Preparation, and a handy checklist, will help you avoid stress and allow you to focus on your students. Store each of these items in your yoga bag and you’ll always have what you need—on hand and ready to go.
1. Yoga mat wipes or antibacterial hand wipesDepending on where you teach, you may be using a studio mat in a pinch or have to wipe pet hair off your personal mat if teaching in someone’s home. While yoga mat wipes are nicer, they tend to be more expensive. A standard hand wipe should do the trick.
2. Two yoga blocks, a yoga strap, and a blanketI’ve been at gyms where the yoga props I needed for a demonstration were filthy. I’ve also needed the props during private lessons. These props can come in handy, even during chair yoga classes.
3. Music: CDs, an iPod, or a music list on your smartphoneSoothing music is great for ambiance during class. Not every place you teach will have a sound system. Always be prepared with music. If you’re using Pandora or Spotify, make sure you have a subscription so you don’t hear advertising in the middle of class. And if you’re using a playlist on your smart phone, remember to put it in airplane mode to avoid incoming calls.
4. A small hand towel and hand sanitizerWhen assisting clients in poses, you will likely get their sweat on your hands. This is where your small towel will come in handy. If you sneeze or wipe your nose during class, the hand sanitizer will be helpful to use before you assist anyone else during class.
5. A change of yoga pants, panties, and feminine hygiene productsThis is for the ladies. My menstrual cycle has started a few times while teaching and I had no other pants. I learned this lesson the hard way.
6. Two notecardsIt’s easy to get nervous as a new teacher and forget part of your lesson. Or maybe you’re a planner and need to have everything written out.
Keep the notecards to a minimum. If you have any more than a couple, it can appear unprofessional or cause clients to think that you don’t know what you’re doing. Keep your notecards as concealed as possible, either at the edge of your yoga mat or underneath as a quick reference.
As a yoga studio owner, I’ve heard from clients who complain about teachers who have loads of paper, notes, and even books that they refer to constantly throughout class. It’s better to have an easy lesson planned until you get familiar with class flow.
7. Inspirational quotes, a poem, or a guided meditationAfter my lecture about no paper, you may be wondering why I’ve included this one. You can add your inspirational quote to your two notecards. You can read a poem or guided meditation from a book. The idea is to have something inspirational to leave your students with as they go back into their daily lives. Most often you’ll be reading this when they have their eyes closed in meditation or Savasana.
8. Tissue, breath mints, deodorant, cough dropsYou would be surprised how many places don’t have tissue handy. If you need to blow your nose, or clear out a wandering six or eight-legged critter, you’ll be happy you have them. If you don’t have the opportunity to brush your teeth after your tuna sandwich or latte, you may need a breath mint before teaching.
Another unforeseen event that can happen, is sudden, uncontrollable coughing while giving instruction. And if you teach two or more classes in a row, you may need to freshen up with some deodorant.
9. Business cardsIf you’re in a position to promote yourself, carry business cards with you at all times. Your business card should include a phone number and email address as well as any social media links.
Students who love your class may ask for your info for a private lesson, and building a clientele can be tough. Put all chances on your side and be ready to create those business relationships. That’s how you get them coming back for more.
Finally, keep a list of what you carry and replenish whenever necessary. You’ll want to keep your bag prepared at all times, so you can focus on teaching.
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*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.