What Being a Yoga Instructor Has Taught Me:
There are so many lessons to learn from one’s yoga practice it can sometimes be overwhelming. When you step on your mat for the first time as a teacher and not a student the learning process begins again. Over my years of teaching I have learned many things, but let us start with a few basics I always share with new teachers.
Don’t take it personally
Not everyone will like your or your class that goes for students and other teachers. You honestly cannot take anything personally, it is all relative. Whether someone had a good day or a bad day can influence their opinion towards you. Maybe they dislike backbends and you taught a heart opening series or you played a song they did not like. Yoga is such an individualized journey and not everyone will walk away from a class satisfied. So we do the best we can to be well rounded so that we try to offer a little something for everyone. Always consciously taking the feedback we get into consideration while staying true to your teaching.
Postures do not make you advanced
One of the first things you quickly learn as a new instructor is that advanced postures do not make you an advanced practitioner. As a student you can easily be in awe of the trick-asana yogis and think they must be advanced because they are strong, flexible & can do advanced postures. Once you learn the anatomical and energetic focus of a posture your outlook quickly changes. You begin to incorporate this into you teaching by encouraging your students to explore their true advanced practice.
An advanced practice comes when the mind, body and breath are all present and balanced. Letting your practice be where it truly needs to be is what makes a practitioner advanced.
I don’t know that I have ever taught one class 100% according to my sequence or lesson plan. Even my first class with type up notes; set sequences did not go as planned. You never know who is going to attend class, what they will need or what their bodies will them that day. Being able to quickly make modifications to my game plan was one of the best assets as a new instructor.
I believe that what you teach should adapt to fit the student, not the student adapting to fit the yoga. We must always be prepared to modify our class to match the energy needed.
Be Radically Authentic
This lesson is more important than anything. Let the essence of your being come out in your classes because who you truly are as an individual does not change when you are teaching. Be radically authentic in your teachings and you will attract similar energy from your students.
Sometimes teaching yoga can feel like a popularity contest but I’ve learned the best way to establish yourself as a teacher is to teach as who you truly are. This is perhaps the most important thing being a yoga instructor has taught me.
Often as yoga teachers, one of the most important things we can do is step away from the daily grind and reconnect with our purpose as yoga teachers.
Retreat to the secluded beauty of Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa to nourish your soul and step into your highest path as a yoga teacher.
Pin this post for later!
About the Author
Once Lezah (spelled Hazel backwards) stepped onto her mat in 2004 as a student she knew she had found her home. Lezah’s mission in life is to live in a radically authentic way filled with passion & soulful adventures. The same is translated into her teachings as she is driven to inspire her students to be yogi scientists of their own practice. Her teaching style is Vinyasa based & heavily influenced by Prana Flow, Ayurveda. She is ecstatic to be in the final stage of her 500 hr training through the Samudra Global School for Living Yoga & her Ayurvedic Consultant Certification. She has been cultivating her personal practice for over 10 years, teaching for 6 years will forever be a student. 108 blessing; overwhelming gratitude towards her teachers Shiva Rea, Maria Garre, Sarah Yukie Gingrich. Her other passions include gluten free cooking, dance, horseback riding & aerial yoga.