All for one

Yes, it’s true, yoga is for everyone, but that does not mean I am everyone’s teacher. By Paula Hines

Yoga is for everyone, but not every yoga class will be for everyone.
This is one of the main reasons I suggest to anybody who is new to yoga and keen to find a class, to try lots of different classes with as many different teachers as they can. Going along to one Vinyasa Flow and not liking it does not mean that yoga is not for you.

Yoga is for everyone, but I am not everyone’s teacher.

After a class recently, one person complained that it was too gentle, while another person complained that the class was too challenging. Also, for one person the room was too hot, while for others the room was too cold.

I’ve had instances of people telling me they like strong hands-on adjustments, requesting them from me, and faced irritation when I have explained that physical adjustments are not something I do.

I’ve faced disappointment that I do use music during class and that I don’t use music at all.

I’ve faced anger that I demonstrate too much and that I demonstrate too little.

And frustration that my voice is too loud and too quiet. That I talk too much or not enough.

Teach with the intention of trying to please everyone and you

will be doomed to fail. I do not mind if someone does not like my class, there will be another teacher out there who they prefer. Likewise, for as many people who are not keen on your classes or way of teaching there will be as many (or, often more) who choose to practice with you precisely because of who you are and how
you teach.

Around six months ago, I took over another teacher’s classes at a studio that was new to me. The old regulars (long-standing students of the previous teacher) were not returning, presumably because my classes were not the same. Naturally, the classes would be and are different; I am a different person. Class numbers dwindled as I expected they would, but over time there has been a growing, steady flow of new people.

I take none of it personally.

The way I teach has changed over the years and will most likely continue to. Some people will like these changes and others will not. Students will come and students will go and that is as it should be. Things evolve, our teaching and our practice included.

Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher and writer. Find details of upcoming events at:

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