As fitness professionals, we’re passionate about what we do, and our commitment to our clients is unwavering. However, there are times when trying to do it all can become overwhelming. We feel on edge, might be quick to make assumptions, and easily get frustrated. Fortunately there are things fitness instructors can do to set themselves and their students up for success.
In our fast-paced world, it’s essential to take a moment to ground ourselves before class and ensure that we’re providing the best possible experience for our students. Showing up as a more mindful fitness professional helps you create a more profound impact on your class.
Here are three essential questions to ask yourself as you prepare for your next class. To be a more mindful fitness progressional, take your time and consider your responses to these questions before you step into the gym or studio:
1. How am I doing in this moment?
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of effective teaching. Before you mic up or step to the front of the room, take a moment to check in with yourself. How are you feeling physically and emotionally? Is there something you can do to feel more you centered and present? There’s no expectation to be perfect. We all have off days. Being aware of your own feelings allows you to consider how you’re showing up for your students. An instructor that is mindful of their own experiences in this moment can navigate responding rather than merely reacting to their students’ comments and behavior.
2. What’s one thing I can give my students?
We all want to give our students the best possible experience, but trying to do it all at once can lead to burnout. Instead, focus on one thing at a time. It could be making a connection with each student that shows up that day, making it a point to use each person’s name at least once during class, or remembering to cheer on and motivate everyone during the tough parts of your class. Choose a single element that resonates with you for that particular class and channel all your energy into that one thing. That doesn’t mean you’re forgetting about all the other things that make you a great instructor; those will come naturally I promise. Rather you’re focusing on just one thing you want to improve upon each class. By doing this, you can concentrate on just one quality of your ideal teacher-self at a time, and little adjustments to your classes don’t seem like too much to take on.
3. What’s my intention or goal for this class?
Just as it can be overwhelming for us when we try to do everything, the same goes for our students. Simplify your class by setting a clear intention or selecting a single goal to be the focus of the class. Determine one objective, or identify one these to be the common thread that can tie all the exercises together, and give your students a sense of purpose. This provides direction and clarity, not only making your class more engaging but more meaningful to your students.
Incorporating mindfulness into your fitness classes isn’t just about opening with a body scan or closing meditations for your students; it’s about nurturing YOUR mental and emotional well-being as well. By asking these three simple questions before each class, you’ll help yourself get into a head space where you can teach with ease and confidence, settling into your element.
Remember, it’s not about doing it all; it’s about doing it mindfully. Embrace these questions as tools to guide you on your journey to becoming a more mindful fitness professional