Yoga teacher myths abound! And, through the years I've heard quite a few of them, so I thought I'd clear it all up for you this week and maybe get a smile or giggle from you. Enjoy!
Myth #1: Being a yoga teacher is a great hobby or side gig.
I am a professional yoga instructor. This is not a hobby, or even a job. This is my career.
Myth #2: Yoga teachers know everything about yoga.
I know a lot about yoga, but I will always have more to learn. It’s impossible to say you know everything about yoga. That’s almost like saying you know everything about life. If I don’t have an answer to your question, I will find a source that does, so we can learn together.
Myth #3: All yoga teachers are naturally flexible.
I was not born flexible or immediately took to backward bending. I work hard every single day to make my practice what it is now, so I can be the teacher you need me to be. It’s taken years and it will take even more years to go to the places I know I can go within the body, mind, and spirit.
Myth #4: Yoga teachers like to hold postures extra-long just to torture their students.
I do not hold the postures extra-long to torture you or because I don’t like you. I hold the posture a little longer some days because I know you can do it.
Myth #5: All yoga teachers are vegetarian/vegan.
I was vegetarian for ten years and then it no longer worked for me. Every body has different needs and those needs might change throughout the course of a lifetime. Pay attention to what your body is telling you about the foods you eat. If you are sluggish and tire easily, if your stomach is always upset, and if your skin acts up, you might want to change things up. Go for good, wholesome foods that are packed with nutrients and minerals.
Myth #6: Yoga teachers live their life on their yoga mats
I DO spend a bunch of time on my mat each day. I teach, I practice, sometimes I teach again. BUT I have a life that has nothing to do with teaching and practicing yoga. I have activities that I enjoy that do not require me to get upside down or touch my head to knee. Yoga teachers are people, too.
Myth #7: Yoga teachers live a stress-free, care-free life.
Ha! This one always makes me laugh. We are trying to live our best life. We are working on our stuff. BUT, life and people and situations still cross our path to give us new trials and tribulations to work through.
Our regular yoga practice does give us the tools to work through it in a different way than most though. Decision making involves listening to the breath, taking a seat for a long meditation, rolling out the mat for practice, and working to find the right words and actions to take to make positive choices for our life and all that are involved in it.
Myth #8: Yoga teachers only love the students that can go super deep into the postures.
I love all my students. In fact, my favorite students are the ones that maybe can’t go deep, or don’t believe they can yet.
To witness the body healing and unfolding day after day and see the changes that are happening not only physically, but mentally, is what our career is all about.
My other favorite students are great technicians and can go deep into the postures, but are looking for corrections, for their best alignment, and for the next challenge. So… like I said – I love all my students.
Tori Hicks-Glogowski is an online yoga instructor and yoga business coach and mentor for yoga teachers. She is the author of the book, "Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi," and has been writing and sharing her yoga experience for the past seven years. Find out more about Tori now.