As a yoga instructor on Temple's campus, I observe the nuances of yoga classes quite a bit. Here is what your yoga instructor is probably thinking while you're in class!
1. Yoga is a PRACTICE
In Yoga, practice makes practice. We're not trying to set you up for perfection in any shape or form. We want you to slow down your mind, slow down your breath, and create a union with your body. The perfection of this is nearly unachievable, setting us up for a steady practice.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
Yoga is different from other group fitness classes and settings because well, the focus is drawn inward. When you are practicing, try not to look at the person next to you or into the mirror the entire time. I often tell my students to close their eyes to make the class less about how the postures look aesthetically and more about how they make you feel.
3. It's okay if you fart
We've all done it. Especially during happy baby.
4. We do weird things when you’re in downward facing dog.
That's when I yawn, sing along and dance to the music when you're not looking.
5. Its okay to cry in half pigeon
It's the centuries-old conception. Opening up your hips can lead to an outpour of emotions. And that's okay, we've all seen it.
6. If I adjust you, its for alignment purposes ONLY
When I first started taking yoga classes, I felt like when instructors would adjust my hand or foot placement, that I was doing something wrong or just failing at yoga. Which is not true. When instructors adjust your posture, it's often to make a pose more comfortable or to keep you from hurting yourself
7. Please stay OFF of your phone
Please don't put your phone beside your mat. If you need to check the time, keep a watch on your wrist. It's distracting to me and everyone participating in class.
8. Take child’s pose, seriously.
If you're tired or if you need to take a break or just breathe, take child's pose. I promise we won't be mad if you stayed in child's pose for the entire class. We'd probably applaud you.
9. I’m just as stressed as you are
I can't tell you how many people have said," OMG, you teach yoga! You must be super relaxed all the time!" Well no. We have the same day to day issues and anxieties as everyone else. We also don't always cope in the best ways. But we share a love for sharing yoga with others and cultivating a symbiotic relationship.
10. You don't have to be super skinny or super flexible to do yoga
YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE. Sometimes on social media, it looks like only super skinny, dancer-like girls do yoga, but that's merely a toxic western lens. Yoga is for all bodies and all levels.
11. The simple act of you showing up is what keeps me going