6 Things This Yoga Teacher Wants You to Know. ~ Fay Inger

Via elephant journal
on May 10, 2013
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yoga teacher

1. Sometimes I worry.

Did you enjoy my class? Will you come back?

Yoga teachers have feelings too, and sometimes we feel insecure. It helps to remember that the class is for my students benefit and not my own. It also helps if you liked the class to say so!

2. I don’t judge you, your body or your practice.

Life is interesting because people come in all shapes and sizes with personalities as diverse as snowflakes. I’m no better than my students because I teach yoga.

As my Guru Dharma Mittra teaches, we are not our bodies and we are not our minds. You have a body and you have a mind but you are so much more than the sum of your parts.

Your body is perfect, you are perfect and your practice is exactly where it should be at this time.

3. My practice isn’t perfect either.

I’ve been practicing yoga for 10 years and while that may seem like a long time, it actually isn’t relevant to poses that I’ve mastered.

I am naturally flexible with a very bendy back but lack raw strength. It’s easy for me to do king pigeon but my forearm balance and handstands are almost nonexistent.

That doesn’t mean I can’t teach poses I cannot do. In fact it makes me a great teacher because I understand you have your own strengths and weaknesses.

We are all a work in progress, I just happen to be the one guiding the class.

4. I take your limitations and baggage seriously.

Your range of motion and limitations are a factor in your yoga practice.

Because of that I would never force a student to go into a pose they couldn’t get into on their own, or force someone into a pose they didn’t feel ready to do.

I was always terrified of doing headstands despite the gentle encouragement of my teacher. Once, a well meaning substitute teacher took me into headstand and failed to provide adequate support. It resulted in me falling over and reinforced my fears.

Ultimately it wasn’t encouragement or support that helped me move past my fears, it was time. We all have our issues to work through and sometimes they manifest on the mat.

5. You need to be pushed.

Not physically pushed as in pushed down a flight of stairs, but pushed to what you think your limit is so that you can surpass it.

I know this because in my 500 Hour teacher training I was pushed to my limit multiple times and my practice evolved and excelled because of it.

The second day of our second month of training I was absolutely convinced that I could not do one more humble warrior; convinced my quads were too sore and my hips too tight to cooperate. I asked to sit out one asana practice so my achy muscles could rest.

At the time I was annoyed when my request was denied. I didn’t understand I was told no for my benefit and for me to grow. But being told no did just that.

It forced me to push on, past the tired, sore and achy muscles. It pushed me to realize that I am stronger than I thought I was. I was pushed to understand that although my body may not have wanted to, my mind is stronger than my body. I was pushed to ultimately realize I am so much more than just my physical body.

Real change begins when your back is against the wall. You can rise to the challenge and surprise yourself with your strength and determination or you can cower into the wall and refuse to grow.

I am your cheerleader and always want you to grow.

6. I didn’t become a yoga teacher because I wasn’t qualified to do anything else.

In fact, let me follow that statement with I chose to forsake other potentially lucrative professions because I love yoga.

I love it so much that I want to devote my life not only to practicing it but teaching it; so much that I love spending my days being my student’s cheerleaders, enriching their lives and helping them grow stronger in their practice every day!


Fay IngerFay Inger is a 200 and 500 hour certified yoga teacher and she recently completed the 800 hour training in August of 2012. Fay took up yoga 10 years ago to help with her bad posture.  The bad posture is gone but Fay’s love of yoga stuck around! Currently living in Los Angeles, California, Fay primarily works as a private instructor. As she always says, “yoga is a gift” and it is her favorite gift to share! Find out more about Fay at FayInger.com and Facebook.com/yogawithfay.

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5 Responses to “6 Things This Yoga Teacher Wants You to Know. ~ Fay Inger”

  1. kimberlylowriter says:

    Thank you! I loved this!

  2. amphibi1yogini says:

    As to #5, no I DON'T.
    Some of us can be pushed, but verbally only.
    I subscribe to the wildly underrated (by some yoga teachers) middle path philosophical approach to yoga practice:

    Middle Path; and moderation in ALL things, including yoga asana (physical) yoga practice.

    No law says you have to be in any pose for any length of time. No law says it has to be the full expression of that pose

    As with wine, good yoga does not happen before its time! And good yoga happens any time you remain mindful and strong – but still touching – your comfort zone. You must not push beyond the outer edge of your comfort zone; for such is a self-mortifying, harsh practice … I do not do this kind of practice. I do not do this at home, and I will not do this when I take it on the road to the studio twice a month …

  3. amphibi1yogini says:

    I qualify the above by saying that my circulation is poor, and there is just so much my breath could do, to make a yoga teacher's job of pushing me any easier. Live with it. That's the yoga teacher's job, too.

    Some students have physical handicaps not visible to the naked eye.

  4. Isa Dias says:

    Great article, I'm sure that many other Yoga Instructors share your views….In your opinion do you know of any diet or supplement that one can take so as to increase flexibility, I find that though I want to get into certain poses that my lack of flexibility specifically in the hips prevents me form doing so, any suggestions either diet or exercise wise?

  5. Thank you Fay. It makes such a refreshing change to get your perspective as a yoga instructor. Hopefully this will inspire more and more students take up yoga regularly, knowing that their instructor is there to help, not judge. Namaste, J