Inspired by McSweeney’s hilarious AN OPEN LETTER TO THE SUBSTITUTE YOGA TEACHER WHO WON’T STOP WITH THE IMAGERY.
April 21, 2010
Dear New Student,
Welcome! Happy to meet you!
What’s that? You’ve never done yoga before and you had knee replacement surgery last month? Thank you for letting me know.
Please note that this is an intermediate level class. I very strongly recommend taking at least a few fundamentals of yoga classes before a more advanced class such as this one. Classes labeled for “beginners” are truly helpful for students of all levels of physical fitness and will give you a good foundation in alignment and breath.
I’ll do my best to give variations and modifications during class. Ultimately, you are your own best teacher. Listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right for you today, then please don’t do it. You can rest at any time and for any amount of time. Honestly! If you are having difficultly maintaining a steady breath, it’s a good sign that you’re forcing your body to do something it probably isn’t ready to do yet.
This is a practice. It’s ongoing. The only thing you have to do is breathe. Everything else is optional!
Teachers, does this happen in your yogasana classes often? It seems that no matter how many modifications I offer, new and injured students often attempt the most challenging poses and variations. But hey, strivers are going to strive. (Strivers, you’re wonderful just as you are!) What are your tips for keeping these students safe? And students, what is a helpful, non-condescending way to be advised against doing something?
BIO: Lindsay Jean Thomson loves beginners. Y’all are welcome and appreciated! But she really wants you to be safe. When she says child’s pose, she means you! If you’re going to do the crazy stuff, do it somewhere else. Not on her watch!