top of page

Crafting Confidence: Enhancing Teaching Skills Through Recalling Yoga Class Sequences


Confidence, or the lack of it. Do you struggle in this area?

Confidence may seem like a trait that you either have or don’t have, however, you can develop this area of your belief system. For yoga teachers, true confidence begins in knowing what you’re teaching and why you’re teaching it. Yoga teacher trainings are designed to equip you with the tools and skills you will need to organize, plan, and implement a class structure to lead others effectively through the asana piece of the yoga practice while threading the deeper teachings of yoga throughout. There is a thoughtful intelligence required when it comes to sequencing along with therapeutic movement principles woven into the understanding that culminates in leading others through a successful and optimal experience in and out of the various yoga pose shapes.

What I’ve come to realize is that at the root of the dilemma of lack of confidence, which can often paralyze and stifle the growth and development of teachers, is that there is a disconnect in understanding exactly what they are teaching. - Sandy Raper

You see, for many teachers that I have engaged with over my twenty-plus years of teaching, I have repeatedly heard that there wasn’t a solid foundation built upon understanding the organizational structure and purpose behind how to skillfully sequence classes. Many have been given a class script to memorize but the deeper meaning to back the organization is lacking which leads to a shaky foundation upon which some teachers are trying to teach.


Many yoga teacher training programs focus solely on sequencing as choreography, neglecting to provide trainees with a structured approach and teaching methodology that offers foundational understanding and flexibility to adapt to the needs of various students. When this vital aspect is missing, trainees often rely on memorization rather than active recall in crafting confidence within sequencing impactful yoga class experiences. This lack of confidence hinders teacher's ability to absorb the deeper benefits of yoga postures when linked together in a harmonious structure, which should ideally lead to an experience of one-pointed awareness and focus for both teachers and students.


Without strategies for learning and transferring information to others in a way that doesn't hinder teachers' ability to fully engage in the class experience, teachers remain stuck in a mental space of reciting their class script and plan, while missing what's happening right in front of them.


In this blog, I want to share three strategies that will support the development of recall and memory skills and empower you to move beyond simply reciting poses and rote cues. The information below aims to help you become a confident yoga teacher who leads classes crafted from a deep understanding of relational awareness and engagement, while also effectively managing the technical aspects. This approach will ultimately foster the quiet confidence needed to hold space for others to explore in a yoga class


 

3 Strategies for Crafting Confidence Through Recall and Memory Skills:


 


1. Understand your learning style.


Understanding your particular learning style is a key element in developing an effective recall and memory strategy. It's important to note that by identifying your learning style, you will serve your students and better facilitate the yoga class experience recognizing that students will also have diverse learning styles within the practice setting. Incorporating and blending different options for students to explore and learn during the class experience will enhance the development and sustainability of their yoga practice.


There is also the consideration of understanding better how people receive and process information. Cueing plays a crucial role in this aspect of learning. While it's important to spend time perfecting what we want to say, we must also seek to understand what students might hear from us through the choice of cues and language used. I want to highlight four main learning styles: visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic - the hands-on experiential aspect.


When learning and processing new information, you may use a blend of the four styles just listed. Blending the styles will also provide a greater opportunity for information to become stored in your long-term memory, which then becomes more readily accessible for the moments of recall needed as you lead the class sequence you've prepared.

While it's important to spend time perfecting what we want to say, we must also seek to understand what students might hear from us through the choice of cues and language used. - Sandy Raper
 

2. Create Associations


We all have our natural processing style – our unique set of strengths and natural approaches to learning and developing our skills. The more you identify and use these strengths, the better your memory will become. Once you've identified your distinct learning style, which could incorporate more than one of those mentioned above, you can then begin to enhance your memory and recall by creating associations within the various groupings of yoga poses in your class sequence. The more associations you make, the stronger links you create in your brain. These associations will quickly become mental markers, or breadcrumbs, to follow, guiding you through the culmination of the entire class experience that you desire to recall.


Our brains are natural pattern seekers. Your brain will find it easier to recall information if you make associations or connections between ideas. These associations create a structure of knowledge for information, which contributes to your ability to recall more easily and draw from past experiences. The more you develop and use this skill, the more readily the information will become retrievable.


3. Spaced Repetition and Active Recall


Finally, while these terms are often interchangeable, spaced repetition and active recall aren’t the same thing. These two methods are often used together, however, as complementary learning techniques. Spaced repetition is a valuable learning tool that can enhance your ability to recall the yoga posture sequences you assemble for your classes. As the name suggests, employing spaced repetition at intervals enhances and reinforces your recall skillset. Active recall is a learning technique involving actively retrieving information from memory rather than a mere review. This technique is grounded in the idea that recalling information reinforces neural pathways associated with it, thereby facilitating knowledge retention.


Active recall can be achieved through various methods, including the use of flashcards, which I have found highly effective in the 200-hour yoga teacher training that I lead. It's worth noting that timing plays a crucial role in enhancing recall with this strategy. Not only should you implement spaced repetition within the structure of your class—repeating the same mini-sequence more than once—but you should also incorporate it into your preparation for teaching. This allows you to better understand how the sequence integrates into the practice experience before sharing it with others


When it comes to sequencing recall, before you introduce and lead a new sequence within a class setting, spend time on your own practicing the sequence. By using repetition, integration, and application techniques during your preparation time you can enhance the connections between the previous information and the new information you're learning. The next step is to begin teaching what you need to learn.


Research on the science of forgetting suggests that regular review of information is important to store that information in your long-term memory for later retrieval. Implementing space repetition helps you recall and retain a vast amount of information for the long term. The critical insight here is that spaced repetition will help you engrain information into your long-term memory. Incorporating this strategy within your sequencing plan will also aid students in the enhancement of their recall and memory skills.


Lastly, from my experience practicing and teaching yoga, I've found great success in approaching each class as an opportunity to enhance my focus within a one-pointed awareness. I continue to enhance my teaching skillset through the act of teaching, while also approaching sequencing with simplicity by teaching what I need to learn along the way. This approach has allowed me to experience a deeper connection and understanding of the various facets of the yoga practice I teach, enabling me to share and lead from a place that supports others in their pursuit and discovery of what yoga means to them.


 




About the author:

Sandy Raper is an E-RYT 500, RYS, YACEP, Yoga Medicine® Therapeutic Specialist, author, and host of her globally recognized Beyond Yoga Teacher Training Podcast.


She has been a respected yoga teacher and mentor for over twenty years dedicating to the ongoing pursuit of educating others on movement literacy within the yoga practice. Sandy seeks to equip yoga teachers with the resources they need to be successful and highly effective in teaching yoga.


Within the Beyond Yoga Teacher Training Programs, Sandy offers a variety of resources to support the ongoing growth and development of yoga teachers through foundational teacher training, online courses, and mentorship. Sandy's much anticipated first book, Teaching from the Heart, is due to release in early 2024.


Find all of these resources and more: www.sandyraper.com 


 

Catch the latest episode on the Beyond Yoga Teacher Training Podcast:


 

45 views

Comentarios


bottom of page