Recording Audios: Teach Yoga With A Poet’s Heart

Teaching yoga with a poet’s heart is one of the best ways to increase the number of downloads you get.

Here’s how…

Step 1
Learn

Here are 101 ways to teach yoga with a poet’s heart and you might also like this post on how to use yoga imagery to inspire your students.

Step 2
Write & Visualise

Get a pen and notepad. Practice writing the yoga poetry.

For example if you like this yoga imagery…

“Before relaxing in Savasana
your brain may feel like a blackboard
having chalk screeched across it.
As your mind starts to focus on your breath,
feel the chalk crumbling into powder.”

….write it down over and over and over and over again.

Then visualize yourself saying it in your yoga class over and over and over and over again.

Close your eyes and picture yourself dressed in your yoga clothes, standing on your sticky mat in front of all your students who are relaxing in Savasana pose.  See the faces of your students.  See their bellies rising up and down.  Take in the sweat aroma of sticky yoga mats wafting up to your nostrils (yep, I like the smell of yoga mats…shhhh don’t tell anyone).  Feel the wooden floor under your bare feet. Imagine in as much detail as you can.

Use as many senses as you can (sight, smell, sound, touch, taste).

And slow down.

Sloooooooowwww dooooooooowwwwwwnnnnn.

Stay calm.

Visualization works best when you are calm. The calmer the better. So, take an imaginary chill pill and errmh chill.  Turn off the TV. Better yet, unplug the TV and throw it out the nearest window.

After you have spent a reasonable amount of time writing and visualising the yoga poetry, it’s crunch time. The class is upon you and it’s time to say the words to a real yoga class. Though, here’s where the magic of visualization makes itself known…

The mind doesn’t know the difference between
a visualization and the real thing
!

That’s worth repeating, just in case you missed it…

The mind doesn’t know the difference between
a visualization and the real thing
!

And once more for luck…

The mind doesn’t know the difference between
a visualization and the real thing
!

That is why every single athlete in the Olympic Games uses visualization!

It’s the quickest, easiest and most efficient way of training known to mankind. Instead of spending hours training outside in the cold and rain, the Olympic athlete gets the same benefits from a few minutes of visualization.

In the world of visualization everything is sped up. I used to “physically practice” my yoga lesson plan, which took about an hour.  These days I never do a “physical practice” before a class.  I simply unfold my lesson plan from my back pocket, read a section, close my eyes and do a “visualization practice” imagining myself teaching.  It takes less than 5 minutes to visualize a 90 minute class!

Step 3
Visualize Modifications For Individual Students

The visualization practice frees up an hour of my time each week.  So, what do I do with those delicious 60 minutes?  Well, I reinvest it on my students.

Shucks.  I know.  I know.  I really shouldn’t be so darn nice.

If you’ve been teaching yoga for any length of time you’ll know that almost everyone has some physical ailment.  It could be a weak lower back, weak wrists, chronic fatigue, bipolar, high blood pressure, etc.  Over time you’ll get to know each student.

However, here’s a quick tip on how I study up on my students…

If one of my students has a week lower back, I’ll do a bit of research and create a yoga class handout with one or more exercises to increase back strength.  I’ll then “visualize” myself going through the handout with my student.

Step 4
Trigger

I usually have a memory trigger to help me remember my “yoga poetry”.  Let’s go back to the same example…

“Before relaxing in Savasana
your brain may feel like a blackboard
having chalk screeched across it.
As your mind starts to focus on your breath,
feel the chalk crumbling into powder.”

My simple trigger is: “blackboard brain“.

Whenever I think of  “blackboard brain“, the yoga poetry doth pour from me (not sure why I suddenly spoke like Shakespeare there).

Step 5
Come Up With Your Own 

Have fun coming up with your own yoga poetry.  Think up ways of painting a picture for your students.  You could have said, “Get into savasana and focus on your breath.”  But that’s boring.  That’s limp.  That’s unimaginative.  Surely, we as yoga teachers, can do better.

How much better does this sound…

“Before relaxing in Savasana
your brain may feel like a blackboard having chalk screeched across it.
As your mind starts to focus on your breath,
feel the chalk crumbling into powder.