Thoughts on Creating a Yoga Workshop

I love going to a yoga workshop, to further my own practice and deepen my understanding of its history, philosophy and the physical practice. I’ve written about workshops for this series before, and I eagerly look forward to The Mat’s monthly newsletter for announcements on upcoming workshops. But now I have an added appreciation for these workshops. Over the last year, as I’ve gone through a 300 hour teacher training, I’ve been able to see this from the other side: creating my own workshop.

So first of all, topic. I expect that from time to time, an individual may be approached to teach a workshop to expand upon an area he or she is knowledgeable about, maybe on a particular subject or if that person teaches a particular style. This year, the idea was open to me. So I thought, what do I both know about and what am I interested in exploring? And how do I fill in any gaps?

After topic of course, comes audience. As the people comprising the audience – and the space in which a workshop will be taught – can affect the set-up and any potential activity levels. Teaching a workshop at a yoga studio would be different than teaching in a business conference room. And I don’t just mean to imply the regularity with which participants may practice, but even the set-up of the space. At a studio, people may set their mats out on the floor and be seated on blankets or cushions, whereas at a business there may be tables and chairs (and may be tables not so easily moved if any movement is expected).

Audience and space then feeds into the teaching process. Will there be handouts? A Power Point? If asana, will I be demonstrating or maybe asking for volunteers? And if there will be handouts, what kinds?

As if that wasn’t enough to consider, the other question I’m finding myself asking is what do I absolutely want to make sure I cover? I’ve thought it would be a good idea to have more materials, in the event of fewer questions and time is available. But what about the opposite? If there are lots of questions or requests for additional information, and a really good discussion going, what do I want to make sure are the key takeaways to touch upon in the time allotted to me?

For this project too, I finding that I’m already thinking about how I want to set aside time after to evaluate the feedback I receive and how that might assist me with refining this project and growing it.

This post was kind of like my project generation process: one question led to another, in this case of the things I want to consider. And I imagine that they would come up in different ways even for this same workshop to evaluate it for that particular situation. What I found myself also thinking of, was of the myriad workshops I have attended and enjoyed. My teachers have made it look effortless, and I understand so much more what it can take to prepare. So I would also add a sincere thank you to all of those teachers and facilitators and that I look forward to continue learning more from you!

This is the part of a series of posts for The Mat yoga studio, sharing my thoughts and observations as a student only. The views and opinions are my own. 


Patricia returned to Texas after spending several years on both coasts. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

One Comment:

  1. patricia, you’ve hit SO MANY nails on their little heads with this post! The behind-the-scenes work of creating and executing workshops is, for most of us, the most challenging part of the process. it takes hours upon hours of thought, planning, scrapping that planning, re-planning, projecting upon the benefits, etc. But, when you finally get to execute all of that hard work… the payoff is amazing. If you are lucky, you will get to teach the same workshop over and over again (as we have at yogees) and the process gets “easier”! Onwards and Upwards!

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