Today Shannon shares with you a consultation call with one of her clients, Brittany Alred. Brittany is a yoga teacher who is brand new to teaching. Brittany’s question for Shannon is regarding cueing. She knows she would like to move forward from demonstrating to using verbal cues to guide her students but is unsure of where to start.
Brittany lives in northern Alabama and has a couple of yoga classes under her belt. She began taking yoga classes in Colorado when a work colleague asked her to accompany her to a class. As a skier Brittany found yoga incredibly helpful to help protect her knees and mental well being and it has been a big part of her life since.
[5:10] Brittany’s question: What is the best way to cue my students? Do I need to demonstrate the poses for the class?
[8:05] Benefits of verbal cueing
[8:50] Record yourself doing cues and then take your own class
[9:10] Write cues as you watch a yoga video on mute and be a student for your own class
[10:00] Students don’t expect perfect cueing, “mistakes” can provide moments of levity
[10:35] Start with a pose you feel confident cueing, have students lying on their back and observe if your cueing is effective
[11:20] Cueing and assisting the elderly
[13:40] Know that most students may not share where they are sore but most have something going on physically and/or emotionally
[14:10] It is not your job to “fix” anything, empower your clients to take charge of their health and make a reference list for physiotherapists or other health care providers
[15:15] Props are helpful
[16:00] Finding your unique cueing voice
[17:10] Using your personal yoga practice to develop your cues -how does the pose feel for you? -what images come to mind?
[18:10] Should poetic language be used?
[19:10] Thoughts on cueing from Trevor Parks, a fellow yoga teacher and member of TCYT
[20:10] Benefits of watching online classes to develop your cues, learn new poses
[21:00] Preventing yoga burnout- immerse yourself in your personal yoga practice, remember why you started teaching yoga
[23:50] Keep reaching out for support from other teachers, groups, and your students
[24:45] Using consent cards for assists
[26:10] Brittany’s goals moving forward
[28:00] Shannon summarizes key points:
Get Creative With Your Yoga Poses
- Watch a yoga class as a witness (not as a yoga student).
- Gather and record the yoga cues you like.
- Record audio of your yoga cues. Play it back and experience the flow as a student.
- Apply your own cues to a muted yoga video. Play the audio back.
- Choose a small sequence to use verbal cues only for your next class.
- Use your own yoga practice to create your own cues.
- Learn about anatomy and physiology so you understand how the body moves.
- Question the cues you hear and use. Keep the ones that resonate with your evolving practice
Words of wisdom regarding cueing from fellow The Connected Yoga Teacher group member, Trevor Parks:
“I think a good teacher speaks a bit poetic with great elegance. One of my friends was an Anasura teacher (they seem to have speech down, so I’ll relay what he was taught) In his teacher training, they made a “word bank” of words that were elevating and uplifting, but still unique to them. They, would then, weave those words into verbal cues, and come up with alignment cues that didn’t use anatomy jargon. He also said explain everything in the least amount of words possible, and never give a cue over eight words.
But, those are just suggestions, it also depends on your theme, style, lineage, pace, etc. Just know finding your voice takes time and be patient! “Do your practice, all is coming!” Congratulations on your first class!”
Book: Art of Attention: A Yoga Practice Workbook for Movement as Meditation
by Elena Brower