Yoga teachers have many things they’d like you to know about taking yoga classes. But they don’t always mention them. Maybe because you just met, perhaps because it might make you feel uncomfortable, and perhaps they don’t want you to feel judged.
Anna De Sousa, an expert instructor at London based yoga brand, MoreYoga is sharing her top five things every yoga teacher wants you to know, so you can step on your mat feeling confident and ready to enjoy your practice.
It’s not about touching your toes.
Flexibility, strength, and mobility will be different from person to person depending on many factors, including how long & how much they practice.
However, the ‘goal’ for yoga isn’t necessarily to transform in an aesthetical sense – but to give you time & space to be still, contact with your breath, and find body awareness.
Yoga is not about touching your toes or getting into a handstand; it’s a journey to find a connection within your body and mind.
We don’t care if you’re sweaty.
Sometimes in class, a teacher will come up to you to give you hands-on adjustments. You might feel self-conscious because you are sweating. But when you get tense, your body reacts, making a really lovely experience like assists slightly uncomfortable. But worry not, because instructors don’t care. They are used to it. They want to help, and if you’ve given consent, you should benefit from their expertise in this moment with your practice.
We also struggle with our practice.
You might look at your teacher and feel like they are yoga gods who seemingly flow through poses with ease. But that’s not true.
The struggle never leaves because as your practice progresses, physically & mentally, so do your challenges. It’s a never-ending journey where there are always realms to explore.
Poses don’t look the same on all people
We all have different body shapes, bone structures and body compositions. So naturally, yoga poses will look different for and on everyone.
Fortunately, there is no right way of ‘looking’ in a yoga pose. As long as you’re following an expert’s instructions and working within your body’s capacity, it doesn’t need to ‘look’ like something you’d see on Instagram. Let go of the need of looking a certain way and focus on feeling what the teacher is providing you in terms of feedback and instruction.
Never, ever work through pain.
In case it’s not apparent, we’ll say it: NEVER, EVER WORK THROUGH PAIN. You are the only person that knows exactly how a yoga pose feels in your body. You are the only one that knows how deep you can go, how hard you can push yourself or when to stop.
Even if a teacher is cueing something in a certain way, if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Stay safe, and always enjoy your practice!