As a modern day yoga teacher, class attendance is not only about making an impression on your students, it's about the connection that a teacher sparks with their students primarily stems from trust. If a student trusts their teacher, a genuine bond forms, drawing them to your classes.
Of course, there are supplementary components such as cadence, music, style, and message that come into play, but the forefront of all of these classrooms and teaching aspects lies the faith that a student has within a teacher. While the majority of the work on the mat comes from when you dive deep within, the true success behind this internal journey stems from an open heart.
Sometimes this student and teacher dynamic carries on through a previous relationship or outside affiliation. For those new students, there are several tips for engagement when it comes to building this everlasting student and teacher connection.
The more personable you are with your students, the more likely they are to remember you and embark on the yoga journey with you. As in any interaction, eye contact is important. This shows students that they have your full attention and engagement in this primitive interaction. Another key aspect in creating a memorable connection with your students is addressing them by their first name.
Whether it is a student and teacher or any two people interacting, addressing someone by their first name makes them feel important. Memory is not necessarily a universal characteristic of general human makeup. For some, remembering the names of others is actually a quite difficult task. In which case, as a teacher, if you tackle a students name and come out successful chances are you’ve already begun igniting the flames of trust within.
No matter the size of your classroom or number of students in attendance, as a teacher you already hold precedence over the room. Respectively, if the teacher knows their students names you’ve already made them feel special, even if they over hear you engaging with others in the same fashion.
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Another tip for intercommunication between teacher and student is asking your students if there is any information they would like to share with you as their teacher. This might include previous injuries, current conditions, or any other necessary knowledge linking you as the teacher directly to the student's individual practice. From personal inquiry outside of the classroom to movement on the mat, the more data collection the better equip you are in guiding your students toward success.
Now this may possess different meaning for each student in the room however, each unique light adds brightness to the overall purpose. Even those walking the yogic path, as humans you tend to think in terms of yourself. Therefore, if a student feels this fundamental genuine energy from the teacher, they are already well on their way to becoming a confiding member of your pack.
Despite the fact that you are the one in front of the room, you are always in a position to learn. Whether you learn from yourself as your own student to the ever present teacher within or from your physical students in the room. This mentality blends humility and leadership together adding a more relatable quality to you as a teacher with your students.
This expression to yourself of being in a student’s shoes also makes your teaching approach and overall delivery honest. When you come from the place of empathetic experience, others are more likely to trust and open up to you. This may also lead to your students reaching new heights on their own during their own personal practice. Not that this is necessarily the goal or the desired outcome, but if a student feels challenged by your class they may be more inclined to return.
Another exclusive component that may set you apart from your average yoga teacher or whoever is teaching right next door to you. Not that teaching is a competition with class numbers in the limelight, but sometimes it’s that one small touch that makes a world of difference for that one student. That one student can multiply into two, three, four, and before you know it your class following sky rockets.
Coming full circle, the center of this student and teacher dynamic centers around trust. Sometimes this is not always something attainable on the surface. This is why, there are several components that create this relationship between a student and their teacher.
Taking the time to engage with your students before or after class adds a personal touch. This then attracts lifelong students as opposed to the temporary ones. While there are those students that will instantly connect with you, adding these specialty touches may draw more to your classes.
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