Do you limit your multi-level class size to keep students safe?
I wondered if you had a limit in your classes or different classes according to health and activity level?
Since moving to a new studio In the past 6 months my classes have really grown. This is a good thing but also concerns me. I began with a few students, grew to an average of 12-15 in class now instruct up to 24 members. I have many levels of health in my classes. In order for my students to feel safe, as well as myself to care for this large of a population I have put a cap on my classes for no more than 20. Teaching these classes can be very draining since the demands are so high. I wondered if you had a limit in your classes or different classes according to health and activity level? I would love your advice.
Dannette L., 200 Hr RYT
Answer from Sherry
Thanks for your question. First of all, congrats for your growing classes! That means people are liking what you offer and coming back for more! A teacher’s dream!
All of my Chair and Gentle Yoga classes are mixed level so I understand when you say teaching these classes can be challenging for a Teacher if you are working hard at cueing and offering up movements and poses to accommodate every single student’s abilities. That is why I subscribe to the “Progressive” method of introducing poses to a group class. This means starting with the easiest and simplest version of the pose, and then building upon it with more options. I also continue to reinforce that the student needs to take responsibility for their own safety and only do what they feel comfortable doing, especially in a larger class.
As for capping the size of the class, I think you have to trust what you feel most comfortable teaching, and what the room comfortably accommodates. I have a Chair Yoga Library class that can have up to 40 people, row upon row of seniors who have very different physical abilities, and new people always coming in. I always start with the welcome and words of empowerment that they are just as involved in keeping themselves safe and strong as I am as their Teacher.
Now, if I had lots of students with very significant movement limitations and physical injuries and issues… it would be a completely different type of class. That class I would limit to 10-15 (space accommodating of course) and focus more on dealing with more of their specific limitations and offer movements that the majority of those students could do on their own.
I believe it is truly up to you and how you feel about limiting a class size. You surely have the right to do that as a Teacher to keep everyone safe. When you use the word “draining” then you have to trust that it IS draining for you and thus can lead to teacher burn-out should you continue to feel like you are on a vigil of caution the entire time you are teaching. You want to be sharing LOTS of Joy and having fun yourself. Otherwise… why do it?
I hope that helps! Keep up the great work as it surely appears your students LOVE you!