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Are you ok? And 3 things I learnt from teaching

1. The class was made for the students, not you

I loved my experience as a student of fast-paced yoga that transitions from one pose
to the other. And that’s the joy that I want to share to others as a teacher. But the
reality is, while that’s my preference as a student, my priority as a teacher are my
students, not me, or god forbid, my ego. Students come to class with a multitude of
intentions, and as teachers, while we might have planned the best (trust me, it’s
always the best til the next one comes in) sequence based on all our strengths, it’s
on us to take a step back and consider the types of students that’ll come to class and
what might best work for the majority of the students in class.

2. You got to go with the flow

Pun aside, Jessica did mention that as teachers, we’d get to a point where we’d
learn to temper the class based on the responses of the students, and that we would
almost instinctively, adapt to the class. I didn’t think I would need to do that on my
very first class. 45 mins in, I was still in my standing sequence, and in biggggg
trouble. Staring down at the barrel of a time gun, I calculated that I had 10mins to
flow through seared, prone and supine, before the 5 mins of shavasana. With cogs
turning at full speed, I made it by the teeth of a hair, skipping the peak pose,
shortening the holds, and focusing on key cues for the class. Thinking on your feet
was definitely part and parcel of being a teacher

3. Being a little sadistic is all in good fun

You see, I love me a good torture session when working out, but Im very aware of
the Pitta I am. For everyone else, I usually feel really sorry for them, and teaching
friends, I truly couldn’t help but want to remain liked after the session. 20 mins in, I
was wearing out the phrase, “Are you ok?” to the point that I felt sorry for myself.
Speaking to Jessica after class, she reminded me that yoga is uncomfortable and
also incredibly strange to the average person. My job as a teacher was to be aware
that a little discomfort is perfectly fine, so if no one got hurt, and to get them over that
thin line between pleasure and absolute torture whilst working out.

4. Sometimes words of care come across as patronising

I get excited. Facts. I’m the golden retriever that gleefully laughs at the distracting
something that is in the corner of my eye. I’m also Jigglypuff that needs to make sure
that doesn’t hurt you way too much, so instead of singing, I talk.
I use filler asks like, “Are you ok?”, or filler call outs like “Good Job!”
Jessica pointed out that after a certain amount of asks or call outs, its starts to get a
little patronising. Sheesh. But I wont discredit that.
Words are hardly my love language and while they don’t mean much to me, I
assumed that someone in my class might like it.
See, this is where authenticity comes into play. Students know when you are faking
it, don’t not be yourself when you are the teacher. They get in touch to the energy you,
the place and the practice radiates. So don’t give them the BS. The student deserves the
real you—a little sass, a whole lot of sadism for drills 😉


200 Hour YTT Feb-May’21