Readings: Experts Recommend Themed Classes

Linking Mind & Body

When my mind is held to a focus (for example, releasing blame), as my body receives the impression of a movement (for example, opening my chest/heart), both my mind’s focus and my body’s movement become imprints, established as possibilities in my being. Blame be gone! Turns out that using themes in our classes, when well-wrought and coming from our own experience, are indeed truly helpful and healing. – Elena Brower

Worth the Challenge

Teaching asana is often straightforward. You can memorize some great class sequences… But a theme is trickier to illuminate because the theme comes from the heart, the authentic you. Nobody ever came up to me after class and said, “Wow, touching my toes today changed my life.” Nobody. Not once. But I do hear this on occasion: “I really needed to hear your message today.” – Michelle Berman Marchildon

Wisdom & Inspiration for Hungry Students

There is a way to offer some spiritual wisdom and inspiration to hungry students… I feel that the juiciest themes come from one’s own personal experiences. That said, we need to be cautious about turning our classes into therapy sessions. Students do not appreciate or learn from having to listen to us vent or share our problems all the time. Take some time to ponder whatever is happening in your life and then see if you can find the lessons that Life is asking you to learn from that experience. Study the teachings of great ones such as the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, Byron Katie, Maya Angelou, Jack Kornfield and Eckhart Tolle. Their wisdom is offered in a way that is succinct, timeless and powerful. – Desiree Rumbaugh

Bring Inspiration Into Your Class

Following what you love and are passionate about can be a good way of bringing inspiration into your yoga practice. I have immersed myself in studying the Zodiac Wheel, and it is from this that inspiration for the Zodiac yoga practices has emerged. For you, it might be; gardening, or love, the Bible, poetry, herbalism, mythology, or politics, that lights your fire and stimulates your creative juices. Immersing yourself in what you love becomes a form of meditation. This creates a state of focus and absorption; whilst in this state you will find yourself more open to suggestion (perhaps from the ether), or from your own subconscious wisdom. What follows can be magic! – Jilly Shipway

The Value of Your Uniqueness

Not only do yoga teachers compete with each other, but we also compete with however a person chooses to spend their one free hour of their day. The one completely unique aspect to your yoga class is how you inspire your students and the passion you bring to the moment. The number one way to be authentic in your teaching is through your themes. You are the only you. Nobody can teach your theme exactly like you. – Michelle Berman Marchildon