Why does this exercise class need to be a YOGA class. Yoga is to yoke, come together, unify….. To recognize the mind-body-emotion-intellect are all one. The depth and connection is what makes a class “yoga”. Just because you use yoga terms doesn’t mean it’s a yoga class. You should consider learning about the value of meditation/relaxation, and yogic principles and include these before you call your exercise class YOGA. Lots of students are not ready or interested in all that a traditional yoga class has to offer… thus they will not be interested in YOGA class. I believe if you are offering a YOGA class, and, instead teach an exercise class, your credibility will be questioned by all. I would find it all very confusing as well. If people show up for a yoga class you should give them YOGA. Teach what you know. It doesn’t sound like you are comfortable with teaching YOGA. Don’t pressure yourself or be pressured into teaching a class when you don’t feel you are ready or able to. Follow your instincts on this…. You wouldn’t have asked the question if you were not in doubt. Good luck. Namaste’
Yoga can be what you want it to be. Yes I think it can be just exercise. I really do hope that in time though it becomes more than just exercise for everyone. Yoga is away for you to work out what you need to in your own way surrounded by positive energy. It is away to have a dialogue with your body, mind and spirit if you are willing to listen. I started my journey just thinking of it as exercise and little did I know it would change my life forever. I’d say be open to the journey because each time you step off the mat you step off a new self.
Yoga, like anything else, can be whatever the participant wants or needs it to be. Think of all the outraged yoga professionals a few years back when achieving a “yoga butt” was the most coveted benefit of the practice? I understand why some people were offended; but really, as long as the people were coming into the studios, who cares if they’re looking for the ultimate butt versus bliss and peace? Education is an ongoing process; it’ll happen when and for whom it’s supposed to.
I agree with Charla. As an aerobics instructor converted to yoga teacher, I understand how yoga taught in a gym and yoga practiced in a truly yoga setting are different, BUT the teachings are in the practice itself. Once someone embraces it, they will learn something about themselves and that is the essence. Although, doing a triangle pose here and a warrior pose there in between sets on the bench press isn’t necessarily doing yoga.
I think it’s okay to teach yoga as exercise in the beginning (to an intimidated client). I did that in the small, conservative town where I live. I called my first class “stretch and relax”. Once I gained the trust of my students, I began to spoon feed them yoga philosophy and concepts. Just like Charla said, “meet students where they are” so they can relate the teachings to their own lives. Now I have a group of dedicated “yogis” and they are mostly people who ….. you guessed it….thought “yoga isn’t for me”.