Last week fellow Charlotte blogger Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life wrote a post titled, “Questions for my Yoga Teacher.” When I read it I immediately knew I wanted to write a response post, “Answers from a Yoga Teacher.” Brittany posed a bunch of random questions/thoughts that she had for her yoga teacher. I always love hearing about the things that run through student’s heads and the questions that come up. 99% of the time they are over thinking it!
I always tell my classes that yoga is about what feels good. Physically and emotionally. What works for one doesn’t work for all. It’s about self-discovery. Checking in. Not ignoring what’s going on in your life but owning it. It’s about taking responsibility and understanding that you have control over your body, your breath, your thoughts, your actions, what you give to to others, what you take from others.
I make it sound serious but you totally don’t have to go into it so seriously. It just happens. I was oblivious to how yoga would impact my life and self-awareness when I started practicing. I just wanted to stop hurting when I ran. And look at me now.
So, let’s have some fun with it. Here are Brittany’s questions and my responses.
Do you get nervous to start of the first “Om” at the beginning of class? I know I wait until I hear at least 2-3 oms get going before I join in.
One of the things that I was most nervous about when I started teaching was chanting “om.” Now I could really care less. I love to om. And om loudly. I rarely begin my classes with an om (sometimes) but always end them that way.
When you voluntarily come put a block (or two… and sometimes a strap) beside me, are you subtly telling me I don’t belong in this level class? Because clearly I’m not listening when I show up again the following week.
NO! I honestly wish more people would use props. Using a block or a strap is not a sign of your skill level but rather your ability to listen to your body and help yourself fully express a pose. It’s just like when I assist…I’m not always assisting because you’re doing it wrong but because it also helps you get deeper in a pose. I often use blocks in poses like revolved triangle and revolved half moon when I’m feeling tight. And I love using straps for poses like dancer and supine big toe hold.
Is learning how to deal with body odor and people drenched in sweat part of your training? Like, do they make you go to a professional football locker room after summer two-a-days and touch people? I love to be touched (minds out of the gutter, people), but cringe for you when you have to correct my sweat-drenched posture.
When I was considering going through yoga teacher training I wondered if teaching yoga would even be fun. I thought, “If I don’t get to practice with the class and I have to spend the whole time touching sweaty people am I really going to enjoy it?” I was used to teaching BodyPump and group strength classes where I do the workout with the class.
I was totally wrong. I LOVE teaching and not practicing with my class and I LOVE touching sweaty people. Because I do not practice with them, I can really connect with my students and see their experience. As far as sweat goes…the sweatier, the better! I’m totally immune to it and I love to assist and be assisted when I’m practicing. Do not be self-conscious! We love doing it.
Do you insist we try to jump into crow strictly to get a tickle out of watching me flop and roll all over the place?
Nope. If you don’t step outside of your comfort zone you don’t grow. It might not happen on day one or day 100 but eventually, it will happen.
Do you really sanitize the blocks after class when you have us drop them in a basket? Or are you really just stacking them back up after we all leave?
I can only speak for myself but yes! I mop the floor, spray the blocks with alcohol and clean the mirrors! That said, if I’m practicing and getting up close and personal with my block (like placing it under my face), I put a towel over it!
When we show up in umbros and a t-shirt, do you secretly want to hand us pamphlets about Lululemon?
Of course not! Again, yoga is about what feels good to you. If you feel good decked out in Lulu go for it, if shorts and a tee are more your style then wear that. I will say that non-cotton, fitted clothes are a little more comfy for hot classes.
Finally, are you loaded? Is teaching yoga really a fast track to becoming a millionaire? If not, what are you doing with the $16 a pop people pay for a class.
I will speak to this at the studio level. No, we are not loaded. It is extremely difficult to make a career out of just teaching yoga. Yes, practicing at a studio can be expensive but think about the experience, the facilities and the overhead. I love teaching yoga. I have taught at the Y, in gyms and in studios and the studio experience is just different. Studios do typically pay a little more than gyms but the expectation for the level of instruction is higher. Most studios offer programs like $5 community classes, donation-based classes and volunteer exchanges so check those options out if the rack rate is a little out of your budget.
What questions do you have for your yoga teacher?