Marie Kondo and her book and show, Tidying Up, are on fire right now. Everyone is talking about it, lots of people are actually doing it and minimalism is having a moment. The first thing we think of when it comes to tidying up and spring cleaning is to get rid of old clothes or household items that we no longer use but we can take this concept far beyond the donation pile.
Rather than reinvent the wheel each time you plan a class, here are some ways you can simplify your class-planning and teaching process. These tips can also help so you’re prepped to sub last-minute or take on additional regular classes with less stress.
- Plan your classes in the same way and keep your class plans in the same place. When I was teaching a bunch of formats at once, I would get a spiral notebook with different color sections and keep each format in a different section. Yoga, barre, TRX, cycling, circuit training and strength classes each had their own section. I draw stick figures for all of my class plans except cycling.
- Pick one way to start and finish your classes. You don’t have to be a robot or say the exact same thing each time but if you have a script of sorts, you don’t have to overthink the process each time. I close every class I teach with deep breaths. For yoga, one deep breath and for all other classes that place less emphasis on breath work throughout, I close with three deep breaths as we circle sweep the arms.
- Have a class set-up routine. Get a system going for how you set up class so you can start to work on auto-pilot and you’re less distracted as students enter. For example, if you always set your mic then music then grab equipment, you can do this as you greet students.
- Designate a ‘teaching bag.’ If you have one bag that works as your teaching bag, you can keep your essential items in that one spot and you don’t have to rummage through your other bags or drawers to find what you need before you teach. You can keep your class plan notebook, windscreens (if needed), gym membership or employee cards, stop watch, a backup water bottle, connection cords for your phone and, perhaps, a protein bar in this bag so you can just grab it and go.
- Less is More. If you teach advanced classes with a super regular crowd, they might appreciate a complicated exercise progression but, even in higher-level yoga classes, sometimes less is more. If your exercise takes too long to explain or if you do so much on one side that even you have trouble remembering the sequence, tone it down and tidy up your plan.
There you have it! I hope these tips help you streamline your class planning and teaching experience and please share your tips too!