With a new year quickly approaching, you may be searching for the perfect class themes to bring into a New Year practice for your classes and students. Figuring out a theme to stick with can be tough but the New Year is ripe with inspiration and you need not look far.
Here are 5 yoga class themes to bring to your New Year classes.
Leaving Behind What No Longer Serves You
This is one of the best themes to start a New Year with. Bringing this concept to students may not be new for you but the meaning behind this theme could hold new power for those in your class. A great way to bring this into the class is to have students become mindful of the postures they are practicing and recognizing which ones are serving their body best in that moment.
You can take this practice even further by asking your students to go internal with this sentiment. Give them space to meditate on the things from the last year that held them back or created obstacles in their life and instruct them to release those things with their breath. With each exhale, they are releasing that which no longer serves them and creating space for new things to enter their life.
Intention and Action Setting Practice
Instructing students to set an intention is standard practice in most yoga classes, but taking it a step further and using it as a theme for your New Year class is a great way to not only have your students set intentions but to create actions around those intentions as well.
Have your students create an intention in each pose they arrive in. As they visualize this intention, guide them through visualizing the actions they need to take in order to reach that intention. Each pose creates a new intention, allowing your students a chance to truly discover what their intentions are in their lives and their practices. Having them visualize the actions it takes to reach their intentions will help them to start the year with some idea of what must be done for them to progress forward.
Be A Beginner
The New Year is a perfect time to return to the beginner’s mind. Returning to the basics will help even the most advanced of students to access the parts of yoga that they may often take for granted.
In this class, focus your efforts and teachings on beginners poses with a bit of a twist to how you instruct them. Have your students access the poses in new ways or to take the practice with eyes closed to shake up their normal routine and bring their mindset to one of learning and less of their known path of asana.
Settling Into Stillness
With the holidays in the rearview mirror it can be difficult for students to experience the slowing down that comes with the New Year. Gone are the holiday parties and errand running. As the depths of winter approach it is a great time to teach your students to settle into the stillness that naturally arises around the New Year.
Teaching a more yin focused practice is a great way to have your students experience stillness. Even in a vinyasa class you can instruct stillness between the movements. Allow for extra time to practice savasana and meditation in these practices to allow your students the ability to find a comfortable stillness.
Gratitude is essential no matter the time of year, but the New Year is an especially essential time to continue the practice of gratitude. With the gift giving season winding down it can be easy to leave behind the spirit of giving for the everyday hustle and bustle of life.
In this class, aim to lead your students through a meditation focused on gratitude but don’t stop there! Each pose is a moment for your students to develop a deeper sense of gratitude. For instance, as the practice begins, have your students cultivate gratitude for the things and people that made it possible for them to attend the practice. As they continue to move, guide them through feeling gratitude for the strength of their legs in their standing postures, the expansiveness of their breath, the joy of surrender at the end of practice, and finally an ultimate sense of gratitude for themselves.
The New Year is an amazing time to bring new lessons to your yoga students and an even better time to remind them of the old lessons you have been bringing to them all along. With a little focus and some added fun your New Year’s classes will be better than ever before and your students will keep coming back for more!