Nearly 2 decades ago I rolled into a Yoga class as a pregnant, tight-muscled competitive runner...the teacher was kind & put me at the front of the class (embarrassing, but useful in my condition since certain modifications were needed!)
You Know You’re In the Right Yoga Class When...
Finding the yoga practice that works for you has as much to do with the individual teacher,as it does the style he or she teaches. Next time you go to class, tune in to your inner voice and see if you notice and feel these key elements of a well-taught class:
I know many of you are in the same boat..my body has had a rough start to life with multiple injuries from overtraining as an athlete, & 2 major car accidents so my top requirement is safety...I don't want to leave injured! I also love to be with a teacher who has a clear command of the room. I like my students to feel safe and supported. In order to relax the nervous system & gain the most benefits to the hormone system the class should be instructed at an appropriate pace.
the teacher has clear command of the room
The teacher customizes his or her teachings to the ability and skill level of the students present, despite the class description or level
The teacher respects and honors your physical limitations, yet encourages you to move outside your comfort zone in a safe, beneficial way.
Specific language to describe proper alignment is essential; alignment keeps you safe & gives you deep inner strength to move with ease. Well-trained teachers fluidly convey the directions that shoulders, hips, knees, heads, toes, arms and hands should be moving in every asana. On the other hand, since there is no such thing as a “perfect” asana and every body consists of different size muscles, bones, fascia, cartilage and ligaments, great teachers give verbal cues compassionately.
A well-prepared yoga teacher usually has a class plan as well as an overall intention for the term/year, yet, they are sufficiently flexible to be able to adjust for the varying levels and needs (hormonal & otherwise) of the students.
I think of teaching yoga as being an advocate for my students body, mind & spirit...it has encouraged me to increase the perception in my fingers when adjusting, to increase the awareness of my ears & eyes to tune in to the change of a heart rate or skin colour to know when to ask my student for more & when to restore...
To my students all over the world...thank you for helping me to continually lift my teaching!