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Five things I’ve learnt

I’ve been teaching yoga for just over two months now. It’s crazy to think that just a few months ago the idea of teaching an entire yoga class would have filled me with fear and now, here I am teaching yoga daily to up to forty people. Oh and absolutely loving it. Let me tell you about a few things I’ve learnt…


 The scary part is the first part…

The hardest part about teaching is the first five minutes of class. Once the class is in full swing I get in to my zone and feel pretty comfortable and confident. However the initial process of walking in to the studio, turning on the lights, walking to the front of the room and doing my opening welcome is, in all honesty, petrifying. That sea of expectant faces staring at you *shudder*. For this reason I get people down in Child’s Pose as soon as possible – that way I can stumble my way through my intro without anybody looking at me.

No two classes are the same…

This may sound strange considering I teach a set hot yoga sequence, but no two classes are ever the same. Every single class has it’s own combination of factors that make it unique. A lot of it comes down to the mix of people in the room – the proportion of newbies to regulars, how many people are practicing,how much energy is in the room, even where everyone is positioned. Then you have the heating system to contend with (it’s like a beast you can’t control!), the time of day, how I am feeling, whether the class are motivated, and so on. You never know what to expect, so it certainly keeps you on your feet feet.


Energy….the vital ingredient…

People often talk about ‘energy’ in yoga and now that I’m teaching I understand its power more than ever. It is an essential ingredient of a good class. As a teacher I have to ‘bring it’ to every class – I need to inspire everyone to work hard, to push themselves, to try something new and to not give up when it all gets too much. This is all done using your voice and body language to project energy.

What I’ve discovered since teaching is that energy is a two-way relationship. As much as I can ‘bring it’ to class, if it’s not reciprocated by everyone in the room then I can’t maintain it. Or if do maintain it, I walk out of the room feeling mentally, physically and emotionally drained…and more than a little frustrated. On the flipside you’ll teach a class where everyone is focused and the energy is palpable – it feeds me and in return ensures that I can feed the class. It’s a win-win situation really!


The human body. Just WOW.

I’d never really given much thought to this until teacher training but wow, it really is true that no two bodies are the same. What one person finds easy, another will find impossible. It’s not necessarily to do with your level of fitness, it’s all to do with your genetic makeup, your physical composition and an entire lifetime of lifestyle factors. What it means is that no two people will look the same in any given posture. As a new teacher this is both inspiring and frustrating…it would make teaching a whole lot easier (albeit less exciting) if everyone’s bodies did the same thing!

Oh and another thing about the human body…it’s a really quick learner. You may arrive at class not being able to touch your toes but with a bit of hard work, self belief and some dedication the body can do pretty much anything it sets its mind to.

What happens outside of the studio is just as fun as what happens in it

Maybe it’s the PR girl inside me, but I love the chit-chat that happens before and after class. My favourite time is post-class. Everyone emerges from the studio looking hot, sweaty and exhausted….but completely elated. I love catching a first-timer as they leave to ask them what they thought and offer them reassurance that they did great. I also love the banter with the regulars and our endless conversations about the heating (it’s every bit as fun as discussing the weather, ha!). I also feel genuinely happy when someone asks me a question and I can help them better understand a posture or give them some advice. It’s a great feeling and every bit as fun as the teaching itself.

2 Comments on Five things I’ve learnt

  1. Clare
    June 19, 2015 at 2:12 am (3 years ago)

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with those descriptions Susie. I look forward to being in one of your classes 🙂

      June 19, 2015 at 7:16 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Clare! I look forward to being in one of your classes one day too!! xx


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