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March 7, 2018
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March 14, 2018

Positive Vibes Only: Inside the Energetics of Teaching Yoga

Being a good yoga teacher has a lot to do with the energy you emit.

If you’ve ever attended a class with a teacher who’s unfriendly, uncaring, or in a bad mood, this should resonate! It’s the students who suffer when their teacher is unaware of or unmindful of their own negativity.

To teach well, you should ensure  that your energy is positive. Your attitude and aura affect your students and their desire to learn—this requires developing your awareness. With each facial expression, adjustment, and word spoken, you have an opportunity to show your students that you care and make them feel safe and welcome.

Think of this practice as Reiki energy healing: channeling energy for a healing effect. It’s usually used as a “laying of the hands”, in which a Reiki energy healing practitioner hovers their hands over another’s body. This is when a practitioner channels “ki” (life force energy) and transfers it to the recipient.

Whether or not you’ve been attuned by a Reiki teacher, you still have the capacity to transfer positive energy. Giving a hug or speaking kind words to a friend when they’re down are great examples of the transference of energy at work. You can use this technique to send out positive vibes to your yoga students through your voice, touch and attitude. Being mindful of the studio’s energy is equally important.

Studio energetics

Your yoga studio should feel warm and welcoming as well as clean and tidy. If it’s dark and dingy, lighten the atmosphere by burning candles. Fresh flowers, which represent the space element, are uplifting and can truly shift the energy in a room. Fill the space with positive scent by burning some (not too strong) incense, such as palo santo, or spritz the room with lavender.

Make the room a cozy temperature, as well. Feeling cold can make a person more closed and less friendly. Warm up the studio to a slightly warm (and not too hot) temperature before students arrive.

Color energetics

Did you know that every color carries a vibration? 

Your clothing may be emitting an energy that’s either aggressive or gloomy, so dress with care. Sattvic colors include white, gold, blue, and mild shades of green, orange and yellow. These colors are considered peace-promoting and are great for when you are teaching.

Aggressive colors such as red and neons are rajasic; which means they are stimulating and have the tendency to trigger irritability. Colors such as grey, brown, and black can bring stability and balance, but in excess they’re tamasic—resulting in bringing the mind down.

That being said, there may be a time when you want to wear something bright and rajasic to lift your own spirits or that of your students, such as a bright yellow top on a rainy spring day. Or maybe black feels like a good fit for a group that’s experiencing a lot of conflict or drama in their personal lives. 

Voice energetics

Be mindful of your voice—if it’s too loud you may come off as aggressive. If it’s too soft you may appear to lack self-confidence. Find the right volume and speaking clearly, but softly. Your voice has the power to relax your students, so use it to your advantage.

Words carry immense energy. Whenever you speak to your students, use Reiki energy healing through your voice. Channel positivity and share it verbally with your class. Don’t complain about your personal woes—keep all talk uplifting.

Touch energetics

Hands-on adjustments give you an opportunity to make your students feel safe. However, remember to ask permission before touching someone—it can be as simple as “may I help you?” Then keep your hands open and flat, which feels neutral, non-sexual, and non-aggressive.

Let your students know through your touch that you care. Do this by sending them good energy through your hands. If this sounds too woo-woo, think about the energetics of hugging. Have you ever received a hug that’s so warm and genuine that you know that person cares about you? How about a hug from someone with whom you have conflict or doesn’t seem to like you? You can feel their negativity in their touch.

When you adjust your students, back up your touch with positive thoughts. Silently tell them that you care. They’ll feel it through your hands. If you don’t care about them or don’t want to touch them, they’ll feel that too!

Along with these four methods of creating and channeling positive energy, be mindful of your facial expressions and body language. Make eye contact, smile, and keep your arms open and hold yourself with confidence. By sending out positive vibes, your students will receive more from each of your yoga classes.


Deepen your yoga practice and inspire your yoga classes with this e-book about the ancient healing system rooted in the concept of the doshas.

Deepen your yoga practice and inspire your yoga classes with this e-book about the ancient healing system rooted in the concept of the doshas.

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Julie Bernier
Julie Bernier helps women to bring their bodies back into balance, whether they’re struggling with hormonal imbalances, period problems, digestive troubles, skin conditions, anxiety, depression, preparing for or recovering from giving birth, or any other dis-ease. This holistic approach to individualized wellness is rooted in ayurveda: a holistic system of healing from ancient India. Julie is a registered Ayurvedic Practitioner and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) as well as a Certified Massage Therapist. She studied each of these modalities in the US and straight from the source in India. Connect with Julie at or on IG at @juliebernier.