In 11 years teaching yoga I've spent eight of them getting into trouble. Daily.

There are seven things I’ll never miss about teaching in a big studio.

  1. The sales pitch directly after savasana. Tell the students about upcoming workshops and the new mats on sale plus the retreat at the end of the year…and tell them directly after savasana. I refused to punch though the peace of savasana we worked so hard to get to with upselling. This was a weekly slap on the wrist. How much money must I have lost those studios.
  2. Not knowing every students name. When the class has 40 plus people, you only get to know the die-hard followers, the loud ones. There is no possible way to connect with the quietly intriguing students who set up in the back corner.
  3. People wandering in after the class has started. No, you cannot lock people out of yoga. If they arrive late, accommodate them. My argument of respect fell on very deaf, very business orientated ears. Respecting the students who arrive on time, respecting the teacher who has already starting teaching and respecting yourself to do the entire class took second priority to making an extra $20.
  4. The question “how many students in your class?” is always asked before “how did your class go?” How competitive we teachers can be. It would seem the ethical branches of yoga do not extend to the studio staffroom.
  5. Zero student feedback. With so many students moving into and out of classes, there’s only the occasional “great class” thrown about. While this isn’t a need for compliments, the conversations before and after a class can be so enlightening for teachers who really listen. This is when intuitive sequencing and perfectly balanced classes are planned. The student who mentions a headache receives an adjustment to their neck. The chaotic day everyone seems to be having results in a much needed, slow and juicy practice.
  6. Overthinking student adjustments. With so many students packed into each class, you can’t possibly adjust every downward dog (although lord knows you need to). So instead you must remember who you’ve adjusted, how many times and who you’ve missed. You’ve done a great thing when you’ve managed to touch 40 people at least once. I never could.
  7. The smell, oh the smell. No further explanation required.

There are no rules for how to practice yoga.