The Importance of Establishing a Safe Space in Your Yoga Class

Three Women Smiling in a Yoga Class

The Importance of Establishing a Safe Space in Your Yoga Class

Walking into a new yoga class can be daunting, especially when you’re new to the practice. Feeling secure and comfortable in your own body is crucial for an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. 

As a yoga instructor, it’s important to provide a welcoming environment that allows your students to open up and feel at ease. To help you achieve this, we’ve put together a list of essential factors to consider when creating a safe and nurturing space for your students.

Ask About Their Yoga Background and Previous Injuries

It’s important to make new students feel at ease when they enter the yoga studio. One way to achieve this is by letting them know that the practice is theirs, and that they can come into child’s pose at any moment if a pose is too uncomfortable or painful. As a yoga teacher, you can also provide modifications to help yogis at different levels of the practice feel good.

  • Encourage students to do what feels best for them
  • Offer modifications for different level yogis or an injury
  • Yoga should feel good in your body, you shouldn’t force poses that cause any pain

Always Ask a Student Before assisting them in any way

Yes, I mean do not touch them without permission! LOL

Maintaining Professional Boundaries as a Teacher:

As an educator, it’s crucial to avoid crossing the line with your students and making them feel uneasy. You never know what your student may have experienced physically or mentally, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and ask for consent beforehand. 

Respectful Ways to Ask Students for Consent in Yoga Class: 

It’s important to make sure everyone in your yoga class feels comfortable and safe. One way to ask for consent without putting anyone on the spot is to wait until the class is in child’s pose or have their eyes closed. Then, you can simply state that if anyone prefers not to be touched, they can raise their hand or place their block in the top right corner.

  • Some students have traumatic pasts and would prefer to be left alone
  • Creating safe boundaries for you and your students
  • Ask the class as a whole if they are okay with hands on assistance while everyone has their eyes closed that way no one feels uncomfortable

Provide a brief introduction in the beginning of class

Introducing a Yoga Class: Setting the Right Mindset:

As an instructor, it’s important to give your students a brief overview of the class before starting. For instance, if you’re teaching Hatha yoga, mention that it will be centered around slow paced movements that link breath with motion. 

During the introduction, reassure your students that you’re there to guide and support them throughout the session. Emphasize that practicing yoga is a personal journey, and it’s crucial that each individual listens to their body and only does what feels comfortable. 

Every person has a unique anatomy, so it’s natural for everyone to look slightly different during the class. Therefore, encourage your students to focus on their own practice and not compare themselves to others in the room.

  • Lead with an introduction
  • The teacher is there to support and guide the class
  • Each individual should listen to their body
  • Every individual has a unique anatomy, which makes everyone appear slightly different from one another. Therefore focus on what feels good for you.

Creating a Connection With Your Students

It’s difficult to establish a connection with a teacher who seems robotic and disconnected from their students. Without a genuine connection, the learning experience can feel impersonal and unfulfilling. 

To foster a meaningful and impactful learning experience, strive to be authentic, empathetic, and personable. This will help create a special bond between you and your students, making them feel more at ease.

Here are some small yet impactful things you can do: recall their names, inquire about their day or weekend plans, and if someone is injured, ask about their injury or how they’re doing. These small gestures can make a significant difference in how comfortable they feel.

  • Strive to be authentic, empathetic, and personable
  • It’s difficult to connect with someone who seems disconnected
  • Recall their names, ask about their weekend, ask how they are doing

Play some ambient music

Creating an Unforgettable Yoga Experience:

Rather than merely holding space for a yoga class, consider crafting an entire experience for your students. 

What emotions do you want to evoke? 

How do you want them to feel and react? 

One of the most crucial elements is establishing a peaceful, secure, and tranquil environment – including you as the teacher – to ensure everyone feels at ease.

Here are some amazing playlists that I use on spotify

For a more immersive experience, consider incorporating a sound bowl at the beginning or end of your class. The addition of such elements creates a beautiful soundscape that will help to set the tone and atmosphere.

Add a sense of smell in the class

Enhancing the Environment with Aromatherapy:

Whether it be sage, palo santo, incense, or essential oils students love some yummy smells. It really adds to the ambience and it creates a sense of relaxation.

I have linked some of my favorites that I found on amazon.

Our hope is that this post will help you establish a secure and exceptional space for your students to be themselves and let go.

Please comment below and share your experience with us!

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