Every one of us in the fitness industry is ultimately in the business of changing people’s lives. Many of us strive to not only give our clients an incredible workout, but also have an impact on them emotionally, or even spiritually, to help them in their lives outside the room. In this episode, Cara Bradley shares ten incredible steps that you can easily integrate into your class to help make it a life-changing experience.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
• How to simplify your teaching structure and vocabulary
• How to connect to your students’ nervous systems directly
• How to incorporate an authentic, confident sense of self while teaching
Here’s the Complete List of Tips:
Step 1 – Clear your own house first. As humans, we can sense what is going on in other’s lives quite easily. Insecurity, doubt, anger, agitation are all hard to cover with a mask. Take a moment before each class and ask yourself, “Is my own house clean?” If not, what do you need to do to prepare yourself to walk in stable, strong, and clear-minded so you are fully ready to support the guests of your class.
Step 2 – Stabilize the room. People are entering the room with very different energies. Giving them simplistic, rhythmic movement will help your guests shift from feeling flustered or busy-minded to focusing on the task at hand. Incorporating breath with the rhythmic movement will stabilize the nervous system. This will be more effective than beginning class with a quote or conversation, as the guests’ minds are not quiet yet.
Step 3 – Be yourself. This sounds cliché – but if we are not ourselves, we will sound awkward. Speak from your own direct experiences, even if it feels silly, it will land more properly than if it is manufactured. The best way to do this is to pull from your own experiences working out and trust that whatever you found inspiring will be enough.
Step 4 – Keep it simple. New instructors are often guilty of trying to complicate things because they don’t trust the power of simplicity. It is easy to feel the need to be unique, but trusting basic foundation is very important. Offering steadiness, stability, consistency, simplicity is how you will help your students have powerful, mind-opening moments in your classes.
Step 5 – Speak/cue with active verbs. We don’t want the guests to be thinking about anything, we want to bypass the mind and connect directly to the nervous system. Complicated vocabulary or sentence structures cause the student to pause and think. Active verbs will connect directly to the muscles through the nervous system. Examples of active words: reach, lift, lunge, relax, engage, release, flex, extend.
Step 6 – Reminder to W.A.I.T.: Why Am I Talking. Easy tip to master this – get your students into their pose/task and cross your fingers as a reminder to pause for a few breaths or beats in the music. Get comfortable with silence because it is very powerful.
Step 7 – Finish with an exit cue. This is something you say at the end of a segment (pose, song, etc.) Allow students to have a moment at the peak of this segment to push past their limit. Examples: “One more breath here,” “5 more seconds.”
Step 8 – Stay steady during challenge. Remain calm when the room has moments of emotional, mental, or physical discomfort. Muscles need time to be challenged in order to adapt and grow. Think of how you would like to be supported when dealing with your own challenges in class.
Step 9 – Give people space to integrate what is happening. If all we do is constantly push “super cues,” the students’ nervous system will not be able to process the experience. When you’re unsure of when is the proper time to give space, return to your own practice and when you find this effective from your own experience as a student.
Step 10 – Offer a few minutes of stillness. Allow the students to process the experience they just had. Let them find their space, come back to their body, and reconnect to their breath. Adapt this to the type of class that you teach that is most effective. Silence is very powerful in this moment.
Other References in This Episode:
Cara’s YouTube Channel & Cueing Videos