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10 Creative Themes for your Yoga Classes

Working with themes in your classes can really solidify a full sensory experience for participants. They can also establish a genuine reason for the practice.

Themes also add a little "colour" to your teaching experience, by including nuance to what can otherwise become repetitive and tired.

Themes are usually chosen by the teacher, although there can also be a discussion where students make suggestions. The teacher may, or may not, choose to share the title or topic of the theme with the class. If themes are shared, a discussion around the topic can be helpful in building the feeling of community and unity within the group.

Themes should be supported by:

  • Asana choices

  • Energetic structure of the class

  • Language

  • Imagery

  • Music and lighting

  • Pace

  • Pranayama or breathwork

  • Presentations

  • Homework or real life action

  • Use of props

**TOP TIP** When teaching through a theme have your topic clearly visible to you to keep you focussed on it throughout the session***

  1. Letting Go: Offer your students the option of choosing something to let go of that is not longer supporting them as a member of the universe. Throughout the class remind them to let go of past or future expectations around their practice here and now and approach each asana with a more compassionate expectation.

  2. Gratitude: Introducing this theme can be a simple as offering thanks for simply having the time/space/finance/physical ability to participate in a Yoga class. Regularly taking time out to dwell upon what you appreciate in life changes the chemical composition of the brain.

  3. Go with the flow: This theme can be introduced simply by linking breath and movement and reminding students throughout the practice not to brace, stall, or hold their breath or movements.

  4. Seasons: Choose elements inspired by natures response to the changing seasons and pepper your class with them.

  5. Internal sensations: Interoception. Take opportunities to turn in to the whispers inside the skin throughout your session. Creating deep focus and inner connection in a tangible way. Keep cues sparse, volume and lights low, and use simple language for sensation not emotion.

  6. Body awareness: Proprioception. Cue students to organise one part of the body in relation to another, or in relation to the floor or wall. Ask students to identify where their body is in the space. use open and closed eyes.

  7. Dedication or devotion: Take the opportunity to offer your practice to someone else. Choose to guide your energy not inward, but in someone elses direction - gifting them your practice in spirit.

  8. Anatomical focus: Choose one part of the body to show some love to. Computer neck and shoulders are always a great place to start.

  9. Heart Opening: In both physical and energetic terms, offer asana, quotes, pranayama and compassionate meditation to embrace the two way flow of energy to the heart and chest area.

  10. Lengthen and create space: Physically explore axial elongation and core support through breath and moving. Use cues that support the education of the core and spine, eliciting a feeling of intervertebral space, levity, and ease.