Anahata

Ideas to help people feel more comfortable in class

5 posts in this topic

Some classes have a wide variety of people at many different levels. I sometimes get the feeling that some that are not quite as far along in their practice or feel they are not as ‘good’ as the rest of the class feel uncomfortable. And maybe even leave or stop their yoga. There is also the other side of this where people that don’t quite fit into the level of the class, a little more advanced, can feel uncomfortable as well.

What are some ideas that the teacher or even the others in the class could say or do to help with this? This is a really open question but any ideas are very much appreciated.

If you are someone that may feel uncomfortable please give your ideas as well.

mimisouth and MaddieTwo like this

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Things I've heard teachers say that remind me to not feel self-conscious:

  • Yoga is an individual practice. Do what feels good for you today - it doesn't have to be the same as yesterday or tomorrow.  (when referencing the choice to uplevel or invert).
  • [Such and such] arm balance or uplevel is completely optional.
  • This practice is for you, yourself. Focus inwardly with your breath.
4 hours ago, Anahata said:

There is also the other side of this where people that don’t quite fit into the level of the class, a little more advanced, can feel uncomfortable as well.

If a more advanced practitioner is feeling uncomfortable, that's on him or her unless someone is saying things explicitly to that person in response. I can still benefit from a beginner's class and listen to all the reminders and cues for my own alignment.  On the other spectrum, I think appropriate uplevels are ok to do on their own (not that distracting). But if the person starts doing their own practice that is completely different from the rest of the class, it's distracting and feels disrespectful to me. For example, I went to a yoga fundraising event, and one of the teachers up front went into headstand on his own when we were just doing lunges. I'm pretty sure he did not feel uncomfortable - so that's what I meant it's on him or her to not feel uncomfortable.

msinkblot, Hildegard and brenskip55 like this

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In YTT, we are taught that you ALWAYS teach to the person most likely to injure themselves.  From there, you can give cues for higher level students. People who are more advanced are more likely to know what is appropriate so I would think priority would be given to the new students.

Having said that, I shared in YTT last night when we were talking about this very subject that I feel like a jerk when I take wide-legged forward fold into tripod headstand, or bound side angle into bird of paradise, etc.  Everyone was shocked that I felt that way and said that they don't mind at ALL and even think it's cool and inspiring to see.

That's just my two cents! 

yogafire likes this

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32 minutes ago, AnandaYoga said:

Having said that, I shared in YTT last night when we were talking about this very subject that I feel like a jerk when I take wide-legged forward fold into tripod headstand, or bound side angle into bird of paradise, etc.  Everyone was shocked that I felt that way and said that they don't mind at ALL and even think it's cool and inspiring to see.

That's just my two cents! 

Agreed! Those are very appropriate uplevels from those positions, and honestly are inspiring or informative to other students like myself because it shows the transition.

I know this wasn't in response to my previous post, but, my example was a random headstand. It was my friend next to me, a teacher, who pointed it out to me first by casually asking, "Why is he doing that, now?"

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1 minute ago, yogafire said:

Agreed! Those are very appropriate uplevels from those positions, and honestly are inspiring or informative to other students like myself because it shows the transition.

I know this wasn't in response to my previous post, but, my example was a random headstand. It was my friend next to me, a teacher, who pointed it out to me first by casually asking, "Why is he doing that, now?"

Wow...that is pretty disruptive.  I was in a class one time and the teacher said, "before we take savasana, please feel free to make yourself comfortable with any additional poses your body needs." I usually take that opportunity for happy baby or childs pose if my back needs it to rest.  A student then pressed up into handstand and proceeded to take about a full minute of different variations before coming back down.  That was definitely interesting!

robert likes this

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