10 New Year's Intentions For Yoga Teaching

I'd never be so presumptuous to suggest intentions for the New Year for anyone but myself. But as I share my thoughts through articles, sometimes ideas get passed on to others. Maybe you'll find some of these ideas resonate with you.

I hesitate to use the word “resolution,” because it’s overused and wrought with pressure. Putting pressure on yourself is the worst thing you can do as a yoga teacher, while the best thing you can do is to BE YOURSELF. I prefer the word “intention” because it’s softer and suggests a bit more of a mindful approach to making change.

So, with that in mind, here are 10 intentions for yoga teaching in the coming year:

1. I intend to be present while teaching.

2. I intend to welcome all students to my classes, both in my words and actions.

3. I intend to let go of presumptions about how the pose should look and support students in the pose they’re in right now.

4. I intend to speak from the heart.

5. I intend to listen closely when students speak.

6. I intend to watch closely how my words land in the students’ bodies.

7. I intend to support students with modifications, time for rest, adjustments and positive coaching.

8. I intend to put thought into the sequences I offer rather than teaching just from memory, what comes easy and imitation.

9. I intend to try new things even if I’m unsure how they will be received.

10. I intend to be myself, rather than mimic, imitate or try to be like anyone else.

Setting intentions for teaching can bring new life to something we have done for a while, can help us focus if we’re just starting out and can also help us cut through the noise to what is essential for us to do. We need to do this regularly, not just when a new year begins and keep challenging ourselves to stay real, honest and truthful in all that we do.

I wish you the best in the year ahead both on and off the yoga mat.

Happy New Year and Namaste!

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