When teaching a class, do you mostly demo the exercises, or walk around and offer corrections?

First, I would like to say that there is no right or wrong when it comes to teaching style. It’s all about what works and what achieves the best results. Different teachers are more comfortable with certain ways of teaching. Plus, every circumstance is different and varies based on the level, size and pace of the class type. When teaching mat classes, I often like to do the class with the participants.

When teaching a class, do you mostly demo the exercises, or walk around and offer corrections? Photo Gallery

This way, I can offer general and specific cues without interrupting the flow of the class, and think three or more steps ahead. That is not to say that I never stop the class to reiterate a point or demonstrate a movement—I do. However, there is a general flow that I like to achieve to reap benefits such as cardiovascular training, increased body temperature, heightened focus and awareness, and a meditative quality, which is difficult to accomplish when the class stops and starts. Again, if a teacher prefers walking around and correcting, and teaching each exercise individually, there is certainly nothing wrong with that and it has its benefits.

For equipment classes, I demonstrate less and try and keep the clients moving as much as possible. But I’m always ready to jump on and demonstrate when I think it’s appropriate and will make the teaching process smoother and the information clearer. This means that I need to be in prime physical condition. It also means that I need to make time before the session to prepare my body for work. Jumping on the equipment cold will inevitably lead to aches and pains and possibly even injury. To sum it up based on percentages, in a mat class I demonstrate 85 to 100 percent of the time; in an equipment class I demonstrate five to 15 percent of the time. Either way, I try to never compromise quality and precision of the movement. Underlying every class is the philosophy and the principles of the method itself. Also, very importantly, I recognize that the class is for the student and not a personal workout for myself. So whatever method of cueing serves the purpose best, that’s what you should do.

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