Cover me

Cover me

Paula Hines gives a big shout out to all those teachers providing cover for her classes

Yoga teachers are used to doing lots of the things required for our work on our own, but truth is, none of us can really do this alone.

Over the course of a five-month period recently, I had some ongoing issues with my health that unfortunately impacted my ability to teach. Against my better judgement (and fuelled by a feeling of really not wanting to let anyone down), I ended up teaching on a couple of instances when, in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have. On both occasions I wasn’t able to complete the class, having to leave the room in unstoppable coughing fits. I really should have known better.

Consequently, I ended up in a position where I was in need of class cover more often than I ever had been. I am self-employed, and as mentioned (for better or worse) I generally hate to let anyone down, so I don’t take asking for cover lightly. But when I do need cover I am so very grateful whenever fellow teachers are able to step in, and even more so when it is at late notice. I’ve heard some teachers say that they don’t like to cover classes, and even remember someone exclaiming that their (and I quote) “covering days were over” .

 When I asked what this meant, the explanation given was that as they were now established with their own classes, they did not need to cover classes anymore. This was the first time I had ever heard this and I was surprised to say the least.

I have also had conversations with teachers who don’t like covering classes for another, albeit more amusing, reason: they do not want to face the eye-rolling disappointment (and in some cases, anger!) from students when they realise their regular teacher is not there that day. I can empathise, having been on the receiving end of this too.

All that said, I do say yes to covers when I am able to do them because I am always highly appreciative whenever other teachers cover my classes, and I feel it is good to reciprocate. Related to this, if I am asked to cover and I know that I am not free I try to let that person know as soon as possible so that they aren’t left waiting for a response.

So, this is a huge thank you to all the teachers out there who cover classes.

Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher and writer (

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