teaching yoga” refers to this frequently, including with a sub-chapter entitled, “teaching who is in front of you” – i agree!

the other half of the answer is what i bring to class any given moment

yes, the how is, like the what, a process – just longer

with a roadmap slowly revealed 😉

The Why

maybe the best way to answer this right now, is to show why i want to integrate yoga and fitness, which is my “mission” statement for my blog 😉

and the cleanest way to do that currently, is to point you to a cute article on yoga journal i saw today, “5 signs you might yoga too seriously” –

i’ve posted my response-comment, to the article, below :


wow, i must be totally opposite 😉

i feel the almost exact opposite of each of those!

# 1, i think it’s funny when i or one of my students falls out of any pose, otherwise where’s the playfulness in all this?

# 2, as far as pronunciations in sanskrit, i grew up where most the people can’t pronounce fajita correctly, i’m sure not gonna get bent up if/when i or anyone else chops up any other language, including sanskrit

# 3, i LOVE fitness yoga, my whole blog is dedicated to integrating what is artificially separated, isn’t that part of yoga-oneness?

ok, # 4 does apply to me at times, but now that i teach, not so much a problem 😉

# 5, cheat on yoga? geez 😉 hey, i don’t want to cheat on the fullness of life!

so if i’m (almost) a total opposite, does that mean i’m “bad” yoga-adan?

no 😉 i don’t think so!

namaste – con dios – god be with you


the article itself is well worth the read 😉

Closing Thoughts

so, on one hand, at least it’s not a question of what can i teach (not enough material) but rather, what will i teach (so much to choose from) –

the “how” of course, will be an integration of my preparation and paying attention, in class 😉

so i guess i better get myself back to doing that, right now 😉



[1] sheila and i are both AFAA group fitness certified, zumba licensed, silversneakers certified

[2] an example of why this is important is my response-comment to “my yoga online

“How much of an impact does anatomical knowledge have on your yoga practice?” – well 😉

how much of an impact does knowing the boundaries to your body have when you’re a baby?

defines where, as incarnated souls, we begin, where others are, and that there is a space inbetween us…what “is” that space

is it any accident there’s a happy baby pose in yoga? 😉

and then’s there’s all that adult stuff! – groin this…hip that…breath again how?

the question then, really, is, how much of an impact does anatomical knowledge “not” have? and how much are we missing when we “don’t” know?

well, bet a set of those mat companion books from ray long might tell me 😉



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