28 Jun 3 Benefits of Finding a Yoga Mentor
Katie Tetz is Power Living’s Studio Business Manager and Bondi Studio Manager. She shares her experience of having Gina Brescianini as a personal mentor.
All those years ago when I stepped into my first yoga class, I never could have predicted how my journey as a student would evolve. And I most certainly couldn’t have predicted that someday I would be on the teacher’s mat. But as the years went by, my love of yoga eventually grew and I began to explore the idea of a 200HR yoga teacher training. Suddenly, before I knew it, I was standing on the teacher’s mat staring at my very first group of students.
Anyone who walks down the path of teaching yoga knows how daunting it can be when starting out. One of the greatest gifts you could give yourself as a new teacher is to find a mentor to guide you along the way!
Here are 3 things I have gained from working with my mentor, Gina Brescianini.
- Develop a clear focus for every class
There’s no easy way to get rid of that heart-thumping feeling before you teach a class, but the number one thing I have learned from Gina is to be very clear about what you are going to teach. It sounds simple and obvious, but when there are so many things you could share with your students, it can be overwhelming for you (and for them if you try to share it all at once!)
Have a clear teaching point, and weave that teaching point throughout your class. It acts as a guiding light, keeping yourself and the students focused. This one-pointed focus aids in us finding what the yogis call dhyana, or concentration. By staying aligned with your teaching point, you create a more potent class and give your students something clear and tangible that they can take into their next practice. This simple thing helps turn all the nerves into clarity and confidence!
- Sequence for all levels
One other tricky part of stepping onto the teacher’s mat is when you discover that your students are not all on the same level; another seemingly obvious aha moment! But how do you manage all of the different levels in a class as the teacher? This is when smart sequencing, and having an experienced mentor to help you develop strategies is so beneficial!
Having an intelligently created sequence, with a clear teaching point, ensures that your classes are well-balanced, safe, and contain the right amount of difficulty and regressions for all levels of students. As a teacher, adapting and creating sequences can be such a fun part of the process, where all of your learning comes alive and clicks together. It’s so helpful to have someone with years of experience to work on sequences with as they will help you sidestep some of the combinations that don’t flow together. When you have an amazing sequence that you are excited and confident in sharing, no matter who arrives for your class, it can bring a sense of accomplishment and joy, also taking your teaching to a whole new level.
- Get feedback and coaching on your teaching
This is invaluable but can be hard to find once you finish your teacher training and start teaching classes. While it’s great to hear a student say that they liked your class, that feedback isn’t the kind that is going to help you continue to grow. There are so many facets of teaching that bring a style together; your sequence, your energy, your tone, your volume, your precision with your words, how much space you give or don’t give, and the list goes on! Most students wouldn’t be able to articulate clear, honest feedback about all of the things that bring a class or sequence together.
Having a mentor to experience your classes and give feedback on all of those elements is so helpful. Gina’s coaching always left me with clear, tangible, achievable, steps to take into my next class.
Over the years, Gina has been a mentor and an inspiration to many of our teachers at Power Living. She is so gifted at seeing what she calls the ‘superpowers’ we have, and then coaxing them out of us so we can go into our classes and be the most authentic teacher we can be for our students. Sometimes these ‘superpowers’ – the things that make us uniquely and brilliantly ourselves – get clouded with nerves, self-doubt, and the overwhelm that can occur when we first begin our teaching journey! I could have never seen the teacher that was in me without Gina’s encouragement and skilled guidance. Gina helped me transform the overwhelm into simplicity, the nerves into clarity, and the self-doubt into authenticity.
If you are seeking mentorship it is important to make sure the teacher training or teacher you are working with is a style that you like and want to teach in, so make sure you are an active student in your yoga community, practising a lot and getting to know your teachers. Find out if your studio offers teacher training or mentoring programs, and be sure to express openly that you are looking to learn from someone experienced on a deeper level.
This July, we are providing a workshop with Gina to help you hone your yoga teaching skills and develop your personal style while on the mat. This 3-day program will earn you 30 hours towards your 500hr RYT and will be providing valuable insights to help you grow your knowledge and experience. Evolve Your Teaching is led by Gina Brescianini herself. Learn from the one who has given so much valuable advice with maximum grace and understanding.
Written by Katie Tetz
Studio Business Manager | Ever Inspiring Writer & Yoga Teacher for Power Living Australia