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Top 10 Tips for Creating Size-Inclusive Yoga Classes: A Guide for Teachers

cueing yoga teaching skills Jul 01, 2024

Namaste, fellow yoga teacher!

 

Have you ever had that moment in class where you realize your cues might not be landing for everyone? Maybe you’ve noticed some students struggle to find comfort in certain poses, and you're wondering how to make your classes more inclusive. Well, grab your mat and a cup of tea (or coffee, no judgment here), because we’re about to dive into making your yoga space a welcoming haven for bodies of all shapes and sizes.

 

Here are my top 10 tips. Start here then I encourage you to head over to the podcast episode where Christy and I dive WAY further into this topic and the importance of it!

 


Listen to the Podcast.

 


1. Use Inclusive Language

First things first—ditch the "burn those calories" talk. No one wants to be reminded of their calorie count while they’re trying to find inner peace. Focus on sensation and alignment instead. Say things like, "Feel the stretch in your back," or "Find your breath here." It’s all about making everyone feel good.

 

2. Offer Modifications

We all know that one person who can bend like a pretzel. Spoiler alert: not everyone can do that, and that’s okay! Offer modifications for poses to accommodate different bodies. It’s not about making it easier; it’s about making it accessible.

 

3. Use Props Wisely

Props are your best friends. Blocks, straps, bolsters—they’re not just for beginners. Show your students how to use them. “Grab a block and bring the floor to you,” sounds way better than “Reach the floor.” It’s like magic for accessibility!

 

4. Focus on Body Awareness

Encourage students to listen to their bodies. Phrases like “Find what feels good” or “Move in a way that serves you” are golden. You’re not in their body; they are. Trust them to know what feels right.

 

5. Provide Options

Options, options, options! Offer multiple variations for poses. For example, in Downward Dog, suggest Puppy Pose or Child’s Pose as alternatives. Giving choices empowers your students to find their own groove.

 

6. Create a Welcoming Environment

Make sure your studio is welcoming. Think about accessibility—ramps, wide enough spaces, comfy props. And yes, that includes the vibe. A warm smile and a genuine welcome go a long way.

 

7. Educate Yourself

Keep learning about body diversity and inclusivity. Take workshops, read books, watch videos. The more you know, the better you can serve your students. And hey, it’s fun to learn new stuff!

 

8. Seek Feedback

Ask your students for feedback. Create a suggestion box or ask them directly. Listen to what they say and adjust accordingly. It shows you care and want to improve.

 

9. Practice Sensitivity

Be mindful of your language and cues. Avoid anything that might make someone feel singled out or uncomfortable. It’s all about being kind and considerate.

 

10. Promote Body Positivity

Celebrate all body types. Share body-positive messages and foster an environment where everyone feels good about themselves. Yoga is for everyone, and it’s our job to make sure everyone knows that.

 

And there you have it! Ten tips to make your yoga classes more size-inclusive. Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about progress. Keep showing up, keep learning, and keep spreading the yoga love to all bodies.

 

Take your knowledge further with me in my virtual 300 hour yoga teacher training! Get on the info list here.

 

Catch you over in the podcast,

Crystal

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