Questions for my Yoga Teacher

You’ve heard more than once that I’m a fan of yoga. It’s true. The challenge, the sweat, then serene sense of calm that comes over me after a class. I love it! For something I love, though, I don’t actually know much about it. For instance, when people ask what kind of yoga I take, I respond with “hot” or “power hour.” I don’t really think those are true types of yoga though because they don’t have a fancy sound to it, like ashtanga or bikram. In fact, I once said I took bikram because I thought it was synonymous with hot yoga, but one angry yogi (who knew there was such thing?) quickly corrected me saying she doubted I took true bikram. I just shrugged and said ok.

Charlotte Family Yoga tree pose

So there’s the truth. I’m a yogi that knows nothing about it. I’d like to learn, though! In fact, I have quite a few questions I’d like to ask my yoga teacher…

Do you get nervous to start of the first “Om” at the beginning of class? I know I wait until I hear at least 2-3 oms get going before I join in.

When you voluntarily come put a block (or two… and sometimes a strap) beside me, are you subtly telling me I don’t belong in this level class? Because clearly I’m not listening when I show up again the following week.

Is learning how to deal with body odor and people drenched in sweat part of your training? Like, do they make you go to a professional football locker room after summer two-a-days and touch people? I love to be touched (minds out of the gutter, people), but cringe for you when you have to correct my sweat-drenched posture.

Do you insist we try to jump into crow strictly to get a tickle out of watching me flop and roll all over the place?

Do you really sanitize the blocks after class when you have us drop them in a basket? Or are you really just stacking them back up after we all leave?

When we show up in umbros and a t-shirt, do you secretly want to hand us pamphlets about Lululemon?

Finally, are you loaded? Is teaching yoga really a fast track to becoming a millionaire? If not, what are you doing with the $16 a pop people pay for a class?

Did I miss anything?



  1. says

    All such good questions! I really wonder about the sanitization process of the blocks, as well.

    I always wonder about classes that are super packed. There are always people inevitably doing poses incorrectly (probably me)! Will the instructor always correct you? How do you know if you have the pose right or wrong, in general? At my studio, I typically hear instructors say “it doesn’t matter how it looks” – how can that be true and/or safe?

  2. says

    You are too funny!!! Great questions.

    While I don’t teach Yoga, I do teach PiYo, which combines elements of Yoga and Pilates. Here’s what I’ve learned: I don’t notice the smell anymore, and I have no aversions to touching people/fixing postures in certain poses. I don’t even think about it! I want people to get the full benefit of each pose.

    As for the blocks and mats, I definitely sanitize after class, because to me it’s a safety issue.

    I also only charge $3-5 per class, and am definitely not a millionaire. heh.

  3. Kim says

    I’ve been a yoga teacher for years and I still get nervous at the OM. But I will say when I do it whole heartedly it feels awesome, especially when the class isn’t shy about it :) The sweaty, smelly thing can still be bothersome but you get over it. Being adjusted is one of my favorite things when I am in a yoga class so I try to adjust as much as I feel people will let me as some people give me a “do not touch” vibe. And the blocks and straps are just to help you, doesn’t mean that she thinks you don’t belong in class. My goal is to always get people in the right posture and allow them to relax and get the most benefit, and since not every posture is accessible to every body then blocks and straps can be a huge help. Yoga is funny in that the whole purpose (at least to me) is to be accepting of our own body’s and its strengths and surrender to the weaknesses instead of fight them. I find a lot of people (including me) can spend a majority of class feeling down on themselves because they can’t get into a position and so-and-so can! That’s when I go back to my favorite mantra, LET GO! Works in all areas of life :)

  4. rachael says

    I’m a power/vinyasa yoga teacher, so I’ll answer for myself. I don’t get nervous at starting the first om, but I probably was when I first started teaching. When I give you a block it’s because I think it would improve your alignment with one or help you take the pose deeper (ie. twist deeper in revolved triangle). Or I am just trying to help you by grabbing one and not having you disrupt your flow by leaving your mat to get one yourself. I don’t really believe in yoga levels (other than maybe a basics class) and everyone is always welcome in my class. Sometimes I offer deeper poses because I know I have students that want them, but I am just as happy when a student chooses child’s pose or modifies. The point is that everyone should honor where they are at today. I am so used to the sweat and odor thing it doesn’t bother me anymore, though feet still freak me out at times. I include an option to jump into crow for fun, and you should know that sometimes I fall on my face while doing it too. Sanitation totally depends on the studio, some are amazingly cleanly, others not so much. I don’t care what you wear, as long as you’re covered. And finally, I am totally not loaded, I have to have a second job! That $16 is split between studio fees (it’s not cheap to keep a studio hot, plus rent, software, cleaning, props etc.), the instructor’s portion, and tax (in my state). Unless you are a busy studio in a good sized city, it’s hard for a yoga studio to be very profitable. I love teaching yoga though and after 6 years of teaching still get a rush everytime I have the amazing oppurtunity to share yoga with others.

  5. Paulina says

    I’ve always wondered if yoga instructors take yoga classes, like, a super course, to further their knowledge and challenge themselves. I think they do, because the last time I took a weekly course from the same instructor, she missed a class and the following week, tried to teach us all kinds of new poses involving balancing on our hands and heads and other crazy looking moves.

  6. says

    I loved this post! I love doing yoga and have definitely contemplated similar questions. I am glad you’ve already gotten some instructor replies- great to hear from the horse’s mouth!

    The only yoga I am certified to teach is in combination with spinning, a class called YogaSPIN (No, yoga is not done on the bike, just after the ride!). I think most instructors care more about helping you get deeper into poses and having an overall positive experience. The more participants the better, so doubt a good instructor would try to make you feel as though you weren’t good enough for a class.

    The sanitation thing freaks me out too, so I always make sure to bring my own mat & accessories as needed.

    Great post!

  7. says

    Haha, love this post. I think these are some pretty good questions. I seriously get the heebie jeebies thinking about the extra mats they provide for people and the blocks, I highly doubt they got washed frequently, but then again I don’t know anything about yoga hah.

  8. Tracey says

    Do they still make Umbros???!? I lived in those things in high school…20 years ago!! Those shorts were damn comfy!!

  9. Irina says

    OMG, this is SO funny! I know more about yoga styles, probably, but have always wondered the same things!!! You are fantastic for having the (insert your word for hanging rounded objects) to ask! :)


  1. […] week fellow Charlotte blogger Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life wrote a post titled, “Questions for my Yoga Teacher.” When I read it I immediately knew I wanted to write a response post, “Answers from a […]

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