Clarity: Deliver Instructions Clearly: Beginners: Clarity

While clarity of instruction is a hallmark of excellent teaching, it is particularly vital with beginners.

Minimize Number of Instructions

  • Consider keeping the number of cues per pose to three.
  • Only add more teachings when you see that the previous instructions have been integrated.
  • Use Verbal Cues page within Asana Digests to choose or refine your cues.

Making a Point in a Different Way

  • If you see that students aren’t “getting” a teaching, you need to make a choice about how you’re going to proceed.
  • You might consider many different ways of making a point that isn’t being understood. Does it seem a more literal description is needed or would a metaphorical, feeling-oriented cue be called for here? Do you know different verbal cues that might work better? Do you want to back up to the last point and re-enter the posture again more slowly? Would a demonstration of “not this but this” be helpful?
  • While there are many possible considerations, you need to make one decision and teach that. Do not offer an array of choices. (See below.)

Autonomy is Different from Teaching Choices

  • Be sure that students know how to pay attention to their experience and how they can respond appropriately to meet their particular needs. This is foundational to promoting student safety and beginners will need periodical reminders of how to do this. (See more: Student autonomy.)
  • However, giving students autonomy over their body does not imply that teachers toss out multiple suggestions for students to choose from. With beginners that will only cause confusion. They do not have the experience or yoga knowledge to be able make choices on-the-fly.
  • Give precise and simple teaching cues. Begin with an accessible version that all or most students can safely practice. From this point, instruct any next steps with clear guidance for when to stay in the current version or under what conditions a prop should be used, for example.