Our featured yogis share one behavior they wish students would cut out in class.
Angela Meyer of the YMCA:
"Leaving class early, especially right before savasana. Savasana is such a grounding and integral part of a class. Plus, it disrupts the whole when one student leaves early, and as a teacher it is my responsibility to protect the whole."
Krista Block of Flow Yoga Center, Buddha B Yoga, and extendYoga:
"Doubting themselves. It breaks my heart to see the look of defeat in some students' eyes before even attempting a pose that appears challenging. My classes usually are comprised of a flow to build muscle memory and teach the body a certain action that we then apply to a peak pose or project. Students will do these actions confidently in the more familiar postures, but as soon as something starts to get fancy-pants I can literally see their bodies get heavier as the expectation of themselves recedes. I want all students of yoga to know even the most elusive seeming poses are available to them. The bridge between impossible and possible is a good attitude, hard work, and willingness to start where you are. If you allow these things to dictate your practice so much growth can occur. As a teacher this is really important to me because believing big things are possible in your practice translates to believing big things are possible in your life. My students are so amazing and all deserve to have that vision."
Arlet Koseian of extendYoga:
"CELL PHONE usage!! It's never OK to bring your cell phones into class. If there is something so important that you need to check your phone, then don't come to class. Sorry, no iPhones welcome."
Jane Bahneman of Blue Nectar Yoga:
"I really try to stay away from this one because it can really come off holier-than-thou as an instructor! When I see interesting little things/behaviors among my students in class, I remind myself we are all on a journey at our own pace and ask myself why their behavior perhaps caught my attention?! I simply wish every student would walk in the room and "let go" in every way they can: of expectations that day, of beating themselves up, of their cell phone/Facebook/text addictions (!), and anything that distracts them from fully "practicing" that day."
Mimi Rieger of Mimi Rieger Yoga:
"Stop leaving before Savanasa- it is the most important asana!!"
Sima Tamaddon of RxD Yoga:
"Checking out. Each student, myself included, has a way of checking out in their own way. Yoga is about diving in and really trying to give yourself the undivided attention. We live in a world where multitasking is rewarded... yoga is the one place I would suggest checking that at the door."
"Skipping savasana! If my students have to leave early, they have to leave early; but, I am always telling them to take a few minutes, at least, for corpse pose before they get off of their mats. Really, it is the most important part of the practice! Strike that, it is the practice; the rest is just prep work to help them to clear their minds for savasana. Without that final resting posture, I think students are only able to receive the physical benefits of their practice. Don't miss out on the mind stuff too folks; to me, that stuff is the best part!!!"
Amy Rizzotto of Yoga Heights DC:
"I wish my students would take the "shoulds" out of their yoga practice. I'm young and healthy, so I should be able to do [insert advanced yoga pose name here]. Should implies that there is a wrong and right way to do yoga and sets students up for failure and negative self talk. We all have good days and bad days. We all have things we're still working on and, hey, may never even quite get there. We all look different in poses because we all have different bodies. So what? It's all about the effort and intention you put in and what you get out from simply trying. The greatest gift yoga provides - in my opinion - is that of self-acceptance: meeting yourself where you are on that day, at that moment and learning what your body and mind needs. Take the "should" out of your yoga practice and you'll progress, mentally and physically, much faster."
Sara Crosby of extendYoga:
"I'll never understand why students skip out before savasana. It's like making an amazingly delicious cake from scratch, putting in all that time and effort...and then only smelling it! You miss the very best part. Savasana is the key to the yoga practice. Our body needs those few moments of pure release and surrender in order to be fully open to all the benefits of the work we've just put in. If we skip it and head back out into our day, so much potential for growth is just left behind. So stay those extra 5 minutes, I promise, you'll never regret it!"