Planning ahead for a yoga class characterizes the smart, experienced instructor although some teachers don’t realize they should come to class armed with a plan. Those who teach in an intimate yoga studio setting and are familiar with their students and those students’ needs can develop a yoga lesson plan with thorough attention to detail and practitioner needs. On the other hand, many yoga instructors who teach large classes with ever-changing rosters protest that planning for their classes can be really difficult.

The truth is that no teacher can foresee the needs of every student or session, so the inability to do so is not an excuse to for-go the lesson plan. In fact, developing a lesson plan may make an instructor better at modifying in-class activities for a number of reasons. First, having a plan already laid out means a clearer picture of theme or class emphasis. Second, have a series worked out ahead of time means less mental juggling in-class, which should make modifications easier to adapt to. Third, planning ahead encourages the instructor to consider audience, length, experience, and foreseeable needs so that mid-class changes to the series occur less often.

Six Tips for Developing a Lesson Plan

1. Consider audience. Who are your students? Do you know them? If so, consider their age, experience, and physical needs such as injuries. If not, what have previous classes at this venue prepared you for?

2. Consider time of day. Afternoon and evening classes tend to feature adults who are tired or stressed whereas morning classes can be more invigorating. Can you insert more meditation and relaxation poses into your afternoon session?

3. Consider emphasis. Each yoga class should have a clear purpose. If you know your students, consider their needs. What do they know or not know about yoga? If you don’t know your students, can you anticipate, based on class advertisement, what they’ll be looking for?

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