Tips for Teaching Your First Kundalini Yoga Class

Tips for Teaching Your First Kundalini Yoga Class

You have put in your hours, done your 40 plus days of So Darshan, and you've received your Yoga Alliance certificate. Yay! You are a legit teacher of Kundalini Yoga! You do your own daily practice and wouldn't be without it, but oh boy, it's time to teach your first Kundalini Yoga class! Your inner dialogue may sound something like this: Yikes, am I ready? And uh Kundalini Yoga can be so intense at times. Am I ready to inspire people to rise above their limits and catapult themselves into a life well lived? Yes! You! Are! Because Kundalini Yoga is all about what works and there's no time to lose in terms of getting this blessing into the lives of all of those who can benefit so prodigiously from this gift. We have gathered some of our top tips to make your first class as inspiring for you as we know it will be for your lucky students! Read on and teach true!

1. Even though much of Kundalini Yoga does not resemble the forms of fitness people are used to (it's designed to shake things up and break out of the status quo), teach it as if it's the most normal thing in the world. Part of our jobs as Teachers is to educate people and let them know that it's important to move and breathe and think and aspire in new ways so that unprecedented results can occur. We all thought we had it all covered until we discovered Kundalini Yoga. Then we realized that there are levels upon levels in our body, being, and life waiting to be explored and optimized. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it may be a very special Kundalini exercise LOL!

2. Be prepared. Decide beforehand what you're going to teach and give yourself the class before you present it. Also have
a Plan B in your repertoire just in case what you prepared doesn't seem right when you sit in front of your eager students. Whatever you teach, present from a place of your own experience. Make sure you've practiced what you teach.

3. No one expect you to memorize the class you're going to teach. But rather than bring the whole manual (which doesn't really inspire confidence in your students) to class write the exercises on note cards in whatever form of shorthand works for you (stick figures anyone?). Just as actors and politicians glance at cue cards when speaking, you can always glance surreptitiously at your notes when students are meditating or relaxing.

4. Less is more. Don't try to impress your students by giving them something super-complicated or obscure. Often the simplest things are the most profound. For beginning students even long deep breathing and relaxing on their back will be complete revelations. One common mistake that Teachers make is to talk incessantly. They feel the need to provide all of the information they feel students should know. The fact is that students can only absorb that information over time as it coincides with their own experience. We always leave lots of space for students to experience the experience.We generally give one or two alignment tips per exercise and one inspiration tip. Also before or after each exercise we like to explain some of the benefits. After all, students deserve to know why they're being asked to pump out those Frogs!

5. A great way to get comfortable teaching your first class is to practice teaching a group of friends, or family, or even your pets. Pet not having it? Teach your plants! They tend to be a very captive audience. Don't assume that you're going to know how to explain certain things until you've tried them in front of people / animals / plants / or the mirror. Once a student in one of our Trainings was practice teaching and when it came time to end an exercise he realized he had no idea how to end so he just yelled, "Halt!" Each exercise should have a clear beginning and end. For instance, first explain how to do the exercise and then say "and begin." To end you can say, "Inhale deeply, and relax.

6. Be present and deliberate when you teach. If you don't get ahead of yourself you'll always do okay. Whenever the pressure is on, slow down. One instruction at a time. One exercise at a time. If you find yourself giving a class and don't know what to say or do next don't panic. It's okay to observe a moment of silence to gather your thoughts. If you're truly tongue-tied say Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo to yourself and the answer/information will come. When something pops into your head as you're giving class don't be afraid to say it. It's probably the Universe talking to you and through you!

7. When each of us were first teaching one thing we were most concerned about was vocalizing Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. The thought of essentially singing in front of people was terrifying to us (now it's a walk in the park). When you chant Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo to start class, one thing that helps is to make your sound very nasal. This is accomplished by keeping your back molars together. This nasal quality can cut through all the disparate keys that people will put forth. In this way, the group can entrain on one even tone. That said, there's no need to fight the group to try to make your tone the predominant one. Just listen to which tone the group tends to be forming on and go with that. It always works out although sometimes the initial Ong Namo's will sound like feeding time at the zoo! If that happens don't worry. Just proceed as if it were a heavenly choir.

8. Remember, it's not about you it's about them. As Teachers of Kundalini Yoga we are conscious conduits. Our job is to make ourselves pure channels and find ways to get in front of people (the Universe will help with this) and then chant Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo and step out of the way. Remember it's not the (your name here) show. The best Teachers are simply facilitators and cosmic cheerleaders for the drama of their students' unfolding.

9. Most important: Relax and have fun! If you are enjoying yourself your students will enjoy the experience as well. You can imagine you are hosting a group of favorite friends and family in your living room and that all are there to support each other on this beautiful path.

10. Remember why you are in front of the class. You are there because you love Kundalini Yoga, you know what it can do, and have a great need to share it. As you're teaching consider how this amazing technology has helped you and pay it forward with an attitude of gratitude.

11. Feel confident. Don't think you have to give a "perfect class." No one gives a perfect class. Just do your best to be punctual and powerful in your own way. Don't doubt yourself and you will be great!

12. Remember that a Spiritual Teacher is the highest human destiny. Could that possibly be you? Do you meet many people who are suffering from emotional and physical challenges? Very often the Universe puts people in our path because we have the ability to give them the tools for a fresh start and a new trajectory. Are opportunities to teach coming your way?
Be assured that the Universe knows what it's doing (even if you feel you don't) and has put you in a position to be a deliver of miracles for many. When you teach a Kundalini Yoga class it's high drama. Souls, seen and unseen have congregated across
light years and space, time and timelessness, to enact this drama. And you have a starring role! Rock it and rocket!

13. But.. wait....what if I feel I am just not ready? If you know one technique that you are excited about because it has worked for you, you are ready!