When you just don’t feel the yoga class: teacher edition

I’m not really sure if we’ve all been there on this one, but I definitely have. And I mean it only makes sense, especially if you’re a yoga teacher that has to make up a unique flow that is fitted towards the class you teach. It can get tiring, and honestly if you’ve already had a pretty rough week then you aren’t feeling the class at all.

You can’t just tell the class that either. There’s no option for yoga teachers to be like “okay guys, today I am just not in the mood I don’t think I can teach. I hate my flow, I could not think of anything better so just go home class is cancelled.” Nope, that is not an option. I mean, yeah maybe you could do that. But they came to class, sending them away is honestly just not okay. If you privately teach, maybe you could ask to reschedule but again that’s the pay for the day you won’t be getting. So we just kind of have to push through, and we’ve got to find a way to make it work. But how are we supposed to do that when we think of that flow we halfheartedly made, and we shudder at the very thought of teaching it the class?

Well, as someone who has been there (and epically failed through a class) I can give some pointers on how to get your game back. Or at least make it through your class.

  1. First, if you have the time then spend a little longer making the flow. A huge problem for me was I didn’t spend a ton of time on the flow that bummed me out. I didn’t even try it out to see if what I was doing was making sense. So spend a little extra time, try it out and just see what works.
  2. Go with something a little simpler and relaxing. Changing up what your normally do can throw you out of wack, but if you already aren’t feeling it and are having trouble coming up with a solid flow for the class try adding in a few simple flows to get the body moving. Most people are not picky about the yoga they just love to do it.
  3. Change things up a little bit. Honestly, this was a bit of the reason I was bummed out, and even having a hard time coming up with a great flow. Doing the same old in class is super great, but changing it up can ad variety and make things more fun for the class. Instead of doing pigeon pose every time try a different variation. People like Supine figure 4 a lot, and if they really feel like they need something in their practice they will take it. Try a new sun A flow, or add a new element into Sun B flows. I found a sun A flow in a yoga book I have that goes from kneeling prayer, to extended, to puppy, to cat, to down dog and then all the way back in the flow. It was fresh, interesting and went over well with the class. Now there is nothing wrong with keeping basic Sun flows and adding other elements after the flow, but sometimes mixing up the flows a little bit can really do a lot to the flow.
  4. Take advice with a grain of salt; people are always going to have something to say about your class. It was great, you could do this, maybe try this etc. Someone always has an opinion. I had a lady show up to my energy flow class, the most advanced class offered at where I teach and told me I should just slow it down a bit and that by flowing the class I made one student leave early. But that is the class, and she didn’t know the person who had left. The person who had left in fact goes to my other class and has been leaving early and doing their own thing since before I even took over any classes there. And while her advice was really solid and good, it still is a class with high energy flows and advanced poses. I had another lady tell me I used too many breath cues, which was a valid point because I do tend to focus a lot on the breathing in my flows. But yoga is also not yoga without your breath, so I can spend hours trying to figure out the perfect times to give (or not give) those cues or I can focus on making the flow wonderful for my class.
  5. Remember to have fun; this can be a huge thing to bring yourself down with teaching. You spend too much time trying to make the perfect flow, or meet all the demands etc you lose why you even started to teach in the first place. But have some fun with it, think of new themes or try a ridiculous pose that the class just try. Yoga doesn’t always have to be this work, it can be super fun. And if you’re having fun then they are having fun. And if we are having fun then we are adding a little bit of ourselves into the class, and people will gravitate toward that.

Teaching yoga can be so much work, but it doesn’t always have to be. And once we find ourselves stressing about the class, or just being totally bummed about it we need to step back and think about what we can change. If all else fails, just spend some quality time flowing on your mat and bring back the mindset you need to be able to teach.

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