- Establish a foundation of freedom. Make sure your students know that they can always opt out of anything.
- Create safe, well-rounded experiences that are appropriate for student ability.
- Advise your students: Yoga shouldn't be painful. Pain is a signal to back off or modify.
- Avoid using force to change a student's position in a posture, and be open to variation. Every student has a unique structure, history, and circumstance.
- Use your knowledge to offer instruction for engagement and alignment based on your training and experience.
- Offer variations. Give options. Use props. Help students find something that works for them.
- Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know. Have a kind, confident response ready if someone asks/expects you to evaluate or treat ailments.
- If a student reports an injury, ask if they've seen a doctor or therapist. Ask for any recommendations and/or limitations.
- Have a list of recommendations for healthcare practitioners ready to share.
Remember, it is outside the scope of practice of a yoga teacher to diagnose and treat.
Students with injuries/conditions will attend your classes. The safest action is to recommend medical evaluation when a student tells you about an injury or asks for advice.
More information: Yoga Alliance Statement on Yoga Therapy