What does a yoga teacher look like?

“You don’t look like a yoga teacher.” I was told today. I smiled. It’s what I do when I don’t have anything to say, or don’t know how to respond. In this case it was brief. I asked, “What does a yoga teacher look like?”

You can imagine the sort of reply I got, can’t you? Not skinny, no lycra, not a woman? Yeah.

How funny. But true. In this modern world where yoga has become synonymous with exercise, how you look and what you wear and whether you can get into this pose or that pose often has as much to do with whether you’re taken seriously, as anything else.

But it’s not supposed to be that way. Yoga is not simply a form of exercise, and it’s certainly not all about the poses or what you wear or whether you have conquered your wobbly bits. As I say on my website: yoga is not about whether you can touch your toes, but about what you learn on the way down.

I practice yoga (I’m not just talking about the physical aspects) because it makes me feel good. It teaches me lessons every day, and if I listen to those lessons, I grow. The journey is the most exciting part.

I teach because I want to share that feeling, and whether you choose to learn with me because you want to feel the stretch and do your body good, or you’re on a journey to learn more about yoga, everyone is welcome. If my class puts a smile on your face and makes you feel good, that makes me happy. One of my students used to leave class every week simply saying ‘Magic!’ and that’s the biggest compliment anyone can get, really.

The teacher-student relationship is unique. When you find the one that talks to you in a way that you can understand, that challenges you quietly, and asks your body questions without expecting answers, then you know you’re in the right place, whatever they look like!


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