First of all , we don’t know everything.
Don’t get me wrong as a yoga teacher I love it when my students trust me enough to talk about their problems or health issues. But you truly have to know that , unfortunately, we don’t know everything about the human body nor have the solution to every problem. To become a yoga teacher , you need 200 hours teacher training certification. And thats it! I’m not saying that’s not a lot, because it is a shit ton of yoga. It’s still isn’t quite the same as becoming a doctor or psychologist. If you ever need to talk, know that as teachers, we are here to help and make sure that you have a great and safe experience while practicing yoga, but also note that if you start to dive deep into medical issues and terms or ask me why you have a tummy ache- the truth is, we probably don’t know.
Not all yoga teachers are flexible.
Did your mind just exploded right about now? Even tho it takes a certain level of range of motion, not all yoga teachers are extremely flexible or capable of doing every fancy pose in the book, and guess what? That’s totally cool! Yoga is not about how flexible you are or how long you can hold your handstands. Fortunately, yoga is a much more private & personal practice that goes deeper than the physical asana. My favourite part about teaching yoga is that I get to teach the yoga that I know and I am comfortable with , I don’t have to know how to do eka pada kundiyasana I in order to be a good yoga teacher, because teaching comes more from the heart and it’s not really about me- but more about the student and their levels of expertise and where they want to take their practice.
Being a yoga teacher doesn’t make us zen.
We are definitely not always zen, other than being yoga teachers we’re also humans and therefore have access to feelings and are receptive to stress or anxiety. It’s true that doing yoga helps to calm the mind and be less insane when it comes to dealing with problems or stressful situation. In fact yoga can be many things ; stress relief, a workout, a way to find peace, be mindful and it is amazing. I would love to say that I am 100% of the time in a zen mode, chanting mantras and practicing pranayama breathing,but truth is I need to workout and do yoga for a few hours in order to calm my monkey mind and act like a decent human.
We mess up sometimes.
If you’re a yoga teacher, you’re probably familiar with messing up a sequence or do one side but completely blank out on the other side.If you’re not a teacher then you’ve probably been to a class where the teacher keeps forgetting the right side. Yes, we’ve all been there, and when we randomly tell you to go to child pose it doesn’t mean we want you to have a break (well, yes) but also, we really just want to remember what we just did and repeat it on the other side, and for that we need you to not be looking at us.
Teaching can be stressful.
Especially if you’re a new teacher , teaching your first class can be very intimidating. But not only for new bee’s, it is also stressful when you feel like the class is going super well, until one student starts going off track and then everyone follows. It happened to me once teaching at a gym, where this girl just randomly started to text on her phone in the middle of the class in the back. She thought I wasn’t able to see her because she tried to hide it with her towel, but I could totally see her. And so did everyone in downward dog facing the back of the class. It really doesnt take much for me to get distracted so trying to guide the class while also figuring out a way to gently tell her to shut her phone off was quite the challenge.
We don’t just live & breathe yoga.
Even if I do see yoga as a lifestyle because I enjoy doing yoga for fun and it turns out that is also something I do professionally, there is plenty of other interesting things about a yoga teacher other than the fact that they teach yoga. I also love to get a good workout in other than yoga, and write weird things on my blog in a corner of the internet. You know, to each it’s own.
We don’t love ALL yoga poses.
I wish I could say I love all yoga poses and that I’m absolutely fantastic at keeping my jaw & eyebrows soft trying to look like I’m knitting , when I’ve been holding reversed ardha chandrasana for 5 breaths and I am dying. You know what I’m talking about ? That pose you know you hate but chances are it’s the one you need the most. Theres a quote that say ” Try to learn from uncomfortable angles” that is basically what yoga is 75% of the time, and that is okay because it means you are leaning to your edge and discovering new things about your practice. Who am I kidding , if I don’t like it after 5 breath I back off and chill in child pose.
We cant read your mind (or feel what you feel)
That is why it’s super important to be aware of your body & breath because that is the best guidance you can have throughout your practice. Yes the teacher’s voice is important too, but we can’t feel how certain poses feel in your body because we all have different bodies and a pose that feels good to me, doesn’t necessarily mean it will feel good for you too. Don’t hesitate to raise your hand and ask for help and modification when something just isn’t okay. If you can’t breathe, chances are you went a little too far. Don’t expect us to just read through your eyes, we’re not there yet.
We are forever students.
Most people think that once you become a yoga teacher it’s like you magically know everything there is to know about yoga and the 5 billion different styles out there. I’m sorry to break it to you lovely humans of the earth, but no way! As a teacher, rest assure that we are always learning and figuring out things, just like you are. Like the other day I went to a new yoga studio and the way the teacher taught the class was completely different than what I’m used to, and there was new poses and new ways of getting into the poses. It was very exciting to feel like a beginner all over again. Learning is the only thing I do as a teacher, it never stops!
Sanskrit knowledge is amazing(but we do not all have it down)
I don’t know how to say this but …. I don’t speak sanskrit fluently. There.I said it. I think it’s beautiful when the teacher calls out a pose in sanskrit and I also like to say the name in sanskrit when I can. If the teacher can create a safe environment for you to experience your own body & breath in mindfulness , then I think the teacher did a pretty good job! The goal of teaching yoga is not to show off how advanced we might be in our practice or how many sanskrit words we know, but to pass on the love of yoga and give you enough tools so that you grow in your own practice and you are able to maintain a healthy and regular yoga practice. ( I feel like the last sentence was very poetic! Namasté! )
Love & light always,