Teaching Tips

–       don’t use technical language like inner spiral, want to get students out of their heads in and into their hearts. Say what the action does in their body and what it feels like.

–       Be able to teach UPAs in 30 seconds- say them in the mirror every day. That your foundation. Then learn new ways to say it, and choose which to emphasize in different poses. Don’t teach all 5 in every single pose.

–       Don’t use jargon!!

5 UPAs quick and dirty

  1. SF and OTG- stand with feet parallel, take a deep breath and soften your skin. Take a deep breath filling into your back body and connecting with the universal energy. press through four corners of feet (don’t say root for two diff UPAs)
  2. ME- hug muscles to bone, draw to midline (balancing poses), spread your toes (shins in)- chose on aspect to emphasise
  3. IS- more your inner thighs back, press thighs back, take your hips back, roll your inner groins in.
  4. OS- scoop your tailbone, lengthen, tuck (start of pelvic loop)
  5. OE- have to say more for this one- use directionality. Form the core of your pelvis root down through your leg feet, from the core extend/shine, reach up. Moves from where to where. Bones energy

Learning to go from the unknown to known

–       as a teacher you’re offering a gift by believing in somebody before they believe in themselves, or even know what is possible for themselves. You can tell them what they need to know to get there

–       when you teach someone to do something they didn’t think was possible physically it might translate to their life off the mat (might lift glass ceiling at work or empower them in relationships…)

Mixed level classes and teaching tips

–       have top students go to the pinnacle, more limited students can repeat one of the previous poses

–       going to the pinnacle is not a matter of being worthy- each student’s worthiness is a given

–       put yourself in your students shoes, they aren’t always motivated by the same things you are. Might not be interested in complex anatomy.

–       Tell them why they’re doing stuff as it pertains to their context and invite them to try.

Road map

–       * begin with the end in mind- you have to drive through all the states to get to California!


–       give teacher evaluations- help you recommit to your path. Read them when you’ve had a bad teaching day.

–       Celebrate and accept where you are on the path- how wonderful it is that you want to develop and improve

–       Loving where you are as much as you love where you’re going.

–       You don’t have to make yourself wrong for where you were in the past. Love and accept the whole thing.

–       Chanting- practicing one of the best qualities of a student and teacher- listening

Where to start in planning a class

–       Either with a pinnacle pose then find actions and theme to go with it, or visa versa

Why do we challenge ppl to push the edge in our classes?

–       its empowering

–       ppl can do more than they think they can when they understand the basics and we help them put it all together

–       greater transformation when you play the edge

–       women (especially in their 40s +) were raised with a lot of glass ceilings.

hip directions

–       square hips= same distance from front of mat

–       level hips= same distance from floor

–       always going towards this but not always possible (ie warrior 1, 2)

Four levels of competence from new earth

1st. unconscious incompetence

2nd conscious incompetence

3rd consciously competent

4th unconsciously competent

stages/process we all go through as teachers! Enjoy the journey.

** your teaching is not what you teach, its what your students get!

Bits of wisdom and ideas:

–       don’t answer questions that haven’t been asked, give to those who are receptive

–       think from the perspective of your students. Does what your saying matter to them?

–       Physiology- don’t tell them its handstand, little by little you believe in your students and show them how they can get there. GO AROUND THEIR MIND. Directly from body to heart.

–       “earth to class”- inject humour to get attention

You have so much wonderful stuff to offer, don’t waste it on people who are unreceptive.

–       don’t start class with supine asanas, even if they’re wound up, get them up and moving to release nervousness and tension, or sluggishness.  (check sequences in back of JF’s manual.

–       Intro to Yoga classes- don’t teach actions, just teach outer forms of the poses.

*be economical with words, say what you mean and mean what you say.