Pamela Seelig

Author of Radiant Yoga

Let's Get Deep

What’s the difference between a good yoga class and a truly enlightening yoga experience?

When practicing yoga, even when focusing solely on the physical poses, there exists an inextricable link between the mind and body.  The mind must be involved for the body to relax into a challenging pose.  It’s impossible to stay focused on a worry if you are attempting to relax your shoulders.  It won’t work.  The shoulders won’t release. Relaxation occurs when the mind redirects from the worry and focuses on (perhaps) an exhale, and only then can the yogi experience a release in the shoulders. Even within the purely physical component of yoga, there exists an inherent mind/body link.  Experiencing this link is typically the extent of the depth of most modern yoga classes today. 

While perceiving this connection is essential, as a teacher, you know there’s much more.  It is a formidable undertaking to create and deliver a good yoga class, but once you have the ability to do so, it’s time to bring on the deeper yoga wisdom.  One of the best ways to do that is by providing a yogic theme at the beginning of class, and then weaving in that theme throughout the entire class. This instruction method can transform a good yoga class into an illuminating and transformative experience for students.  But this requires preparation and inspiration.  Sometimes ideas and inspiration for class bubble up, but other times, especially when life gets hectic, not so much. 

Radiant Yoga provides many yogic themes to choose from and then offers ideas on how best to share them with your class.  There is an infinite number of theme ideas as most are fundamental and universal (such as opening the heart or surrender).  You will find yourself drawn to certain topics and then witness how the chosen topic is exactly what your students needed to hear.  

The following blog provides a sample theme idea and a partial suggested script to weave into your instruction. Radiant Yoga provides additional information, but this sample sketches out the basic formula.  Allow your unique personality to lead the way as you incorporate yogic philosophy into your teaching style for the benefit of your students.