Teaching Guidelines

Consider these guidelines for effectively utilizing knowledge of anatomy in yoga teaching.

  1. Stay conscious of your words: be accurate, precise and clear.
  2. Teach only what you know very well.
  3. Engage in continuous learning and growth.

#1 Be Accurate, Precise and Clear

  1. Whether or not there is a physical therapist or doctor in class, you may wish to imagine that there is in order to stay conscious of your words.
  2. While accuracy and precision are of top priority, so is clarity. Although you should feel free to teach concepts as deeply as you think you can do so effectively, endeavor to simplify wherever possible.
  3. Define and explain virtually all anatomy terms that you use.
  4. Be sure to prioritize safety over exhibiting knowledge or potentially sounding exclusionary or superior.

#2 Teach Only What You Know Very Well

When learning and growing, teachers are advised to remember this fundamental: teach only that which you know very well. This means teaching only those topics that you have practiced, studied, experienced or otherwise engaged with for a long time.

#3 Engage in Continuous Learning & Growth

Whether you use a significant amount of anatomical language or very little is up to you and often reflects a teacher’s personal background and style. There is room for all approaches. However, even for those who use little anatomical language, continuing to develop your understanding of anatomy and physiology is quite likely to make you a stronger teacher. Anatomy teachings help you to:

  1. Create particularly focused and effective class objectives.
  2. Create safe sequences.
  3. Teach asana safely and effectively.
  4. Better understand why a student is having a particular experience.