My teacher in Austin, Texas once said, “Try to learn something from every teacher you come across. Good or bad. You can always open your mind to some new thing.” Here is my Top 13 List of things that my yoga teacher has said that I absolutely LOVE.
My face gets really red when I work out. I used to think it was because I was awesome. Then I realized it was because I was holding my breath. When a teacher cues on the breath, telling me when to inhale and exhale, or even just reminding me not to hold my breath, I feel a big difference.
2. Meet Your Body Where it is Today.
I could touch my forehead to my knee yesterday! What happened? Okay, breathe, and realize that every day is different.
3. Fog up the mirror, ocean breath, Darth Vader breath.
I never used to know what Ujjayi breathing was. And I suppose that for those brand new to yoga, expecting that they, A, know that term and B, how to do it effectively would be quite intimidating. Not very yoga. Darth Vader breath? I know what that is.
4. Look into your own eyes.
Scary as hell. Who doesn’t look into the mirror and fixate on the imperfections they see? But we can train ourselves to see past those perceived imperfections and concentrate, meditate and worship the god or goddess we see before us.
5. If you don’t like my class, may I recommend so-and-so’s class.
We don’t jive with every person we come across. It may not even be that personal. I teach a 90 minute class in a 105 degree studio. I get it if it’s not the right class for you. May I recommend the Candlelight Slow Flow on Friday nights?
6. Meet you in the hot room!
Hey, I need all the encouragement I can get. If you make it sound like a cool club, I’ll be there with bells on (well, maybe short, sweaty shorts).
7. This posture works the _____ part of the body.
Throw some anatomy at me, baby! I’m a captive audience. I could stand to learn a thing or two about my own body.
8. Open your heart.
Physically and emotionally. This phrase alone always gets me. I guess I have a lot to release.
9. Nice to see you, Natalie Buster. How’s your knee?
If you know my name and know that I have a knee issue, I’ll be in every class you teach. You care.
10. No judgements, no expectations.
‘Nuff said. We’re all our own worst critics.
11. Listen to your body.
Be mindful in your practice. Don’t muscle through. Easier said than done, I know. But if we truly listen to what our bodies are telling us, we will get better results and fewer injuries.
12. Set an intention at the beginning of the class.
It’s so nice to dedicate my practice to learning something new, to keeping an open mind, to staying calm. It really does set the pace for the class. Thank you for reminding me. I also like to dedicate my class to someone in my life. How about that person next to you that’s scared as hell to be in her first yoga class? Dedicate your practice to her.
13. The teacher in me recognizes the teacher in all of you. Namaste.
You are human. I am human. You learn from me. I learn from you. We’re in this together. Namaste.
We’re not perfect, we yoga teachers. We say weird things in class. We try to motivate and encourage. Sometimes it comes out odd. Sometimes it really resonates with you. What has your teacher said recently that has really spoken to your personal yoga experience?