What your yoga teacher wants you to know –

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She’s still a yoga student, too. No matter how long she’s been teaching, she is still learning.  We are all learning, all the time.  The minute someone thinks they know it all, the rest of the world knows that they know nothing.  A good yoga teacher will always find time to take a class, read a book, attend a workshop.  We’re all on this journey together.  (Hint: if someone has been teaching yoga for a year and calls herself a “Master Yogi” or “Master teacher,” or “Guru,” run, don’t walk, away.  ick.)

As much as he loves yoga, there’s more to him than just yoga. For many teachers (myself included,) yoga filters its way into all aspects of life, but even we realize that there is more to life than just yoga.  We have other interests, too.  We have a life off the mat and that life may or may not look very “yogic” to you.  You might find us drinking martinis or cheering wildly at a football game or dancing our pants off at a concert.  Sometimes we even wear shoes! GASP!  😉

You do not need to try to impress her. She’s there to facilitate class, not to find The World’s Next Top Yogi.  Your extra loud Ujjayi breath or ear-splitting “Om” is not going to win you any points, nor is your expansive knowledge of Gogi berries and Kamucha.  It’s not about her, anyway, it’s about you, so focus on yourself and your mat and everyone will be loving life.  (hint: don’t be this guy.)

Occasionally he has bad days, too. Yoga makes life awesome, but it doesn’t make it perfect.  Sometimes he will feel a little off, tired, upset, distracted.  That’s okay, he’s human, too.  He will still practice and he will still teach, however, because it’s the practice, the commitment, the dedication to yoga that makes a yogi.  If your teacher seems a little off one day, he probably is.  It happens to the best of us.  Stay with it, hang in there, and you’ll learn something from him and maybe teach him a thing or two, as well.

It can be hard work being a teacher. He puts a lot of time and effort into planning class.  Planning sequences, music, themes, and a smattering of spirituality in fresh ways several times a week requires a lot of a person.  It involves taking risks, thinking outside the box, and putting himself out there.  It’s intimidating, at times, to stand in front of a group of people and open himself up like that.  Sometimes things work great, sometimes not so much.  Again, he’s human, so throw him a bone and at least pretend to laugh at his jokes.  He’ll thank you for it.

She is there to help you! Ask her questions.  Ask for guidance in poses.  Ask for suggestions on mats, props, clothes, music, books.  She’s not just there to tell you what to do and where to go, she’s also there to help you get there.

It’s okay to be his friend! No yoga teacher gets into the gig because they dislike people!  Don’t be afraid to talk to him outside of class or to invite him to your social function.  He may or may not be able to make it, but I promise he will enjoy being invited and will remember it, and you, fondly.

She loves having you in class – You matter! Each and every person on the planet donates something to the Universal energy known as Prana.  We are all integral parts of a greater whole.  Every smile, laugh, sigh, pause, breath you make adds to the energy of the class and helps make it what it is.  Yes, even you, the student who always places your mat in the back corner of the room and never says a word, you matter, you add to the class, and she’s so glad you are there.

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One response »

  1. Wonderful – thanks for making yoga teachers into people too. Especially like the advice “Every smile, laugh, sigh, pause, breath you make adds to the energy of the class and helps make it what it is.” Truly this is a community effort.

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