Friday, January 16

Etiquette of yoga

With the new year, comes new yoga students. Perhaps someone is attending yoga for the first time in my class, which can be quite daunting, but I feel very honored to be a yoga ambassador.

New students seem to also bring up old, yoga etiquette issues. My biggest pet peeve is when people arrive late to class. The beginning of class is when I steer everyone to turn inward and quiet their minds. The other day, I think I had seven people arrive five minutes late to class. Completely distracting and not in line with yoga whatsoever!

So what's a yoga instructor to do? I'm half tempted to pin up a list of etiquette on the bulletin board outside of the classroom that I found in this month's Yoga Journal magazine. I've also read you could hand the student a list of expectations directly, but I could see that hurting the person's feelings and hindering them from ever returning which is obviously not my aim.

New students aren't the only ones to blame for this etiquette misstep. One woman has been attending my classes for almost three years, and she still seems to come in late EVERY time. It annoys me to no end, as well as many other regulars, I'm sure! Don't get me wrong, I understand the OCCASIONAL tardy, but when it consistently happens, it's just downright annoying and rude.

Any advice on how to address yoga classroom etiquette is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, January 11

Got inspiration?

I've been teaching a few yoga classes at a local YMCA for about 2 1/2 years now, and for the past few weeks I've been feeling a little stale and feel like my students sense this. Perhaps a lot of it has to do with being overwhelmed with being a new mom and not getting enough sleep per baby girl. I also know not having much of a home practice in conjunction with not attending live, studio classes since I was in my second trimester of pregnancy last year hasn't helped. But I'm not sure if I can change this because there are just not enough hours in the day, especially to go to a 90-minute yoga class.

So what's a yoga teacher to do when she isn't feeling as inspired as she once was? I would love to hear any and all feedback.

I searched Yoga Journal's Web site and found an article called "Teaching Spiritual Practice" that gave me a different perspective on how I can change things up and find another way to inspire myself. Maybe I shouldn't focus so much on the asanas or the creative way the postures flow but increase the spiritual side of my class. The author had also been a YMCA instructor and gave very insightful ways to include spirituality without offending, such as "instruct the students to breathe in goodness and other universal virtues in order to more fully embody Spirit. Regardless of their religious background, students embraced these yogic teachings as a way to deepen their connection to God."

Breathe out stale, breathe in inspiration.

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