Ten ways for yoga teachers to express themselves more clearly

As yoga teachers, our most powerful tools of our trade are VOICE and LANGUAGE!  Enjoy these 10 tips on how to express yourself more clearly, regardless of how long you've been teaching!

1.  Be friendly. Yoga teachers who communicate with a friendly tone and warm smile have that special ingredient that seems to attract people to their classes like bees to honey.  Human beings are subconsciously drawn to people who are friendly because they make us feel good and bring more enjoyment to our lives.  People come to yoga classes to feel uplifted rather than chastised or spoken down to.  Keep the uplifting vibe by being warm, friendly, welcoming and accepting.

2.  Plan what you’re going to say.  The world’s greatest orators and speakers always plan their speeches in advance.  As a yoga teacher, it’s helpful to think about your language cues and write them down.  Obviously you’re not going to stand in front of your class and read your cues, but it will help you feel more prepared.  

3.  Don’t talk too much. As teachers it can feel like we’ve got so much information to get out in such a short amount of time.  There’s a fine balance between talking too much and talking too little. Pausing from time to time gives your students a chance to better integrate what you’re teaching them, and gives them some welcome space to really enjoy their practice.

4.  Be your authentic self. Your students will be turned off if you feel the need to put on a show when teaching yoga. Most people are attracted to someone who speaks from the heart and is genuine, transparent, and real. Don’t be afraid to let your true personality shine, especially when backed up by a genuine love for the practice of yoga and a desire to help people.

5. Practice humility. Humility is one of the most attractive personality traits a human being can possess, and is an essential quality for a yoga teacher. A humble yoga teacher keeps their attention on their students and the practice rather than on themselves, and speaks with modesty and genuine respect for others.

6.  Speak with confidence.  Confidence is a self-assurance arising from an appreciation and acceptance of one’s abilities.  Be confident in what you know, without being arrogant. Speaking with confidence means being conscious of the impact of your words, the tone of your voice, your eye contact, and body language.

7.  Cultivate positive body language. When teaching yoga (just like any face-to-face communication) your body language can play as significant of a role in the message you communicate as the words you speak. Your body language communicates connection and energy, and puts real meaning behind your words. Speak with your whole body!

8. Use essential language. As a yoga teacher, it can be very easy to ramble and waffle … constantly ask yourself, “How can I say what needs to be said using the fewest number of words possible - in fact, just the essentials - while still being clear, informative and respectful?”

9. Learn the art of listening. Yoga teachers who cultivate the skills of attentive listening learn so much from their students.  Be curious and sincerely interested in each of your students, even though much of the time they are speaking with their bodies rather than with actual words. You’ll most likely learn more from your students than from any yoga teacher training manual!

10. Learn how to use your voice effectively.  Learn the tricks of the trade that many presenters, professional speakers and actors use ... pitch, tone, volume, and voice modulation.  Cultivate a conversational tone that is warm, friendly and encouraging. 

Join our next LANGUAGE, THEMING & PHILOSOPHY 50-hour Teacher Training and refine your skills around language and expression!