I am not everyone’s cup of yogi tea. And that’s ok.
It’s taken me a long time to be ok with this. Like nearly 15 years of teaching yoga to be ok with this.
When I was a brand new, baby yoga teacher, I had my head filled with the notion that I had to make everyone like my yoga class. I had confused the idea of making my class welcoming and accessible to everyone with being liked.
The truth is, I want to be liked.
I am also entirely incapable of not being 150% authentically me, which means that I can’t teach a class that doesn’t align with who I am.
I’ve stopped trying to please everyone. It’s exhausting and not particularly satisfying.
Plus, it’s full of fakery and bs, 2 things I have a strong aversion to.
When I teach yoga, I teach what I love and how I love, without apology.
This means that my yoga classes don’t really look or sound or feel like most other yoga classes, which is A-OK with me.
Here are 10 reasons why you might not like my yoga classes. Or why you actually might love them.
10 Reasons My Yoga Classes Are Not Like Anyone Else’s
I don’t OM or say “Namaste”
I used to. The thing is, they stopped feeling like mine. I stopped saying “Namaste” years ago. It felt like I was saying someone else’s word and not using it with integrity. I feel more honest when I say “Thank you” at the end of class. Those are my words. They feel real and true and I mean them.
I do love Om’ing. I just stopped doing it regularly because many of my classes are now online and honestly it felt a little silly to “OM” when it was just me.
So if you come on retreat with me, you might still OM with me at the end of class.
I don’t play music
I find it distracting when I teach. And I can never get the volume right, so I usually end up yelling over the music while I teach, which doesn’t feel great when I’m teaching.
Ironically, I love practicing to music when I’m at home on my yoga mat.
I talk. A lot.
This is also why I don’t generally play music. I have a lot to say while I’m teaching and I use my words intentionally. Usually, I’m explaining how to move through a complex sequence or how to try a challenging pose.
I’m not one of those teachers who just calls poses like, “now do down dog. Now do triangle pose. Now do a headstand.”
There are loads of reasons for why, but the most important is that I don’t assume everyone knows what each pose is or how to get into it.
I could make this assumption in an advanced class but I don’t currently teach any advanced classes.
Most especially in the classes I teach on my free YouTube channel, I can’t assume everyone knows how to do every pose.
People brand new to yoga could be watching that video, so I have to use my words and a lot of them to make sure that everyone has all of the information they need to feel safe, as well as confident in a pose or a sequence.
My classes are unconventional
I don’t teach a traditional yoga class. Yes, you will see traditional and familiar poses, but I use unconventional movements and likely unfamiliar practices to prep for those traditional poses.
My class might not look like the yoga class you’re used to or expect.
I also guarantee you’ll have fun.
You can’t tune out
If you take my yoga classes, you can’t really go on autopilot. Cat/cow isn’t always the first pose I do. I don’t start things with a round of Sun Salutation A and follow it with a round of Sun Salutation B.
My sequences are often unique and creative.
The only thing you can expect is the unexpected.
I don’t do the class while I teach
While I will break down challenging poses or demo an unfamiliar action, I don’t do the entire class with you. Unless you’re watching my classes on YouTube or practicing with me live in my online yoga studio. In those cases I have to do the practice with you.
If you’re coming to a yoga class at a yoga studio or on retreat, I won’t do the class with you. It’s my job to teach, not to do yoga.
So when I am teaching, I will teach. I’ll do my own yoga practice on my own time.
Every class is like a workshop
This is what one student told me once. She said that she loved my classes but that they felt like a workshop every time. This is because I pack a lot in every class. I pack in 15 years worth of teaching and 20 years of study into one 15, 30, 60, or 75 minute class.
My classes are dense. Like a 10 course meal, you’ll be really full when you leave.
That’s just how I roll.
I’m not very woo-woo
Crystals are pretty and essential oils smell nice, but they don’t really have any place in my yoga classes.
Rumi is a brilliant poet, but I don’t quote her in my classes.
Fancy chanting is cool, but it’s not for everyone and certainly not for me.
I love to dance, but you won’t see me add a spontaneous dance party at the end of my class.
I’d rather just teach fun, intelligently sequenced yoga classes and leave all the rest off the mat.
I don’t give physical assists
Ok, so I actually can’t give physical assists in my online classes. In my studio classes, I’ve stopped giving physical assists for all kinds of reasons.
First, not everyone likes to be touched.
Second, I’d rather get really good at using clear language than using my hands.
Third, giving an assist can be uncomfortable for some people. The person giving the assist is in a position of power making the receiver very vulnerable.
I also don’t want to manipulate someone into a pose.
If I do give assists, I always ask.
I tell jokes, I curse sometimes, and I have a tendency to be irreverent.
I often laugh at my own jokes, too. Even if no one else is. I am silly and casual. My teaching style is personal and connected. I like to know my students by name and a little bit about them, too. If you come back more than once, I’ll start asking you about yourself.
When I teach, I also talk a lot about myself and my family and my experiences.
The word yoga means to yoke – it’s not about union so much as connection. So when I teach, my aim is to create connection and build relationships. I can’t do that if I am being super serious and hiding who I am.
After 15 years of teaching, here’s what I’ve finally acknowledged: I’d rather be me and teach like me really well, than try to teach the way I think people want from a yoga class and do it badly.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am not everyone’s cup of yogi tea. In fact, I celebrate it. I am proud of how I teach, even though not everyone will like me or my classes.
Want to get a taste of my style of teaching? There are lots of ways you can take class with me.
Join me for my upcoming HEALTHY HIPS EVERYDAY challenge and do 5 days of hips-focused practices with me!
You can also check out my online yoga studio, the Collective to practice with me live twice a week or LITE and get a bundle of pre-recorded yoga classes each month.
And you can practice with me through my free YouTube channel. Subscribe here.