Since I have begun teaching my own classes, I have made an effort to take as many classes and workshops as I can. However, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I get really nervous when I take a class with one of my regular clients. Is it my clients fault for making me nervous? Never! It’s my own damn ego. But in case your teacher ever happens to roll their mat out next to you, I thought it would be helpful to understand what is most likely going through their head as well.
Do not be intimidated.
Before I got up to teach my first class I was student of yoga. After I taught 100 classes I was still a student of yoga. I will never stop being a student first and foremost. Your teacher is a human being, not a guru, not an idol. I am probably a lot more nervous than you are about practicing in the same space as you. I want to say hi and be friends with you. Recognize that whether I am leading the class or practicing beside you, we are equals.
Please do not judge me.
I have tight hamstrings. I take breaks. Sometimes I fall out of a pose or I skip it entirely and sit in child’s pose. The poses are not one size fits all and I may need modifications. My body is sore from teaching and I’ve had a long day sitting at my day job. I have just entered a state of vulnerability and I am terrified of what you are thinking. I really don’t want to let you down. I want to inspire you. However, yoga is a very individual practice, so what I need from this class today may not be what you expect of me. Do your own thing, I will do mine.
Feel free to smile at me.
Say hello. Laugh with me. Connect with me. Breathe with me.
I am oh so grateful to be sharing this space with you to practice yoga. Thank you.