PSA: Head's up - sign up very soon because we have limited space left at our Italian Summer Yoga Retreat. But if online is more your jam, we now have video bundles available for all levels. Don't forget that you'll get a free gift when you screenshot your review of our app to Lauren. Our Summer YBC Mantra Box is now available for pre order! And lastly, our book, Namaslay, is available for pre order as well. Thanks for the support!
I was clicking through our Yoga Forum last night when I came across this great thread that discussed what people would say to their yoga teacher if given the opportunity. Now, to be honest, I think people always have the opportunity to speak their mind about classes (believe me, people in the past have done it to me), but I also understand feeling uncomfortable speaking your truth to your teacher.
Confession. Here are a few things I would like to tell the various teachers whose classes I attend:
- Thank you for giving me the option to interpret your sequencing how I like. There is one teacher at a studio I go to (she's the owner), who always encourages her students to do what they like with what she offers. What I mean by that is, for example, one day she had us in crow pose, and she was like, "If you want to do something different, go for it." Now, my current focus in my practice is building strength, so I took the opportunity to move into a funky transition and go into headstand and back into crow pose. I loved that she granted me the freedom to do what I wanted.
- Don't take my practice personally. There's another teacher at this same studio who is the total opposite. She doesn't want anyone straying from her sequencing and it drives me bananas because she will call you out on it if you do one little thing differently. For example, she had us stepping from downward dog to the front of the mat, and I always do it with a three-legged dog in between just because it feels good to stretch my tight hips and she stopped the whole class and told me to stop doing that. I understand not wanting your student to stray so far away from your sequencing that they miss the point completely (ie being in handstand when everyone else is doing supine hip openers), but I am a firm believer that the classes are for the students. If I want to do a three legged dog in between my downward dog step to the front of the mat, I should be able to. It's not taking away from your sequencing, and it for sure isn't personal - it's just what I need for my tight hips!
- Just talk regularly. One of the most common things people say on my YouTube channel is they like the way I talk. Here's the thing - I speak normally. In my regular voice. I don't velvetize it. I don't sugar coat it. I just speak, and I do this because I cannot, for the life of me, stand when a teacher has a normal speaking voice and then begins to teach in a high pitched, fake sing song voice. Drives me nuts. Be yo'self!
Sometimes, though, critiques I wish I'd said have become things I've actually enjoyed. Once, for example, one of my favorite teachers put on a song for savasana that had lyrics and was upbeat. For the first minute, I was thinking to myself, 'WTF is this, girl!? I'm trying to relax here." But the lyrics were beautiful, meaningful, and the song was upbeat, and left me feeling ready and energized for the day. It taught me to stay open minded and it changed my perspective of what savasana "should" be. Like, we all have these preconceived ideas about various things and when it comes to the yoga practice, we all have our favorite versions. I'd always seen savasana as a quiet, restful time, but I hadn't pieced together that you can be quiet and restful, yet receptive to an upbeat song with lyrics. Who knew?! I now use that same song in classes I teach. Here's the song, if you're interested.
Your turn! Pop over to the Yoga Forum or write down in the comments below what you'd like to tell your yoga teacher. I'm curious as to what you'd say - I'm always looking for feedback and hearing what people love/loathe.