I always have this apprehension about going to a new yoga class. Not knowing the teacher or their style. Not knowing what to expect with the flow or language. Will I feel good, or annoyed, or hurt after the class? I have been working really hard on just letting go of a teacher brain and working to be a student when I step on the mat. Take any new information and do the best I can to stay present. I have only been to a couple really bad classes where the sequence didn’t make any sense, and I left feeling not good.
I thought I would share some tips from recent experiences I’ve had.
- Stay present! Please don’t call an “intermission” and then go chat up a girl. It’s impossible to watch your students in their practice (especially important when they are doing handstands and forearm balances! Yikes). This is not only unsafe, it’s rude, and distracting to your students!
- Be on time! Be there before your students. You should be talking to them to find out their experience level, if they have any injuries, or if they have anything to share.
- Talk in a respectful tone! If your students aren’t doing what you are asking them to do, then you should consider your own instructions. They should not be relying entirely on watching other people to know what to do. YOU are the instructor.
- Share stories! I don’t care what you did last night, but share a story about the pose or your own experience with the pose.
- Talk, but not too much! Give us time to have quiet and focus. It’s hard enough to be in poses sometimes, and then to hear someone chatting incessantly. UGH!
- Savasana is important! Think about the music you play here. I personally would rather have none, but I know others like it. I have heard many different takes on this from students. No words. No Gongs. No foreign languages. No…..so why not have silence? It’s perfect!
Ok, that’s enough for now. I know yoga is very personal. It’s hard to please everyone as an instructor. Leading yoga classes is a tricky balancing act of remaining true to your own voice and leading a well-rounded class that people will enjoy and benefit from.
Those top two points are more about safety and etiquette. Etiquette is not just for students!
TO STUDENTS: Give feedback to your teacher. Tell them what you liked and didn’t like. It’s important for them to hear. Hopefully you have an engaged teacher who hangs out before and after class. A good teacher will welcome the feedback. It’s how we get better too.