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Experience vs Lecture In Your Yoga Workshop

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Creating an experience for your yoga workshop is one of the most important things you can do so people learn and keep coming back for more!

You’ve finally narrowed down your workshop content and you know exactly what you want to teach. 

But HOW do you teach all of this content in an engaging and interesting way?

SEQUENCE YOUR CONTENT

Every good workshop should move through a progressive sequence.

At the beginning of your workshop, you’ll want to “set the scene,” just like you do in a normal yoga class- introduce yourself and set the intention for the workshop.

The heart of your workshop includes lecture, experience and discussion.

The lecture is when you talk about the objective. You introduce the topic, what it is, how it works and all of the other fun details! Lecture doesn’t have to be boring!! But it shouldn’t take up the entire workshop time either. Balance your time with lecture & experience.

The experience is where the real magic happens. Most people learn best through experience. There’s lots of ways to include experiences in your workshop which we’ll talk about below.

The discussion is a time for students to ask questions and share their experiences. I believe this is a VERY important part of a workshop and is best used at the end of each experience.

It’s really important that we give people time to process the information and an opportunity to ask questions within the workshop.

At the end of your workshop, close with any final remarks, pieces of advice or a Q&A session. Pull the energy of the room back together and end with a final OM, breathing practice, meditation or savasana to close the workshop.

Finally, ask for feedback and testimonials and be available for more discussions. Also, make sure to end with a way for people to work with you in the future!

Here’s a basic workshop sequence:

Introduce the Teacher

Introduce the Topic and Set the Intention for the Workshop

Primary Objective Lecture —> Experience —> Discussion

Second Objective Lecture —> Experience —> Discussion

Third Objective Lecture —> Experience —> Discussion

Etc.

Closing Remarks

Feedback & Testimonials

There’s lots of ways to create a good workshop sequence but I find the above method provides the best results.

CHOOSE EXPERIENCES FOR EACH WORKSHOP OBJECTIVE

There are a lot of different ways to add experiences in your workshop. Here’s some examples:

  • Yoga Classes
  • Quizzes
  • Partner Work
  • Group Discussion
  • Meditation, Pranayama, Mudra, etc. Practices
  • Teaching Practice
  • Fill In The Blank Worksheets
  • Self-Inquiry

Look through your workshop objectives and choose what experiences you want to provide for each workshop objective.
Here’s my example for my Ayurveda for Yoga Teachers Workshop

Primary Objective: UNDERSTAND THE QUALITIES OF AYURVEDA and LIKE INCREASES LIKE PRINCIPLE
Experience Activity: The 20 Qualities In Your Life

Sub-Objective #1: STUDENT’S DOSA AND IT’S QUALITIES
Experience Activity: Dosa Quiz

Sub-Objective #2: YOGA PRACTICES FOR YOUR DOSA
Experience Activity: A 30-minute yoga class for each dosa – asana, mudra, pranayama and meditation specific to each dosa

NARROW DOWN YOUR BRAIN DUMP

Experiences can take quite a bit of time, but I promise it’s completely worth it! However, we do need to set some boundaries with our time to ensure we stay on task and fully cover all of the information.

I also suggest limiting your discussion time to only 5-15 minutes per experience.

Here’s my Ayurveda for Yoga Teachers example:

Total Workshop Time = 6 hours

Introduction: 5 minutes

Primary Objective: UNDERSTAND THE QUALITIES OF AYURVEDA and LIKE INCREASES LIKE PRINCIPLE
Experience Activity: The 20 Qualities In Your Life
Lecture Time: 30 minutes
Experience Time: 15 minutes
Discussion Time: 5 minutes

Sub-Objective #1: STUDENT’S DOSA AND IT’S QUALITIES
Experience Activity: Dosa Quiz
Lecture Time: 30 minutes
Experience Time: 15 minutes
Discussion Time: 15 minutes

Sub-Objective #2: YOGA PRACTICES FOR YOUR DOSA
Experience Activity: A 30-minute yoga class for each dosa – asana, mudra, pranayama and meditation specific to each dosa
Lecture Time: 30 minutes
Vata Experience Time: 30 minutes
Vata Discussion Time: 15 minutes
Pitta Experience Time: 30 minutes
Pitta Discussion Time: 15 minutes
Kapha Experience Time: 30 minutes
Kapha Discussion Time: 15 minutes

Closing Remarks: 15 minutes

Feedback & Testimonials: 15 minutes

Total Workshop Time: 5 hours 15 minutes

BUILD YOUR WORKSHEETS

You can now use the outline above to build your worksheets (if you’re providing worksheets).

I also create a worksheet at least for myself to help me stay on topic. I would suggest you do the same!!!

It’s also nice to provide some kind of hand out for your students so they can take notes. BONUS: you can include your contact information so they can reach out with any questions or opportunities to work with you! 😉

PRO TIP: PLAN EXTRA EXPERIENCES

I almost didn’t put this section in this article but……..

In my opinion, it’s better to over plan your content than under plan.

Personally, I try to set my total workshop time as a little less than my allotted time but then plan one or two extra experiences for the workshop.

I know myself- I like to talk and I can easily extend a 5 hour workshop into 6 hours just by opening up the floor for discussion and providing extra content “on the fly.”

But if you’re new to workshops, this may be intimidating for you.

In this case, I definitely suggest you plan at least one extra experience for your workshop. Perhaps you can end with a 15-20 minute savasana or a guided meditation.

For my Ayurveda for Yoga Teachers Workshop, the extra experience is a Ghee Making Class.

I’ll bring in all of the equipment to make Ghee and I know that we can talk about the benefits of ghee and how to make it. Even though it doesn’t perfectly fit in with my objectives, it’s still a fun experience and a way to extend the time if I need to. 😉

How is your workshop planning coming?

Are you feeling stuck trying to think of experiences?

Do you want someone to look over your worksheets or handouts?

Set up a consultation call and I can help you brainstorm and provide some of my feedback.

Congrats!! You’ve narrowed down your objectives and you know exactly what content you want to teach!!

In our next article, we will take all of this information and create a unique workshop experience that will have your students engaged, talking and excited about working with you!

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