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To Plan or Not to Plan


That is the questions I ask myself each week as I start to think about my classes. Some weeks the answer is a clear "yes" and I will plan a class around a pose, a sequence, a story, or even a feeling. And some weeks it feels better to just, well, go with the flow.

Yet, I still wonder what the right balance is between planning and spontaneity. As a student or a teacher. which approach do you prefer? Or do you even notice a difference from your blissful place on the mat?

To read more on this topic, go to Yoga Journal's article, "What's Your Plan?"


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As a student I definitley notice when a teacher has pre planned his/her class. It is not hard to tell when there is an emphasis either on a particular area of the body or group of like poses. I would also like to say that this works for a good many students however the teacher needs to be sensitive to when their class plan is not working well for the students. I have seen times when a teacher will come to class wanting to work on poses that require a good deal of strength at 7:00pm on a weekday when most of her students are tired from work, school, etc. I have also seen teachers who come to class with a plan to work on more advanced poses only to find out that the majority of the pupils in the class physically cannot do what is being demonstrated. Now of course most teachers will see these issues and adjust the class accordingly however threre are some out there who don't and from my experience, these are usually the scenarios where one would see a few students who have no problem rolling up their mat and leaving the class.

Interesting question... as a yoga teacher, I like the idea of planning and having a "set sequence" to follow - particularly when I first starting out teaching. However, as my confidence grew i found myself tuning into more of how my students felt, and instinctively adjusting the class to suit the student. I do a lot of private 1-2-1 classes so find it easier to develop a working knowledge of my client's energy and preferences... in a group class it does require a greater sensitivity and ease in your teaching to accommodate all styles and energy levels. I always remind students to check in and when ever necessary to feel free to return to savanasa. Again, the more personal practice I do, the easier it becomes for me to see where my students is at. Thoughtful questions. Thx U

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