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Finding a Compatible Teacher

I'm currently taking a yoga teacher training program, and I've used the classes to try all kinds of new things. My program requires us to take three classes a week, so between running the studios and teaching, my schedule has never been so full. But all those classes have enabled me to experience a variety of styles, and more importantly, they've helped me realize some things about myself.

Define your goals and needs:

I've learned that I like to move a little slower when I'm trying out a new teacher so I can figure out their language. I like to feel taken care of by the teacher. I like when a teacher gives me alignment. All the classes have been fantastic, but some of them just "fit" better than others; sampling them all helped me define what my needs are today. That doesn't mean those needs won't change tomorrow, but right now my priorities are safety, alignment cueing, and a challenging workout.

Try that type of class more than once, but with a different teacher:

When starting a new workout class or routine, you should try several teachers, even within the same discipline. I often hear, "I tried Pilates or Barre once, but..." Once isn't enough to know if that workout is right for you! That would be like saying you don't wear boots because you tried on one pair and didn't like the fit.

Talk to your teacher:

As much as I try to read my clients' facial expressions and body language, it's hard to know what they're thinking, needing, and wanting unless they tell me. Naturally, I always try my best to incorporate their needs and wants into my class! Most teachers love getting input from their students before and after class. Let them know if you loved a certain pose or exercise, or if you need them to move a little slower or explain something more clearly. A good teacher will help you understand what things work and why others don't, and they should help you figure out if a certain exercise just isn't right for you. The better the communication is, the more you'll feel comfortable, and the more likely you are to see (and crave) the benefits of movement! This is one of the main reasons I believe in holding such small Pilates, Yoga, and Barre classes. It makes it easier for my clients to give me a shout when they needed help during class, at the exact moment they need it!

I'll always keep trying new teachers. I'll find the ones I love, the ones I need, and the ones that are better for others. And with each new teacher comes a new lesson about myself and my preferred style of movement. So whenever you try new teachers and classes, make sure to report back! I'm always happy to take recommendations about all our classes at Whole Body!