7 Useful Tasks for Yoga Teachers to do during COVID19

Useful tasks for yoga teachers and teachers in training to do during the covid19 shutdown

2020 has turned in to a year of unsettling challenge for everyone, including yoga teachers. As a result of Covid19 the global population has had to manage a myriad of changes from personal lifestyle to working life.

Many industries have been impacted heavily and the yoga industry is one of those. As shared spaces such as gyms and yoga studios have had to temporarily close teaching yoga has had to adapt.

Online classes and teaching via the web have become the norm and a way to maintain a teaching schedule. But these changes have also freed us up from time commitment of traveling and managing several teaching slots in different locations. With the stay at home situation we have an opportunity to spend some of this time on other yoga related tasks.

Here is a list of 7 useful tasks for yoga teachers to do during Covid19.

1. Clean your yoga mat

Take the time to cleanse all of your yoga props. Use organic products to clean your mat, blocks and other hard props. It is also a worthwhile laundering blankets and any bolsters or eye pillows that have removable covers.

There are many organic yoga mat cleaners available – take a look at these essential oil yoga mat cleaning products.

2. Review your Mission Statement

As a yoga teacher, defining is one of the most useful tasks you can do. During this time of significant changes take time to review your expectations, career & study plans and offerings. What do you want from your yoga teaching?

Take a look at yogaskinny’s blog post about the importance of your mission statement or click here for a yoga mission statement template available on yogaskinnystudio.

With the stay at home situation we have a chance to work on other yoga related tasks

3. Study

Read those yoga books you have always meant to catch up with or invest is some new areas of the practice. You might want to improve your anatomy understanding, read about a different school of yoga such as Iyengar, or study the Yoga Sutras in more depth

4. Update your Yoga Study Tracker

Becoming a yoga teacher requires constant trainings and workshop participation along with, more recently, online studying. All of these form an important part of our ongoing learning and practice and it is important to document these.

Also, take some time to collate all of the teaching hours you have already completed. This is critical information, particularly if you are working toward Yoga Alliance memberships. Take a look at yogaskinnystudio’s downloadable PDF Study Tracker as a useful tool to keep this information in one place.

yoga study tracker work in progress for yoga teachers & teachers in training
A valuable resource for yoga teachers to keep track of their studies & teaching hours

5. Get Creative

It is well documented how a creative practice, in whatever discipline you enjoy, is a great form of self care. For me, journaling and crafting are my favorite creative practices outside of yoga. Take some time out to pursue you favorite creative pastime.

This could be writing, baking or crafting amongst countless others. If you are interested in creating something to complement your yoga practice take a look here or decorate your own dedicated yoga journal ready for you to document your practice and your thoughts.

Despite the challenges presented to us through this difficult time it is always valuable to look for the positive in a situation

6. Yoga Class Planning

Take some time to organize your class plans or spend time on your mat working on new themes, transitions and sequencing. Adapting to online teaching requires creative solutions for demonstrating and working through poses when yoga teachers cannot be physically standing next to your student. Use a dedicated Yoga Class Planner to create classes for constant referral.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice

Spending more time at home gives us an opportunity to spend more time on the mat. Or does it? If you’re struggling to get in to a routine because of your changes in routine that a look here for some simple tips.

Despite the challenges presented to us through this difficult time it is always valuable to look for the positive in a situation. Regard this change in our lives as an opportunity to offer a new perspective and provide us with helpful tools to deal with it.

Yoga Study Tracker for Yoga Teachers & Trainees

As committed yoga teachers and yoga teachers in training, we will continually invest time in nurturing our learning through yoga trainings, workshops and study. It is important to continue on a learning path and to track our yoga studies.

A critical part of yoga teaching success is the ability to maintain humility and keep the mindset of a yoga student.  Even when we are labeled as the teacher and stand at the front of the yoga room we are still the student.

This is why I developed the Yoga Study Tracker as a way of documenting, logging and keeping track of your study and teaching hours. 

An important document to track your yoga study & teaching for your yoga teaching career

During the course of your yoga career, you will have the opportunity to study and practice with many different teachers from different yoga disciplines. As your teaching and personal practice evolves, so will the areas of practice you are drawn to studying in more depth. 

A study tracker, like your yoga teaching mission statement, is an important document. This is the document that you will constantly update and revise as your learning and teaching career progresses.

You may wish to track continued education unit (CEU) hours for your Yoga Alliance membership. Or, you may want to keep track of your studies and time & financial commitment to your yoga career.

A simple way of keeping track of all of the trainings, workshops, online studies and retreats in which you invest your time, money and energy.

Yoga study comes in many forms. Not just face to face learning but online learning options that are now available to us. It’s so easy to forget or overlook learning experiences that influence our yoga practice and teaching. 

I created this study tracker as a simple way of to log all of the trainings, workshops, online studies and retreats in which you invest your time, money and energy.

It allows you to keep track of your study hours and distinguish those hours that are yoga alliance eligible.

The study tracker allows you to keep track of those that are yoga alliance eligible

It is also a very useful document to refer to when updating your resume and bios. Or for use on your blog or website.  

The study tracker is also a very useful resource for personal information you will need if you are leading workshops and trainings yourself.

The study tracker is a two page document.  The first page details your study and training hours.  The second page is a breakdown of your own teaching hours & yoga related memberships & subscriptions.

Make your study tracker a part of your yoga teaching folder and file with your certificates, mission statement and class plans.

Take a look for yourself on my etsy store, yogaskinnystudio, and get your instantly downloadable study tracker.  A permanent and super useful record of all of your yoga hard work!

(please note – the names of yoga studios and teachers used in the example are fictional! 🙂

Ten 10 Minute Screen Free Self Care Activities

I know, I know. You’re reading a blog so you are on a screen right now. But this is a list of ten 10 minute screen free self care activities you can do for your own wellbeing.

I realize that during these surreal times of Covid 19, technology and screens have been an absolute necessity for reasons of work, communication, education, entertainment and online shopping & finance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for technology but I have to admit I’m beginning to get screen weary.

So fight the urge, just once a day, to ignore the phone and do something else that doesn’t involve a screen….for just ten minutes. Once you create the habit you may find ten minutes just isn’t enough.

Ten 10 Minute Screen Free Self Care Activities

1 Read just one chapter or a handful of pages. There is that book in your possession that you have always meant to read. Take the opportunity to start now. If you’re looking for suggestions, check out yogaskinny’s book reviews for great self care reads, Iyengar classics or yoga anatomy books.

2 Browse a Magazine. Select a magazine that inspires you. Stampington & Company publish a great range of creative magazines. Try Bella Grace – a beautifully photographed and written magazine. It’s a combination of magazine and journal and is sure to inspire and uplift.

Bella Grace is a beautifully written & photographed magazine

Crafted Yoga Flash Cards

mixed media yoga pose tags in a swatch

We’re living at a surreal and stressful time. With the arrival of coronavirus, a stay at home advisory is affecting much of the world’s population and we’re learning to cope with the changes to our day to day routines.

Practicing yoga and spending time on creative projects are two great self care strategies to help manage these challenges.

Yoga pose mixed media tag swatch
Fun and colorful yoga pose flash card swatch

Alongside yoga my favorite creative thing to spend free time doing is working with collage, mixed media and upcycling projects. (I share my mixed media craft on Instagram @maycontainpaper)

I came across a bunch of crafted yoga flash cards I had made for myself during a teacher training. They were simple line drawings and text on index cards but I wanted to make better use of them for home practice. I decided to embellish them in to something more upbeat, fun and colorful.

downward facing dog flash card tag

Yoga Asana Life Drawing

Quick sketches of yoga poses showing the form of the pose and observing bodies.  Useful for yoga instructors

I had an opportunity to do some yoga asana life drawing.  What better way to combine yoga & creativity!

Life drawing is a wonderful way to fulfill your creativity but also, as a study of the human form, it is very helpful to yoga instructors. In fact, I recently came across a website dedicated to this creative practice!

Observing bodies is part of the job of a skilled yoga teacher.  When we teach a class we are confronted with a group of people all with different anatomical make up, physical challenges and experience.

yoga asana life drawing trikonasana
Observe the student. Sketch credit – yogaskinny

Teach people, not poses

We are all unique and our muscles, joints and posture all work together to give us our own personal, physical blueprint.  As a yoga teacher we need to identify and work with these differences adjusting asana and using props to serve our students best. 

As I’ve heard many an experienced yoga teacher say  – ‘teach people, not poses’.

So, if you have an opportunity to do some yoga asana life drawing take it!

Keep your sketching loose. Use a soft pencil or pastels to keep the marks you make fluid and not too precious.

You already know the form of the poses but when you look at the student from a sketching perspective you really observe the position of the hand in relation to the shin in trikonasana. Or the length of the spine in a forward fold.

yoga asana life drawing - ardha uttanasana with chair and strap
Notice the spine lengthening. Sketch credit – yogaskinny

As you sketch you’ll notice how differently the over flexible students form the pose in contrast to the new student or the yogi working with injuries or limitations. All useful visual information to help you in your asana and anatomy understanding.

Yoga asana life drawing - inversions
Sketch credit – yogaskinny

Use sketching as a way to keep learning and understanding more about the human body. Use it as a tool alongside other ways of constant learning about the art of yoga.

Asana Life Drawing – the Perfect ‘Pop up’ Class

Sketching in this way is much like yoga class planning. Using your knowledge and experience of yoga to create a flow sequence of poses that work together like pencil marks to form the bigger picture.

See if your local studio is offering a yoga life drawing class, and if they’re not, suggest it. They’re the perfect idea for a ‘pop up’ class and lots of fun to do!

Use your creativity to inspire your teaching and class planning.