What Yoga Teachers Won’t Tell You
Secrets your yoga instructor wants you to know before you step into class.
By Jennifer Steil
1. I don’t have all the answers, about yoga or anything else... and I get irritated when I witness other yoga teachers putting themselves out there as gurus, therapists, or doctors.
2. Clean your mat. When you sweat on it and then roll it up and then sweat on it again, it becomes a petri dish.
3. I love teaching yoga, but teaching is torture if I haven’t been able to do my own practice in a while.
4. Yoga is not a magic bullet or a pill you can take to solve your bad attitude if you’re not prepared to put in the work yourself.
5. Wear deodorant. Look up the Sanskrit word "saucha." It means "cleanliness." No one wants to smell you; it’s off-putting.
6. I may be smiling at you when you walk in late and loudly slam your mat on the floor next to your meditating classmates but that doesn’t mean I approve. We all have busy lives but if you arrive late please try to be respectful of me and your fellow students. Start thinking yoga BEFORE you come in.
7. I am not doing this for the money. I could barely make a living teaching you this class, as I receive little financial reward for the effort I am putting into this. So please respect that.
8. I have poses I dread and avoid practicing and teaching.
9. I hate yoga sometimes.
10. When people have matchy-matchy yoga outfits and every single prop, designer yoga mat and accessory on the market, I question what their practice is really about. People, seriously, all you need is a heartbeat, willingness and a little space.
11. It’s one thing to modify a posture if you’re having trouble with it. But don’t just ignore the teacher and freestyle your way through class. That’s rude.
12. I am not a doctor. I ask you about your injuries because they affect your practice. But I am not a qualified cardiologist, neurologist, psychiatrist or podiatrist. So don’t expect me to be able to solve your heart murmur, figure out the source of your mysterious neck pain, or provide counseling between down dog and savasana. You need a doctor.
13. Yoga is HARD. It’s meant to be. Didn’t you get the memo?!