It's simple: Know yoga students' names

yoga teacher

I taught my first class as a yoga teacher at the end of June in my hometown of Tucson, Ariz., at Mindful Yoga Studio.

I read articles regularly about yoga and about what being a good yoga teacher looks like and means. Some of the articles I agree with and some I don’t.
There are tons of articles out there. Some say what I learned in my teacher training program and other articles completely contradict what I believe to be correct and true.
One thing I recently read talked about how it is important to know your students’ names.
This was definitely discussed in my teacher training program. And the teachers’ classes I regularly attend know all of their regular students’ names and make an effort to learn new student names.
In the classes I have been subbing at Alameda Athletic Club there are, of course, the regulars. There are new people regularly and the not so quite regulars.
Last week I saw a student who I hadn’t seen in about a month. I said, Hi, Sharon.* How are you?
Sharon kinda stared at me. I got nervous that I got her name wrong. She said, You remembered my name? I said, yea, that’s part of my job.
I ran into a similar situation after I had only subbed one class and a student came back a few classes later. I said, Hi Joe. And he said the same thing as Sharon, you remember my name?
A friend attended one of my yoga classes last week and afterward told me how impressed she was that I knew the students’ names.
It’s important to know your students’ names and even something about them. If they tell you their shoulder hurts, maybe next time ask how the shoulder is doing.
Being a yoga teacher is not just about teaching yoga. It’s about knowing and caring about people, your students.
When you notice someone doing something awesome it gives you the opportunity to recognize that. It also gives you the opportunity to give someone attention they might need with their alignment or anything else.
If people feel cared about and welcome and sometimes even a little special that can make a world of a difference for that person.
I have a long way to go and so much to learn. But with the basics I know that I can be a great yoga teacher.
Don’t forget to check the My Yoga Classes tab on GFG! to see my current teaching schedule.
*Names have been changed.