I’m knee deep in my 500 hour advanced teacher training. It’s really great and has re-inspired me as a teacher and student of yoga. Teacher training is not easy. Having to show up for 12 hours at a time, away from my family, business and friends for days on end takes patience and hard work. Not to mention sitting on blocks for long lectures. Mixed with asana the body is tired. Being in training again has got me thinking about the things that they don’t tell you about being a yoga teacher. The not so glamorous side.
1. Not every student will listen to you. No matter how many times you say something, they just won’t listen. They will pick their toenail instead.
2. Don’t believe the student intake form when the person says they have years of yoga experience. And do not put them in the front row. Trust me on this one.
3. New students will walk all over the floor with their shoes on. That’s the tell-tale sign of a new person. That and the puzzled look like “what the hell am I getting into?”
4. When a wife brings her husband to class for the first time, he is not happy about it, nor can he sit cross legged. He does not like yoga or you instantly. Good news is that he probably will like it at the end.
5. People leave behind all sorts of stuff. Most common is water bottles, but we’ve found shoes, rings, watches, jackets, socks, bras, receipts, etc. And, most of the time, they never come back for them. Whatever you do, take care of your shoes!
6. Keeping a studio clean is hard. Our mops and brooms are full of hair, toenails and mat nubs.
7. Sometimes you have to go to the bathroom while teaching a class. I’ve run to the bathroom in savasana plenty of times. Don’t have that extra cup of coffee in the morning.
8. Some students show up a half hour early, to get the “good spot” and “chat it up”.
9. Some students show up late. Well, not some students, the same 3 over and over again.
10. People take the same spot in the yoga room every time. Watch what happens when someone takes their spot.
11. Farts. It happens, usually in navasana or happy baby. Don’t laugh, move on. Farts.
12. The Stare. You’ll be walking around or demoing a pose, and then it happens. That random person staring right at you. Don’t try to guess what they are thinking cause it’s probably not good. Let go of people’s stories about you anyway.
And the one thing that is most important, that has taken me awhile to learn, is that being a yoga teacher means loving everyone equally and unconditionally, from the farter, to the newbie, to the people who don’t like you. Love them anyway. Tell them so, or just think and feel it.
Hey Everyone out there and that means you reading this right now, I love you and your yoga teacher loves you. We may not always act like it, say it, or embody it, but we are doing the best we can through the practice of yoga. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May it be filled with Light, Love and a few Laughs.