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How is everyone doing today? Any requests?

Why these questions are important for you and your yoga teacher

I open almost every class with a check-in – whether it’s a private class or large public class. “How is everyone doing today? Any requests?” If you have ever wondered what to do or say when your teacher asks these questions, you’re definitely not the only one and it takes some time before you really know what to ask for.

New students in general look at me a little befuddled and I can imagine what they are looking at me thinking “you are the teacher don’t you know what I need? I just showed up.” I smile and begin class.

Intermediate students dance around the topic a bit more “…Well my neck kind of hurts… I am little tired… My back is tight…” Perfect! I can weave in a few poses and space to open some of those things up. And we might have a conversation about what they have been doing that could result in such a sensation in the body. And no it isn’t because you are old 🙂 pain and disease in the body are the result of an unhealthy pattern – movement or otherwise – your body signals discomfort in these habits to your brain to encourage you to change the pattern to a healthier one. It is my job as your yoga teacher to help you learn and understand what your body is telling you – we are learning the language of your body.

Advanced students come in and know exactly what they want and need. “Hot summer day… I’m at the the end of a travel week…. Maybe some restorative yoga?” They know exactly what will bring them back into balance and support a centered calm and productive end to the week.

If you are at a loss as to what you should say when I ask these questions, you can look to the below points for a little guidance:

  • Talk about the energy level you are at in this moment, are you feeling ready for the class and the day? Having a hard time still waking up? Looking to wind down after a busy week?
  • Are there any notable issues, injuries or areas where your body is tight? If you work on a computer all day you may need to relieve a tight neck and shoulders. If you are often sitting down, you can request hip-openers. Busy week? Maybe ask for some poses to help with stress relief. Think about what you want before coming to the studio that day to get the most from the flow of class.

At the end of the day the aim of the class is to create a safe space. The point of yoga shouldn’t be trying to hit a perfect pose. My classes are about creating a community where we are accepting of and reflective of all bodies and levels. I want you to find peace and ease within your mind and express your additional needs. One of the greatest gifts of being a teacher is when you can begin to see your students embodying the teachings you provide during class and it makes me so excited and happy when you all progress! Progression doesn’t mean you can hold a headstand for 5 minutes. It means you and easily identify what your body is telling you and communicate those needs and know you have resources to meet those needs.