I wasn't sure how to title this post. I also wasn't sure if I even wanted to bring this up, but if it has happened to me, perhaps it has happened to someone else out in blog world and I can solicit some advise.
How, as an instructor, can I accommodate a special needs or challenged student within the parameters of the class structure in which I am already teaching?
The Class - I lead two vinyasa/power yoga classes a week at my local YMCA. I have been here for three years, and on any given day we have mixed group (beginners, regulars, drop-ins, experienced practitioners) numbering between oh, 12 and 20 attendees. Lately closer to 20.
The Situation - I get new people all the time. Some just try it out, some end up staying. Sometimes I recommend one of the other yoga classes offered (Hatha, Sivananda, Yin). Recently, I had a new student come, never done yoga but claims to have done ballet and jazz. I realized immediately that they were very much out of their element, even with specific cuing, and hands-on demonstrating. I talked to them after class and recommended a different session but due to bus schedules, it won't work.
The Concern - This individual has a difficult time listening and processing cues, very poor eye to body coordination (cannot look at the person next to them/across from them and mimic the pose), and is usually about two poses behind, which I strongly suspect is due more to thought process than ability. I cannot give them the one-one instruction they need without compromising the flow of class and the other students.
Lately I've been doing "technique flow" (as I call it - my way of integrating technique into vinyasa class; always good to review basics) but it doesn't seem to be helping. This past week I put the students into a wide stance forward fold, left hand on the floor under your nose, raise right hand toward the ceiling. This student called me over because they "didn't get it". They didn't understand the cue, even with 15 people to watch. I'm not sure I could have made it any more clear?
So, before I loose my patience (which I know is not very yogic of me), how can I accommodate both student AND the rest of class?