Our teachers give us so much. They guide us through the asanas, share the philosophy of yoga, and give us the support we need through all of it. So how can we give back to our teachers?
Here are 5 things you can share with your teacher to make his or her job just a little bit easier.
1. Injuries, medical conditions, or other special needs. Even if you know how to take care of your own injury or condition, it's important to share with your teacher why you're modifying or otherwise not following his instructions. Not only might this information change the adjustments and instructions your teacher gives you, he might also be able to give you tips to help you during class and later on, too.
2. Questions. Have you ever been to a yoga class only to sit there completely baffled by what your teacher is saying? Maybe she's going on and on about the femur, but you don't remember which bone that is. Or perhaps she's references some Hindu deity that you've never heard of. It is your teacher's goal for you to learn, so do her a favor and speak up if you have no idea what she's talking about.
3. Requests. Your teacher probably plans out his classes before he gets to the studio, but he wants to make sure he gives you what YOU need. This is why many teachers will ask if anyone has any pose requests before class starts. They can gauge the class's energy, skill level, and general vibe by the answers they get. So when your teacher asks if you have a request, speak up! It will help your teacher help you.
4. Courtesy Laughs. I know, I know. Yoga teachers are not trained in comedy, and sometimes when they try to tell jokes ... they just fall flat. But when your teacher is trying so hard to entertain you as he guides you into poses, it's only polite to chuckle, or at least smile for crying out loud! You think you're embarrassed when you fall out of Tree Pose? Imagine how your teacher feels when she tells a joke and gets no response from his students.
5. Appreciation. Teachers give us so much of their energy, their time, and their heart. We owe it to them to give it back to them whenever we can--through a "Namaste" and a bow at the end of class or a silent Sun Salutation dedication.
Yoga teachers: Do you have anything to add? Please share with us any other ways we can help you help us!