Posted by: eveyoga | July 12, 2011

Things Yoga Teachers Say

There are a few tomes around these days that are collections of sayings that your mother said or puns that your dad made. There could easily be a compendium of yoga teacher quips, as the words get stepped down generationally, like parents to kids and guru to acolyte.

Some of the advice you get from a yoga teacher is anatomical, as in “unshrug your shoulders”, or “let your breath animate your body.” Some is mental, as in “let your thought activity slow down as you watch the content of your mind”. Some is more related to your attitude – “notice if you are forcing the pose; rather, your body accept it”. And, some wisdom is in the category of spiritual, for example, “the god within me bows to the god in you”.

I’ve met up students after not having seen them for many years who tell me something I said to them stuck and made a difference – perhaps words that to me just seemed like common sense.

I’ve also had the experience of saying a phrase over and over in a class to make a point to a student, and it’s not until he or she has gone to another teacher’s class that suddenly the light goes on. Frustrating!

There are no-go zones. As a yoga teacher, you must avoid mentioning food in class. If you tell the students in a yoga relaxation to let their bodies melt into the floor like butter on a summer day, you may lose them in reveries of buttered toast. Probably don’t mention injections either, as when a colleague was leading a relaxation and said,” let your forehead be as smooth as if you’ve just had a Botox treatment.”

One of the useful and memorable things a teacher once said to me was “don’t try so hard.” So apparently simple and so not easy. With any luck I’ll have long life to learn that one.



  1. but Eve one of my favourite memories of your words were when you described turning out our shoulders and feeling the muscles melt like butter 😉 xx

    • See, that’s what I mean! XO Eve

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