Each yoga teacher has their own unique style- I get that- but just like any other profession, there are things you just shouldn’t do.
The yoga teacher for the class I was in tonight let us be reminded that we should be thankful to be lying in “corpse pose”, alive, because “so many people weren’t able to get up this morning.” I’m all for peaceful meditation, but during my shavasna, I would like to rest and not all of a sudden be sad because I am reminded that there are family members and friends who are no longer with me or have the sudden realization that some people didn’t wake up this morning. Yikes.
I’ve had yoga teachers who yell at me, in the middle of class, to take off my socks. In front of all of the other people in the yoga class. For one, I don’t need your advice. Two, if you absolutely MUST give me your shitty advice, please wait until after the class and don’t draw attention to me in the middle of the class. My hands are slipping because of all of the sweat and I don’t need my feet to get all sweaty, too. My socks are the only thing that is keeping me from falling on my face.
Another thing that yoga teachers shouldn’t do is make rude comments about someone’s level of yoga experience. Don’t assume someone is a beginner just because they haven’t been to your class before. Assume that each yogi is on their own learning path, and that you don’t know when it began unless someone explicitly tells you.
Yoga is supposed to be a stress-free, spiritual, individualistic environment. I don’t like the fact that some of the yoga teachers I have had made me more stressed out while doing yoga- something that is supposed to be relaxing. As someone who has been in and out of the yoga world for over ten years, I don’t find that shoving ideas down people’s throats is the way to go.
I do find that the best yoga teachers I’ve had are the ones who tell you that you were doing a good job, even when they could see you struggling. The yoga teachers I have had that are great don’t talk about death or other depressing subjects in the middle of the class. The great yoga teachers I have had have encouraged their students to do what works for them and only modified poses if it was absolutely necessary.
I know yoga isn’t for everyone but I do know that I always have loved how it, for the most part, has encouraged me to be me. Yoga encourages me to love myself and those around me, no matter what. Yoga, when taught right, leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy and my brain begins to feel well-rested.