With the increased focus on health & well-being in Singapore (and around the world), many people are turning to fitness professionals such as personal trainers, fitness coaches, and yoga instructors for answers.
There is a general idea that those of us who work in the fitness & body movement industries have all the answers to weight loss, strength training, flexibility, and more.
The truth is, we are not walking encyclopedias on fitness or health. We happen to be humans who became coaches/ teachers/ instructors, so as to guide others along on their fitness and health journey.
Most of us started on fitness for personal reasons—to recover from an injury; to lose weight & lean up; to bulk up; to get fitter etc. In the process, we love how we’ve transformed physically and mentally.
We then decided to make sharing these transformations into a full time job, and became coaches/ teachers because we went and did a certification course on how to share our passion with others. Along the way, we continue to learn through our teaching, from our students, and with continuous professional development. Because when it comes to our body and its health, there is so much to learn!
Along the way of coaching, we learn many things. As a freelance yoga teacher at studios as well as private yoga instructor, I have discovered many things in my almost 500-hours of teaching. So now I would like to share
7 Things that Your Yoga Instructor Would Like You to Know
1. Expensive Yoga Active Wear is a Waste of Money
Let’s face it — wearing a pair of S$150 yoga tights is not going to add any value to your practice.
As long as you’re not coming to your mat to practice your asanas or breath work, your flexibility and strength will remain the same.
So whether your yoga leggings cost S$150 or S$20, it doesn’t matter. What matters is your presence on your mat.
2. We Are Also Students
As much as we teach classes, we are first & foremost yogis. What that means is that we continue to practice our asanas, too.
This means you might sometimes bump into us at other teacher’s classes, especially if these teachers have taught more hours than us, or are teaching a style of yoga that is different from ours. Because on this yoga journey, there is always so much more to learn.
So if you see us taking classes somewhere, don’t be shy — say hello, and let’s share our practice together.
3. We Can’t All Do Handstands or Headstands
Some people are experts at numbers, some are skilled at organising and coordinating things, others are great at sales. Everyone has different skills and specialisations.
In the same way, every person’s body is different—some are more flexible, some have more mobility (ever heard of hyper-mobility?), and some have more muscle strength.
In this way, not all of us can do handstands or headstands. Just as not everyone can twist themselves into a pretzel. Different teachers specialise in different areas of yoga. That is why there are so many options available for practitioners.
4. We’re Used to Farts, Moans, Loud Breathing, and Belching
No, seriously, we are!
Farts & belching let us know that the poses are working on your digestive system.
Loud breathing means that your respiratory system is stimulated.
Moans imply that you’re getting some release from the stretches or poses.
It’s all good!
5. We Teach What We Know
This relates back to different teachers with different styles. As yogis, each yoga teacher has an interest in working on certain poses for themselves.
And the more we practice these, the better we become at understanding how the pose benefits the body. Which means that we become better equipped to teach our understanding of these asanas to practitioners.
6. We Show The Way, The Rest is Up to You
Yoga teachers are guides—we can only show you how to travel on this yoga journey, but it really is up to you to continue on it.
7. We See You
Struggling, in chaturanga dandasana (four limbed staff pose).
Restless, in savasana (corpse pose).
Fidgeting, in adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog).
It doesn’t matter where you are in the room, we see it all.
But you know what? It’s ok.
We know that everyone has their personal, internal dialogue even when they are on the mat. But we invite you to try and not have this dialogue—we invite you to let it go, and allow your body to just BE.
Just bring yourself to the mat, and release your thoughts when you’re on it.
8. You Make Us Love Our Job [bonus]
Whenever you turn up on your mat, that is the biggest reward for yoga teachers. Knowing that you have found some release, rejuvenation, and perhaps peace of mind during class for you to come back again, this is what makes us love what we do.