Seven Ways To Sub A Class

Seven Ways To Sub A Class


You might have noticed that you feel a bit differently teaching someone else’s class. You’re not quite sure who will show up, you need to navigate the space differently and you might wonder if what you say will land with your temporary students.

The best way to sub a class is to connect with students immediately. Just make eye contact, speak clearly and answer any questions they may have. The key is to make the people who come to class feel comfortable.

Read these quick seven tips just before you sub!


  • Speak directly to them. You’re in a new setting and most likely you won’t really know the people in the room. In this instance, it’s your job to make the first connection. Make eye contact. Get to know their names. Remember their names.


  • Set the Context. Let them know your name, who you’re subbing for and which class you’re subbing!


  • Use A Quote. Quotes are a great way to quickly set the context, and share who you are. Simply state how you relate to the quote, and perhaps how you found it. Make sure it’s a quote you’ve used before! If you want to reflect on the quote after you read it, that works! But don’t get yourself bogged down. The important part is next.


  • Down Regulate. Use sensory engagement to invoke the parasympathetic nervous system response. This means that when you cue even five breaths, you’re helping them activate their own relaxation response, and therefore access an extraordinary part about being a human: one’s ability to calm oneself the eff down. Cue a few breaths. And then perhaps choose silence for half a minute.


  • Announce hands on assists in the beginning of class. Give them space to opt out of being assisted. If you plan to give hands on assists, be sure to mention whether or not you’ll be giving assists in the beginning of class in a low threat scenario. For example, make sure everyone’s eyes are closed and say “if you do not care to be assisted during class, I want to respect your space, please place both hands on your head” or something similarly relevant to the first pose you teach.


  • Crack a joke. This comes from being yourself. Make sure it’s true to your personality. I like to break the ice by letting students know I’m not going to be a drill sergeant and up there yelling at them to ‘let it go!’ the whole time. You’re not really in a setting to get them to laugh out loud at your jokes, so pick a joke you know is funny. Weave the joke into how simply being at class is an opportunity to shift into positive body awareness. It could also be an opportunity to release that which has been held in their body and manifested as any numbers of characteristics.


  • Tell a story. Tell a story so it pertains to the setting. How does what they’re doing in your class relate to a story or even better, how can you relate your experience to what they’re trying to do in the pose? Practicing can be very humbling. Make sure when you’re teaching hard poses to book end it with ways that you can relate. Make all of your poses accessible to the people in the room. This is not about hand holding. Stay super professional and on task, but let them know you feel their pain through story.






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