A simple point, click and drag yoga software tool designed specifically for yoga teachers
Dear Yoga Teacher,
My wife is a yoga teacher and if you are anything like her, I bet you have hundreds of yoga lesson plans scattered all over the place.
When she started teaching, four years ago, she used loose leaf paper to write her class plans… there were yoga flow routines everywhere, under the coffee table, in the bathroom, in her night table, some actually made their way into my night table.
The majority of her yoga lesson plans successfully made the journey into an old jewelry box, but soon enough this make-shift storage device was overflowing. Something had to be done. Forget about the fact that everywhere I turned there was loose leaf paper.
More importantly, she would spend a good 20 to 25 minutes coming up with new yoga classes every day, but none of them were getting organized in a manner where they could be used again…
All the thought and care she had put into her yoga class planning was lost.
I suppose, in a sense her classes were documented, but with no categorization of the yoga flow lessons, not even dates, they were pretty much useless. Sure, she could thumb through the yoga flow piles for ideas on new classes, but where would she start? It would be like cutting a deck of playing cards hoping you pull the Jack of Hearts. Only difference is this deck of yoga class plans contains over 1000 cards and just keeps growing.
How would she find that evening class she taught one month ago… the one that received amazing feedback from the students and had an emphasis on side stretches?
To resolve the loose leaf paper issue I started buying her journals. Each page, front and back has a new yoga class plan for her students. She must have written over one thousand different yoga lessons now. The good news is she started inserting dates for each yoga flow. The bad news is the dates still don’t help her quickly locate a class designed specifically for a more relaxing; beginner level morning class with a focus on lower back stretches.
Another evolution in yoga class plan organization was in order. The yoga student and computer geek in me went into action.
I whipped up a simple Microsoft word template she could use to both create and archive her yoga flows. Now we were getting somewhere. Now she had a tool that let her…
- Enter the sequence of yoga positions
- Enter comments for each position – possibly pose transition notes for her to remember while instructing
- Reference previous yoga pose plans so she could build new ones
It also asks her to enter in a goal for her students, something like, “I want to focus on hip openers, but work in a "two knee twist."
The final entry made into this template was post class. She enters in her honest opinion on how the students reacted to the class. It took a few times for her to get used to the change in her routine… from written word to keystrokes, but the transition was well worth it. What used to take her 20+ minutes now only took her 15.
Now she had the ability to quickly reference past class plans and create new ones based on what previously worked or didn’t work. She would just copy/paste/edit and save. It later came to my attention that quite a few other yoga teachers adopted similar processes and steps.
Using word to manage yoga class plans was a light year jump from the old loose leaf and journal technique, but it was still a cumbersome and limited tool.
A more user friendly time saver tool was needed – yoga software designed specifically for teachers needs.
I had a vision of an easy to use point, click and drag yoga software tool teachers can use to create class plans in 5 minutes or less. So, I got together with my friend and fellow yoga student Martijn, who also happens to be a talented software developer and we threw around some ideas.
To confirm our suspicions that yoga software like this was needed we first ran a survey for almost two years and asked other teachers what their thoughts were.
We discovered many interesting info tidbits in the survey. For example, of the 1458 teachers that took part in this survey, ALL said it took 20 minutes or greater to create new class plans. BTW, reading all the comments was a pleasure and without sounding cheesy, inspiring. I say the latter because you guys really care about your students. We were very impressed and that just motivated us even more.
Based on these survey results and discussions with Martijn, my wife and other teachers I compiled a list of the four most important features yoga software for teachers must have.
Must have feature #1
Ability to easily and quickly arrange yoga poses based on posture name or picture… and rename the position to your liking. A drag and drop interface where you can arrange yoga pose sequences. After design of the flow is complete, the ability to save it to the database and if wished, print it out.
Must have feature #2
This yoga softwaer must have the ability to search your database of existing flows and yoga poses based on specific criteria. Example: You can ask the tool to display previous yoga lessons where you assigned a "beginner" level. Maybe a group of positions or class plans where the focus was on hip openers. Also requested was the ability to display yoga class plans based on more abstract keyword searches like “extremely relaxing”, “corporate class” and even by student name… the latter being very useful for private classes.The idea is you would use the class plans returned from your search to design new yoga lesson plans or use the past ones again… big time saver.
Must have feature #3
It must have the ability to enter in notes about position instructions and transitions from one posture to the next.
Must have feature #4
Yoga software that gives teachers the option to easily share their class plans with other teachers.
I crunched some numbers based on the total classes my wife teaches in one year. If you teach at least 6 new classes per week and use a tool like described above, it works out to a time savings of 96 hours per year…
96 hours per year back in your pocket, but more important than the time savers though...
...you now have yoga software that helps tailor design lessons based on any group of students & their needs or wants.
That was all the research we needed to do. The time had come to start actually building this yoga class plan tool. It took almost two years to develop, but I’m happy to announce it’s now ready for you to give a try.
We built this yoga software based on the requests from teachers just like you. Neither Martijn nor I proclaim to be teachers of yoga or an expert in any area of the practice. This application was designed as an assistant for you and it’s flexible enough to really make it what you want.
Let me provide an example. YCP yoga software let’s you rename all of the poses. We have included English and Sanskrit pose names, but they can all be modified to suite your style. We know many teachers have differing names for positions and YCP takes that into consideration.
The other thing you will notice is we did not include any predefined pose instructions. Based on feedback from my survey, teachers will have differing uses for this feature. Some will want to spell out instructions very clearly while others will enter passages they don’t want to forget to mention and some will choose to leave it blank.
The point is this is your yoga software. We tried our very best to make it an assistant to the teacher, not a teacher of the teacher. If you feel we missed the mark on that goal, I ask that you let us know. It should be flexible enough though to accommodate the personal planning styles of most teachers.
Let’s take you through the three step process of creating a new class plan. After that maybe you can give it a try and see for yourself.
Step #1 – Edit yoga pose information
This is an optional step, but we highly recommend it.
This is where you can create default information about a specific pose. The edits you make here are reflected in the class plans you create.
Example: You can enter default instructions for the pose. When you drag that pose from the pallet (discussed below) onto the canvas (discussed below), the notes you originally entered for that pose will be used.
Now, this does not mean you can’t edit the pose notes for a specific class, because you can. There is a feature while working in the canvas area that lets you edit your default notes. The yoga software knows that edits made while working in the canvas area are only for that specific class.
While in the edit pose area you can...
- Change the yoga position name.
- Enter detailed position instructions and movement notes.
- Enter comments or analogies you want to voice at a specific stage in the class.
- Assign a pose experience level.
- Re-categorize where the position is located in the pose pallet.
Again, it’s quick and easy and you don’t have to edit each pose if you don’t want.
Important: Once you have edited the pose information you never have to do it again.
Step #2 – Drag and drop your pose images
This is the feature I love best. It’s pretty cool!
On your left, you have a pose pallet with all your yoga posture images. Simply select the one you wish to add and drag it onto the canvas to your right.
Now, repeat that process as many times as is needed in order to complete your class.
Once all the poses have been moved to the canvas you can rearrange, swap poses to create any sequence needed and add description or transition comments for as few or as many poses as you wish.
That’s it, takes all of 5 min, even less once you become more familiar with the tool.
Remember, you don’t have to create a new class every time. You can search the database of your pre existing classes also. Shouldn’t take you longer than 30 seconds from the time you search to the time you select the appropriate class plan.
Step #3 – Save and print yoga class plan
Your class plan is now preserved forever. You can look at it again 1 week, 6 months or 5 years from now.
For your immediate purposes though, you may print the yoga class just designed.
It’s a handy feature for those teachers who like to reference their lesson plan minutes prior to class.
We included some flexibility regarding what information you can display in your printout. You can add or remove any of the following elements:
- Yoga position images (the silhouettes)
- Yoga pose names (English and Sanskrit)
- You also have the option to print out any comments you made about a specific poses.
I know some teachers want just the sequence of positions printed where others like names, images and notes. It’s completely up to you.
Don’t forget this feature — Search out yoga flows you have written in past days, months and years
Search a database of previously written lesson plans and select one appropriate for today’s or this evening’s class.
This is a huge time saver. Simply tell the software what type of class you are looking for and it will do the searching for you.
It will return a selection of results it feels best matches the search criteria you gave it.
- Display all beginner level classes written in last 30 days and where keyword "lower back" is found.
- Display all advanced level classes where class duration was 90 minutes.
- Show me a list of class plans I wrote for private student "Hilary Ryan".
- Show me class plans other teachers have written where the level assigned was beginner and where keyword "evening class" is found.
Scan the results and see if one of the classes returned meets the needs for tonight’s lesson. If so, great, it just took you less than 60 seconds to plan your class today. If not, consider selecting one of the classes and modifying the sequence to meet your needs for the day. Or write a new one from scratch.
This yoga software gives teachers a user friendly and intuitive way of dragging and dropping images to arrange new class flows. It’s a part journal part organizational program teachers can access from any computer.
Martijn and I are big fans of yoga. We have been students for over two years now and the impact to my mind and body has been very rewarding. What started out as a tool to help my wife with her passion for teaching yoga has turned into something all yoga teachers can benefit from… it does not matter if you are currently in teacher training or have 20 years yoga teaching experience.
Example, one of the yoga teachers who helped test this software before going public had this to say:
And, here are some comments from Sunny, a Yoga Teacher Trainer from Australia:
And, from a Yoga Teacher in training, Jenn writes:
Thank you and so far I am loving the Yoga Class Plan software…it has been making my training so much easier for my homework.
I also find it allows me to provide students with a print out of the class including transitions, adaptations & modifications to enable and encourage home practice. For teaching one to one it allows me to provide a professional looking plan rather than my own stick men!
This has been a fun and useful way to not only provide myself with class plans to teach from but also to create a database of ideas, favorite vinyasa flows and individual student plans.
Since our public release date, YogaClassPlan membership has grown steadily and more and more teachers are choosing to share their class plans with other members. In fact, as of July 2012, we have more than 1700 complete yoga class plans accessible by all members, including new users.
It’s one thing for us to try and explain the value in YCP yoga software using words and another to experience it yourself. I may not have done that great of a job pointing out the benefits; you should test it out and assess the value yourself, I will give you lot’s of time… a 60 day money back guarantee.
The membership charge is $16.77 per month, or pay for the year in advance and save 45%.
I hope you choose to try it out. It takes just 5 minutes to fill out all the necessary order information. Upon completion you will receive an e-mail with your login information and further instructions.
You can begin creating yoga class plans right now. Archive your hard work. Store it for use again and again. Build new variation classes based on originals. Access other teacher class plans and make them your own or use them as is.
For best performance: The web browser we recommend you use with YCP is Mozilla’s FireFox or Apple’s Safari. Internet Explorer also works very well, but one temporary issue may pop up from time-to-time… it’s a small one that is easily resolved if and when it occurs. We wanted to disclaim this upfront on the very off chance that you experience it yourself. Learn More about this temporary IE issue…