Why I Choose to Not Focus on One Student Population

Many yoga teachers focus their energies on a particular group of students:  adults new to yoga, adults who are very experienced, adults healing from injury and needing a gentle practice, elders, pregnant women, new mothers, or kids.  I have taught students from all of these groups and have never focused solely on a particular group. Why?  Because I truly feel the gifts of yoga are for everyone and I enjoy adapting the lens through which I teach for different classes. 

I currently teach Yoga Fundamentals, a class suited for those new to yoga. However, I teach biomechanics in a way that experienced yogis learn something new about muscular and fascial integration as they move pose by pose. I teach elders how to reawaken muscles and fascial connections so they can re-discover fully mobility again. There is no reason to slow down to a stop as we age! I teach Embodied Flow, a class that integrates the core (all six sides of it) mindfully so the poses feel quite strong. I typically draw more advanced practitioners to this class. I teach postnatal yoga for mothers ranging from 6 weeks to 14 months postpartum. I share practices to help them engage with themselves in mind, body, and spirit with kindness and focus such that they invest in their inner-felt resources on the mat and off the mat as they take care of their babies day after day. I teach yoga at my daughter’s elementary school. It is a true gift for me to share the art of yoga with children in grades K through 5 and watch them marvel and surprise themselves at the strength, flexibility, and balance they had inside and never knew was there. We do breathing exercises and share how they apply to daily life. We move through Sun Salutations and explore a range of standing and seated poses. We journal what we discover about ourselves in each class and close with a guided meditation. I pray the skills I teach them carry them through the stressors childhood can throw at them time and again.

I include meditation and chanting in every class I teach. It is so important to embrace stillness and listen for the quiet in our hearts. From here, we can tap into vocal resonance and feel the depths of our spirit as we share an OM.

But, why do I not focus solely on one group? Because, at the end of the day, the inherent gift in yoga arts stays the same for all:  we all deserve to love ourselves and treat ourselves with kindness, honesty, and respect as we seek a path for wellness. Yoga shows us a way to do so. Therefore, in a way, I teach one practice, but I adapt it for all to further spread the message and practice of self-love and wellness regardless of where you are on life’s journey.  

Melissa HurtComment