10 Ways to Be a Great Yoga Student
"The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice" - Brian Herbert
Arrive early and use your time ... As a yoga teacher there's nothing better than arriving to teach a class to find you guys on your mats gently warming up or lying quietly in savasana. If you get to class early, use your time to take a few cat/cows or have a roll around on your back to 'arrive' on your mat and connect to your body.
If you are late, arrive quietly ... hey we're human and sometimes we're late. No big deal. Just try not to come crashing wildly through the door flinging your bags around and knocking over the girl in tree pose :) Silence is golden ... I know you haven't seen Sarah for a week and you have sooooo much to catch up on but let it wait until after class. Take some time in silence before you start and notice how much calmer and mindful your practice is Let the teacher know about any injuries before the class starts ... not halfway through when your teacher is adjusting your broken hip in pigeon pose! Arrive early and tell us about your injury so we can modify the practice and keep an eye on you
Don't be a front row hogger ... there is a whole studio to explore. Especially if you practice in a busy studio, give up your front row spot now and then to allow someone else to come forward. Oh, and please don't arrive with 1 minute to spare and roll your mat directly in front of another student blocking their view of the teacher. Stagger your mat to one side slightly and check they can see us
Put your bags / phones / enormous shopping bags away ... honestly, you won't need your day planner, house keys, food shopping for the practice. You also don't need your phone next to you to distract you when it lights up with a text and you definitely don't need to take a pre class selfie ;) Keep the space clear so we can get round and adjust you without tripping on your handbag and falling on our face!
Ask questions at the end of class ... unless its a workshop style class, try to avoid shouting out questions. Instead raise your hand and your teacher will come and quietly speak to you. This keeps the flow of the class going. There should also always be an opportunity at the end of the class for you to ask questions.
Keep your focus on your own practice ... yep there's a girl next to you in a cropped top doing a handstand. Now try not to stare ;) I know its hard and I admit, I totally do it sometimes but try to keep your focus on your own practice. Yoga is not about making shapes, however impressive, its about deeply connecting and listening to your own body. Keep your attention on your own body and breath and then you can observe as your practice deepens over time.
Stay in class until the end ... even if you find the class is too challenging or you're tired or just plain bored, come down to childs pose or savasana and stay in class until the end. This is simple good manners towards your teacher and avoids disruption for the rest of the students. Even if you aren't physically practicing, you still learn a lot by watching and listening. Enjoy the rest and stay present. Don't skip savasana It disrupts the rest of the class and leaves you spiritually hanging. Savasana grounds the body and mind after practice. It really is the most important part of the practice. Plus, you deserve a bloody good lie down!!
Keep an attitude of gratitude Ok so you can't touch your toes in seated forward fold. I promise you the world is not going to end. Be grateful that you can walk into a yoga studio unassisted and sit on your mat when so many people don't have use of their legs. Be grateful for the incredible, capable body you already have. Be patient ... It's called a 'yoga practice' not a 'yoga perfect'