Confessions of a Yoga Instructor

Monday, November 6, 2017




As a yoga instructor with almost 1,000 teaching hours under my belt, I still tend to observe the process of yoga with a lot of curiosity. Here are a few things I as an instructor wish my classes knew.

1. I respect you so much for showing up on your mat day after day. I know how hard it is.

2. Seeing the same faces in the same classes each week is both humbling and exciting. I'm honored that you trust me, and I'm thrilled to see familiar faces who become "family."

3. When you tremble and fall out of an asana, sometimes you grimace and sometimes you smile. I always smile, because I see you showing up, trying, living wholeheartedly, and not holding back. And that, more than the physical posture, is yoga.

4. Seeing so many different bodies has given me a lot of respect for every type of body, both on and off the mat. There is no "yoga body." Everyone is capable of yoga. And everyone is beautiful.

5. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by your positive energy in class. So much goodness in one place, especially in a really hard, sad world, is so encouraging.

6. Your sweat in hot yoga doesn't bother me; my sweat bothers me!

7. Yes, I really do want to hear you breathing!

8. I love seeing you take breaks or modifications, honoring your own body's needs. It shows me you have a yogi heart that isn't bothered by ego, and it reminds me to mention modifications that I may not have remembered.

9. It really is ok to fully relax during Savasana!

10. As a teacher, I have my pet peeves (sad, but true!): throwing down a yoga mat with no respect for the person resting/meditating/processsing, etc. next to you (BOOM!); iPhone watches/texts going off/coming in, respectfully, in class; leaving before savasana (unless you've let me know you need to leave and do so respectfully!); leaving as savasana starts and convincing your friend already in savasana to leave with you.

11. I love it when you ask questions or voice opinions in class. Chances are others had the same question/feeling and are relieved to know they are totally normal! Speaking up can also add humor to practice, which is often needed. So thank you!

12. Teaching has similar effects as taking a class: it requires presence (paying attention, feeling, allowing for flow of thought) and gives a sense of peace.

13. Teaching yoga has given me an appreciation for the art of celebrating each victory. Sometimes that means nailing a new pose; sometimes that means falling out and still grinning and going on. Sometimes it means settling into child's pose when everyone else is doing "fancy stuff" because that's what your soul needs. You may not know it, but while teaching, I'm also celebrating all those physical, mental, and spiritual victories going on in the room.

14. You might see me as a teacher, but really, I'm just the guide. You are your best teacher; everything you need is indeed inside of you. I'm just here to make sure you stay safe and accountable.

15. You are each amazing, loving, strong, worthy, and capable. You matter. The world is such a better place with you in it.





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