Five Things Your Yoga Teacher Wants to Tell You...
Yoga teachers see a lot. Body language, furtive glances — the way a person carries him/herself speaks volumes. We also hear things - assumptions about yoga or yoga teaching that make our eyes roll. Here are five things your yoga teacher desperately wants to tell you but won’t. Hopefully we put aside this silliness and get to the good stuff like connecting to ourselves and others.
1) “You teach yoga, you must be sooooo relaxed!” Any time I encounter this assumption, I resist kicking them in the shins and running away yelling, “I regret nothing!” (This is why I do yoga. To release pent up rage and successfully avoid socially unacceptable reactions). I also have to find ways to recharge.
2) It doesn’t matter how flexible you are. Leave your ego at the door. After several years of teaching I’ve noticed a theme - naturally flexible people who move well in a yoga practice are often harder to teach than inflexible people. They usually carry an ego of “I know what I’m doing” or treat the practice like a performance art piece. Well I’ve got news for you lulu-clad bendy gal - ain’t nobody watching. Contrast this with someone who is struggling to touch their toes. They are humbled by the experience, open to learning and eager to take guidance. I say this as a naturally bendy person. For some, their yoga practice becomes leaving their ego behind, learning to contain flexibility, and benching the know-it-all actress at the classroom door.
3) Sharing is caring I find it comical how possessive people become of their “spot” in a classroom. If someone is in a person’s ‘spot’ you can witness some pretty heated conversations or passive aggressive mat movement paired with audible huffing. Yoga means union. Its precepts encourage acceptance of others as well as non-attachment. Ergo; be kind and let go of your possessive claim to the left hand corner.
4) PUT YOUR CELL PHONE AWAY!!! This is pretty self-explanatory. Turn it off, put it away and do not bring it into class. Respect fellow students, the teacher, and your own practice. Unless you are an on-call doctor, or your child is sick, you don’t need it. Even so, leave it with the front desk staff. They can notify you when your patient goes into B-fib. In the meantime - do not set that phone up by your mat and text during class (yes this actually happens).
5) Try not to take it so seriously I get it. I go to yoga to decompress and unwind. However, not taking ourselves seriously is tremendously healing. Yes, yoga is sometimes a spiritual and intense experience. However 80% of the class has you in positions that encourage flatulence. And happy baby pose? Looks pretty ridiculous. Also, if you do fart, laugh it off. And yes, the teacher knows who did it, but we stay quiet and handle it like a boss by walking to the other side of the room while doing our best not to burst out laughing - because life's too short to take yoga and farting seriously.
Jelayna Da Silva is a well certified, passionate yoga teacher. Her love for yoga takes her across the GTA to teach at several studios and multiple clients. Her background in Psychology and College Athletics infuses her classes with a strong understanding of how mind and body function.. www.jelaynayoga.com