If you’re wondering what questions to ask your yoga students so you know how to tailor classes and sessions to meet their needs, this article is for you!

We’ll cover:

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Questions to Ask Yoga Students Before Their First Yoga Class

There’s some preliminary questions to ask yoga students to ensure their safety in class as well as helping them in other ways to get the most out of your classes. 

We’ll run through some of these now so you know what the most important yoga questions are for students before they start your class. 

#1 Questions to Ask Your Yoga Students About Injuries

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Some of the most important things to ask aren’t necessarily yoga questions for your students but questions about any medical conditions or injuries. 

One of our top tips for teaching the best yoga class is being willing to adapt and change your class on the fly depending on the people attending.

This will usually be informed by the questions you have to ask your yoga students at the start of class.

However you word this, the aim of the question is to determine if anybody has any injuries or long standing medical conditions that mean certain postures will be difficult for them. 

For example, if somebody has a knee injury you might not want to include poses such as mermaid pose, or strenuous forward folds.

As a result you might just want to offer plenty of modifications to this person so they can take part in the class without aggravating their injury. 

The point of asking these questions is to cover yourself from a claim made against you as well as to protect your class members from any harm or pain.

Some examples of how you could word this include: 

Before we start, are there any injuries I need to know about? 

This is a great way of formatting these questions to ask your yoga students because it’s vague enough that people can check with you about their injuries, no matter how severe or the part of the body.

You can substitute any area of the body in this form of the question. If you’ve got a class focused on a particular area you should ask if there’s any injuries or problems with this area specifically.

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For example: 

Are there any lower back injuries I need to know about?

People may not think that they have a relevant injury but have a long term problem with a particular area.

For example, some people have knees that hyperextend and this is something you might need to know about if there’s standing folds in the flow that could aggravate this and cause class members pain. 

That’s why, ideally, you should have questions like this to ask your yoga students after you’ve asked generally.

That way you’ll be making sure there’s nothing physical that will stop your class members from enjoying the class safely!

#2 You Should Have Questions to Ask Your Yoga Students About Their Experience

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Another one of the most important questions to ask about yoga is your class members’ experience levels.

Obviously if you’re teaching a beginner’s yoga class you’ll know that people won’t have a lot of experience but you should always check if there’s anybody who’s never done yoga before.

Much like any questions about injuries, you should have these questions to ask your yoga students because it will help you make any adjustments to the class.

This will dictate both how you deliver the class and the kind of language and guidance you use for your class members.

For example, if there are beginners in your class or people who are new to practice, you can reassure them that they can take child’s pose whenever they feel the need.

You can also use your yoga cues to remind people to listen to their bodies and not push themselves too hard, offering hands on adjustments where appropriate.  

You can also offer more guidance in your cues so that people have more explicit instruction if they’re not familiar with poses.

It will also give you an opportunity to support any people who need it with props such as yoga blocks and straps.

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You’ll also need to know if people have never done a particular style before so this could be one of the ways you frame these questions to ask your yoga students. 

You’ll have a chance to explain what to expect and double check people’s level of ability so you know whether they need modifications.

For example, if you’re interested in becoming an Ashtanga yoga teacher or you’ve already completed this training, you might ask:

Has anybody never done Ashtanga before?

You can then follow up with:

Have you done yoga before?

And ask about what styles they’ve done or how experienced they are. Usually, depending on the class size, people won’t mind answering these questions but often you should go over to each student so they don’t feel intimidated answering in front of the class.

#3 One of the Key Questions to Ask Your Yoga Students is About Their Intention

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One of the most important yoga questions for students is about what brought them to the practice and what their intention is.

As you will probably already know, setting a class intention can help to guide the practice and retain focus throughout for your class members.  

You can also have your own intention, that you offer to students, as a way of grounding the practice and using it for your cues.

This is something you can return to throughout the class and come back to at the end to help people feel the difference the class has made to them. 

Not only is this a great way of retaining focus and helping your class members to dedicate their practice to a particular goal, it also will help them see the benefits of your class!

Whether mental or physical, having people focus on an intention and see the difference a relaxing class has made will keep them coming back!

You can ask several questions here all with the same goal. For example, you can start by asking your class members: 

What brought you to yoga here today?

This will start the process of getting your class members to feel grounded and inwardly reflective so that they can focus throughout the practice.

By getting them to check in with how they’re feeling this will help them to assess how they feel physically and mentally and give them something to compare the end of practice to.

You can then ask: 

Are you here for the more physical side of yoga, or are you looking for something mental or emotional from practice today?

This gives people an opportunity to decide what they want out of practice on another, deeper level and also makes the class inclusive for everybody.

This way people won’t feel too pressured to focus on the spiritual or mental elements of yoga, but will also have an opportunity to deepen their practice by focusing on these if they want to!

You can also then speak to both of these elements in your cues as well.

Lastly, you can ask explicitly:

“What’s your intention in practice today?” 

You can elaborate, as we mentioned, with some suggestions or some ideas for how people might choose to focus their practice.

For example, you may provide an intention for people of “acceptance”. This can be used for both the physical and mental side of yoga and is adaptable for everyone in class.

Yoga Questions for Students Working with You Privately

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Now we’ll run through some of the most important questions to ask your yoga students when you’re working with them privately.

If you want to get private yoga clients you’ll work one-to-one with them on their practice specific to their needs and goals.

There’s therefore some more in depth questions you’ll be able to ask to ensure your clients’ safety and make sure they get as much out of practice as possible. 

We’ll run through some of these now.

#1 Questions to Ask Your Yoga Students Privately About Their Medical History

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As we’ve already mentioned, you should have questions to ask about your yoga clients and their medical history to ensure you can practise with them safely.

When you’re working with individuals you will have more of a chance to ask a wide variety of questions before starting so you’ve got a full picture of their readiness as well as any risks.

Questions about any illnesses or injuries will form a vital part of the risk assessment you complete with new clients when you work with individuals or as part of onboarding to your studio!

This will make individuals feel safer in your hands and give them an opportunity to discuss any information in a private and confidential way compared to in a class.

You can do this as part of a form or you can ask this during an initial consultation with individual clients.

You will also be able to focus on how these may relate to certain goals that your clients have, such as increasing flexibility or even easing pain symptoms. 

The information you gain from people here will also help you to design sessions for them and choose the right style to work on their goals.

For example, if you get a client who tells you they have stiff hips and want to use yoga to loosen up this area of their body, you might decide to 

Some questions you should ask people about their medical history and any illness or injury include: 

Do you have any current or previous, lasting injuries?

Do you have any long term health conditions that may affect your sessions such as osteoporosis or arthritis? 

Do you have any existing pain in certain joints or when you’re doing exercise or performing certain positions? 

All of these will help you to tailor sessions to meet your clients needs and create an open dialogue for them to share any updates about their condition so they get the most out of working with you! 

#2 You Should Have Questions to Ask Yoga Students About Their Profession

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As well as their physical capabilities, some yoga questions you should have for your students include those about their lifestyle.

One of the most important ones you can ask is about their professional life, specifically what kind of work they do.

This will help you assess the following things which will affect their goals and their abilities:

  • How sedentary they are and their level of movement throughout the day 
  • Their schedule and how busy they are 
  • If there’s any risks or strains on particular areas of the body 

You should be able to see areas for improvement and benefits of a practice for individuals even if they don’t see it themselves.

For example, if you get a client who has a very sedentary job and they’re working in an office, then you’ll know that they are more likely to develop back and neck problems.

This can help you to structure the sessions with the client and help educate them about how yoga will benefit them and help strengthen areas weakened by their job.  

Some of the questions you could ask include: 

What is your occupation? 

How many hours a day do you spend sitting down for work?

How do you get to work for the day? Do you drive, walk, or get public transport?

All of these things will help you get to know your clients needs more and work with them to improve areas of their life using yoga practice! 

#3 It’s Important to Have Questions to Ask Your Yoga Students About Their Lifestyle 

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Building on our previous question, you can then extend your questioning to ask your private clients about their lifestyle generally.

This will help inform your sessions more and allow you to tailor each one to their needs better.

The more you know about your client’s lifestyle, whether that’s their activity levels or their sleeping pattern, you’ll know how best to help them.

This works in the same way as knowing about their work: you can use this information to educate them about the benefits of yoga.

This will then, in turn, help your clients to determine their own goals and what they want out of your sessions!

This will also help you to upsell any other services you have to offer as you’ll be able to see if there’s room to offer a more holistic approach for your clients.

For example, you might find that your client doesn’t sleep well and often feels lethargic throughout the day.

If you’ve got a level 4 nutrition course as well as your yoga qualifications, maybe you’re interested in becoming a nutrition coach alongside teaching, you can combine these services.

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As well as designing yoga sessions to help rest their mind and move their body, you might design meal plans and give nutritional advice to support better sleep hygiene.  

Some examples of the sorts of questions to ask your yoga students include:

How many meals a day do you eat and how would you describe your diet?”

How active would you say you are outside of your day job or in your spare time?”

Would you say you sleep well or have trouble sleeping regularly? 

All of these are great questions to ask your yoga students to create the best programme possible for them. 

#4 Ask Yoga Questions for Students to Shape Their Own Practice

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Just as it’s important to have questions to ask yoga students about their life outside of practice, you should also focus on their attitude towards yoga itself.

Having specific yoga questions for students will help you tailor sessions to their tastes as well as just their abilities.

This will also help you to introduce them to new styles and teach them without repeating information they already know or risking coming across as condescending.

For instance, you might get a client who’s been doing yoga for years but has only ever focused on one particular style.

Therefore, as well as understanding the right pace for their experience, asking them to shape their own practice means you’ll be able to include plenty of their favourite styles so that they’re more engaged in the practice!

Some questions you could ask, if you’re working with somebody who has a little experience, include:

What is it that you like most about yoga?

Do you have a favourite kind of yoga and why?

Is there a particular aspect of practice you want to work on or a new style you’d like to try?

 

Based on what they say they like most about it this can help you with any particular style to focus on or goal.

For example, if their favourite part of yoga is the focus that it gives them, you can choose to include plenty of balance postures as these are great ways to focus attention during yoga. 

If you’re finding this article helpful, why not check out some of our others on marketing yourself and your business?

Questions to Ask Yoga Students When Class Has Finished

Now that you know which questions to ask your yoga students before class, and some specific to private sessions, let’s move on to after class! 

Below are some of the top questions you should have to ask your yoga students to help close the practice. 

#1 Questions to Ask About Yoga Intentions at Close of Class

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As we mentioned earlier, the questions you ask at the start of class about people’s intentions, can be returned to at the end.

This will give people a chance to notice and reflect on the positive effects of the yoga class for their particular goals.

As well as forming cues throughout the practice this will give you a chance to draw attention to both the physical and mental aspects of yoga at the end to show the progress your class members have made!

This will not only help them to find meaning in the practice and notice their own achievements but that, in turn, will make them want to keep coming to class.

You can either explicitly ask about the intention or you can use this to build on and ask students to reflect back on the class. 

If we use the example from earlier in the article, “acceptance”, you can ask students to check in with themselves and compare how they feel now to how they felt at the start of class.

For example:

Think back to how you felt at the start of class and our intention of “acceptance”. How do you feel compared to the start of class? Are you accepting of how your body feels and what it was capable of today?

This will help students to feel grounded again and help them return to their purpose for being in the class.

As we mentioned earlier, you can also draw attention back to the mental and physical aspects that you mention when you open a yoga class as both of these will inform people’s personal intentions: 

Check in with yourself again. How are you feeling compared to the start of class both physically and mentally?”

Returning your focus to the body, how does it feel compared to the start of class? Are your muscles looser? Do you feel more relaxed?”

Turning your attention inward, compare how you feel mentally and emotionally to how you felt at the start of class. Is the mind quieter? Are you able to let go of thoughts and focus on the body?

All of these are great questions to ask your yoga students at the close of class!

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#2 Questions to Ask About How Your Yoga Class Was for People

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When you’ve asked people to reflect on how they feel compared to the start of class, one of the ways you can build on this is to ask students to reflect on the class as a whole.

You should encourage people to look back over their class and rather than assess their performance in a critical way, use it as a moment of reflection. 

By getting them to think back over the class and how it felt, this will help them understand their own practice better.

It will also help them to feel more in tune with themselves and guide them through the next practice as each class will help inform the intentions and goals of the next!

For example, by getting somebody to look over the class at any moments that they may have found difficult, this is something they can focus on improving during the next class.

Equally if there’s something in particular that they loved about class or feel they achieved this will encourage them to keep coming to class and noticing their improvements.

This works for both a physical and mental or emotional focus of practice as people can either assess how they felt physically or if there were any mental barriers stopping them from deepening certain postures or focusing on the breath.

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All of these things will help people to improve and to notice these improvements when they occur!

An example of how you might do this in an encouraging way is: 

Reflecting back over the class, what did you feel you achieved today?”

Looking back at your practice today without judgement or expectation, did you get what you needed from the practice? Are there areas you’re working on that you had the space to work on?”

Think back over the class now. How did you feel physically? Was there any tension in a particular part of practice today?

All of these are options for questions to ask your yoga students to reflect on at the end of class, encouraging them to notice their own improvements and room for future adjustments!

#3 One of the Best Questions to Ask Your Yoga Students is if They Have Any Questionsworkshop questions to ask your yoga students image

Last but not least, it’s also important to ask the people you’re teaching if they have any questions themselves.

This might be related to the practice on that particular day or about the style of practice in general.

Giving people an opportunity to ask questions will help you to display your knowledge and assert your expertise.

It also increases people’s comfort and confidence in the class because they can ask anything they’re unsure of.

This might be to do with certain postures and gives them an opportunity to get more details from you compared to during class when things are faster paced.

Because you’ll be teaching several people at once, depending on how busy the class is you won’t be able to give undivided attention and adjustments to individuals as much as you might like.

Asking if anybody has any questions or if they want any more information gives you the opportunity to provide this focused attention on individuals.

For example, if you’re interested in becoming a Hatha yoga teacher, or you teach this style already, you can give people the opportunity to ask more questions about its history as one of the oldest styles.

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Here’s some examples of how you could open the floor for questions from your students:

If anybody has any questions about Hatha or yoga in general I’ll be around for a moment at the end to answer those

You can also be specific in helping people come forward about things they’re struggling with, as we mentioned before giving them more guided, individualised advice:

If anybody has any questions about the practice, anything they’re struggling with or wants any tips in particular, I’ll be around to answer those for you

Lastly, you can ask if they have any questions about other services that you offer. For example, maybe you’re running your own yoga retreat or teaching a yoga workshop?

You should briefly use the time at the end of the class to promote these and give people a chance to ask any further questions about them.

For example:

I’m running a workshop at the end of the month on 28th all about Hatha and balance postures. If anybody wants any more information or you have any questions about that, let me know!

As you can see, this can be a great way of ending the class and an opportunity to enhance the class for everyone!

Before You Go!

Hopefully you can use some of these questions to ask your yoga students and help them make the most of your classes and keep coming!

Don’t forget to check out OriGym’s industry leading level 4 yoga diploma which will boost your expertise and help your yoga business to grow. 

You can also find out about all of our courses by downloading our free course prospectus.

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About the Author: Jessie Florence Jones

Jessie OriGym Author
Jessie has a 1st class honours degree in English Literature from University of Leeds and an MA in English Literature from Durham University. Naturally Jessie has a real passion for writing especially about film, culture and wellbeing. Outside of writing she loves hiking, country walks and yoga, which she has done religiously since lockdown.

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