Nail the look and feel
- Really think about the look and feel you’re trying to present for your class
Advanced classes should be a total body workout. You want to make sure that most exercises feel full body-esque and that people work to their maximum in a fluid way so transitions feel like breaks between the hard stuff! That doesn’t mean you have to do super fancy sequences but people want to leave feeling like they almost hit their wall… and got stretched out after the fact so they leave feeling tired yet relaxed.
- Create a clear beginning
Create the vibe of a true beginning. Ask yourself how you want people to feel in the first few minutes of your class? Then, make a list of “go to exercises” that work to warm us up, get your participants in the zone to work harder, gradually build heat in the body, curiosity and excitement for the class.
- Create a clear ending
Take 3-5 min at the end and really create the feeling of “we are wrapping up, winding down, getting ready to go back out there.” Once again, ask yourself how your participants would want to feel? Ask yourself how you like to feel as you wind down in a class?
Make people feel like powerful movers
- Make minimal changes
Exhaust a spring setting and a position so there are as few breaks in the flow as possible. For example you had us do an interesting sequence with foot work and then into bridge variations and then into a hip swaying sequence, holding the posts with our hands. You made it more challenging by asking us to place balls in different places. Instead of changing where to hold the ball, keep us moving from one exercise to the next, sans ball. Sometimes fussing with props can feel choppy.
- Get people tired and sweaty if you can!
Tire out people in one position! Have great variations and keep them engaged with what they’re doing. If you can’t tell if they’re tired and “feel it” simply ask if they’re getting tired. Ask them how many more they can do. Ask them to give you 4 to 8 more. People will stop if they need to and otherwise will feel really accomplished when they push a little further. Think of advanced = going to your limit in a good way and just a bit beyond.
- Work the whole body in one shot as often as you can
Do more bilateral work so you aren’t doing one side and then the other. In your class we did lunge, pulling a sword, side kick which made up about 15 minutes of the class. Each of these was great and challenging, but it is hard to feel really fatigued when you are targeting one side at a time.
- Use the magic word “pause”
Once people are moving and doing (3 or 4 reps), get them to stop and refine their position. This makes them work deeper and harder because they are holding a position and then getting joints in even better position, which, by default will make muscles work harder. Give great cues throughout, but remember these little adjustments when you “pause” will make a big impact.
For example, in Thigh stretch, tell people to stop in the lean, take a breath, exhale and cinch their waists; then tell them to pull up through the crown of the head, then, after they feel the effects of these adjustments, have them resume moving. This technique alone will tire people out a ton.
- Use demo
If there is a machine free, demo the position you want people to get into. This saves time and your thinking power required to provide clear instruction on how to get into this or that position. This also keeps the class flowing and the intensity up.
Use your voice to create the magic
Keep your high energy and command the room by talking in a slightly lower tone. In terms of volume, start by thinking of it like you are talking to people rather than instructing them and then ask them how your volume is. As a side note, people usually only tell you to speak louder so make sure to ask if you are too loud or too soft. Attend many classes as a participants and listen to the voices of other teachers Pay attention to the ones that captivate you. Then copy!