Yes, they hear you fart. Yes, they have diets as bad as everyone else and yell at people who drive them crazy. And oh, sometimes when they say “other side,” it’s because they forgot if you just did your right or left. How do we know? Patrick Mason, yoga instructor at TruFusion in Las Vegas, enlightened us, which got us thinking: What other fascinating secrets goes on in their minds as they take you through your flow? Read on to find out five other thoughts that yoga teachers have during class.
1. “Does everyone in here think I’m the worst?”
“Occasionally, when looking out at the sea of grimacing faces, or maybe a joke has fallen flat, I have this 6th grade moment that I think maybe everyone in the room hates me,” confesses Rebecca Weible, director and founder of Yo Yoga! in New York City. “Over years of teaching, I’ve come to realize a few things. First, people rarely smile when they’re concentrating and it’s hard to smile when you’re in chair pose. Second, I’ve noticed this vibe happens more with the prime time, after work classes and realized that everyone is burning off the negative energy or stress from their day — which is why many of us come to yoga in the first place. This silly, momentary fear is most often assuaged after class when smiling, beatific faces emerge from the studio expressing gratitude and making comments like ‘I feel so much better now!'”
2. “I care what you think/how you feel after class!”
“As teachers, our whole purpose is to care for you, inspire you & support you. I want you to walk out of the room feeling better than when you walked in. I would love for my students to express to me if they struggled with class for whatever reason at all! I want to teach as a community. Not as a teacher who knows it all,” shares Jamie Zimmer, TruFusion yoga instructor.
3. “Are you paying attention?”
“A surprising lesson I’ve learned is that sometimes the person you think is paying the least amount of attention or giving the least amount of effort during class is the person who comes out of class full of gratitude and turns out to be the one who was the most affected,” offers Weible.
4. Teachers are students too!
“Just because we teach, doesn’t mean we think we are better than you. I learn from my fellow yogis every day in so many ways. In the physical, spiritual, music, and just plain life stuff!” says Zimmer. “There is not a divide between ‘teacher’ and ‘student.’ I want to be your friend! Anyone who walks into my class, I ALWAYS want to see again. Even if I don’t call you by your name in class, you are still important to me. Approach me after class! I long for a connection with my students!”
5. Come to class to be guided.
“Yes, it is ‘YOUR’ practice. But if everyone did whatever they wanted in every class, it would be chaos. If you want to explore your practice, do so on your own time. But if you step into a studio, it is a class atmosphere and a sacred space where we all breathe together and move together. This doesn’t mean you cannot do certain advanced poses or stretches if you need…but doing something completely different than everyone else in the room can sometimes be disruptive to the class flow and energy,” says Zimmer. “When we say ‘Namaste’ at the end of class, we mean it. We thank you for coming, truly. Because of YOU, we get to do what we love to do.”