I used to rate yoga classes. After class was over, if I was dripping sweat it was really hard. If I only had a few drops trickling from my forehead, it was easy. I’ve since learned that there is really no such things as a hard or easy class. I have never paid attention to classes that claim to be Level 1/2/3… there are some days where a 3 seems like a 1, or a 1 seems like a 3 to me.
Because in my opinion as a student – each class is what YOU make it. The mentality you take with you. Are you tired? Are you in a bad mood? Are you annoyed with the teacher? Are you jealous of the skinny girl in the front row who is super bendy? Are you angry with yourself about something, in which case you probably will push too hard, and not rest or ease back when you need to. Are you distracted? Are you lacking self love and self confidence – in which case you will doubt your very own abilities to physically do things that you are entirely capable of doing.
When I first began practicing yoga, I wanted to be the best student possible. This probably stemmed from my competitive nature. I thought for the longest time that the best students were the ones that could do it all. They could do the entire class, no breaks, AND more. They could go deeper into the pose than anyone else in the entire room. They could hold the pose for longer. They could impress the teacher.
Unfortunately, I had no idea how 100% entirely wrong I was until nearly two years later.
I encourage you to really consider, how can you be the BEST yoga student possible?! I’ll give you a hint, it has NOTHING to do with how you look while practicing. I still am asking myself this important question all of the time. I learned that great students make for great teachers. My current personal struggle is being critical of other teachers. Ever since teacher training I have this constant mental chatter where during class, I cannot stop thinking about what the teacher is doing (both good and “bad”). I think to myself “ooh nice transition” or “where the heck is she going with this?” I’m working so hard at just trusting my teachers. Being open minded to new styles of teaching regardless of what my personal teacher training background says. This is my current challenge.
What about you? What makes classes challenging for you? I’ll give you another hint; it has nothing to do with the teacher or what they chose to teach that day. I know I have only taught a couple of classes so far, but I must brag in saying that I have had the most awesome group of students to teach to! Both times! So this week’s blog posts are in honor of all of the Yogis at UW who have joined me for class so far! I will write a post each day this week on things that I think make a great student of yoga. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s on my list…
- Come to class for Yourself. Nobody else.
- There is no such thing as a Yoga Rockstar
- Listen to your body first
- Trust your teacher