As yoga teachers, it’s not uncommon to feel as if you’re being watched. You’re in front of the group, the class is looking at you and waits for you to tell them what to do. It can make you nervous and even sweat! But with time, practice, knowing yourself and the right mindset, this fear will turn into gratitude and fulfillment! In this blog, I hope to give you the inspiration to gain more confidence as a multilingual yoga teacher.
First things first: lack of confidence often comes from the underlying fear of not being good enough or comparing yourself to others. We tend to believe we need to be a certain way or certain type of person to do ‘it right’.
It might not be a surprise to you, but this is a massive limiting belief that stops you from showing up for yourself, your students and it limits your growth as a teacher.
So, stop comparing yourself to others and embrace your own qualities. If you need help with this, go to our earlier blog about finding your voice.
You can’t know everything, neither do you need to know everything.
When you first start teaching, some of your students’ questions can be overwhelming. I definitely experienced the feeling of not knowing all the answers to all questions as intimidating.
Teachers are often under a lot of pressure to be total experts on their subject who never make mistakes. However, the key to good teaching is not about communicating what you know or what you can do. It’s about creating a safe learning space in which you adjust your teaching to the participants. It’s about guiding them and helping them understand challenging things. Or simply introducing them to new material. Your students are already in your class so you do not need to prove your worth to them. The key is knowing how to support your students on their learning journey. That requires effective communication: not making yourself heard, but making yourself understood, so that your students can use your input to take their own steps.
What if I don’t know the answer to their question?
If you don’t know the answer to a question, instead of making up an answer or telling them something you’re not entirely sure about, be honest!
Some ways to confidently explain you don’t know the answer but still offer something of value:
- I can’t remember just now. I’ll get more information after class and send you an email or tell you next time.
- I’m not trained in this specific area. But my [colleague/friend] knows more. I will contact them and send you an email or tell you next time.
- I’m not familiar with that. Try listening to/reading [book/podcast…]
Don’t be afraid to repeat, repeat and repeat
Gaining confidence as a multilingual yoga teacher through practice and experience:
Many teachers in training are afraid of repeating the same thing over and over again. Maybe there’s pressure to be inventive or original. But, is this necessary for the quality of what you’re actually teaching? I personally do the same practices multiple times, or watch the same episodes or listen to the same podcasts again. There are always things that you missed before and that you only catch when you watch or listen again. It’s the same with your students – they don’t notice that you’re repeating things.
Actually, the reinforcement of repetition is essential for learning a new language, yoga and anything new. It offers a sense of achievement when they stop needing to look at you to understand because they know what’s coming next. You’ve said and done it a hundred times. If you repeat “lift your arms into a T shape and look past your front middle finger” day in day out, that’s absolutely fine!
Which famous singer doesn’t expect their fans to sing their lyrics back to them? Put all good things on repeat, including your instructions.
Do you want more tips on how to gain confidence as a multilingual yoga teacher?