Things Yoga Students are Dying to Tell Their Teachers (But Never Will). ~ Victoria Fedden

Via Victoria Fedden
on Oct 1, 2013
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Photo: Lululemon Athletica
Photo: Lululemon Athletica

Sometimes, the only reason that I’m here is to get away from my kids for an hour and a half.

That look of panic on my face when you come to adjust me? It’s because I’m desperately trying to hold in a fart. I’m not out of alignment.

Every time you make us do frog pose, somewhere, a hawk swoops down and carries off a kitten; and it is all your fault.

I think your Sanskrit is sexy.

Yes, we know your name isn’t really Satya Priya Parvati Ganesha. It’s pretty obvious that you’re a white girl from Indiana who used to be both a cheerleader and a huge Bon Jovi fan in high school, and we’re ok with that, Brooke.

Interspiral? Intercostals? External Rotation? Yeah, I have no idea what any of that means. I’ll just wing it and hope for the best.

Be forewarned that if you tell me to flower my anus, that I may need a box of baby wipes, a roll of paper towels and some Clorox afterward.

By the way, is “sit bone” an actual medical term or is that something you all made up?

When I manage to get myself into Reclining Thunderbolt: one, I feel like I deserve a medal and perhaps a press conference with the local and national news stations after class for my accomplishment; and two, I think you might need to call 911 because there’s no way I’m getting out of this pose without a compound fracture. Or two.

If y’all are going to charge 36 bucks for a water bottle out in the lobby, that thing had better turn the water into wine when you pour it in. I’m just sayin’.

When you say my name and compliment my superior Happy Cow Face in a crowded class, I feel strong and confident for the rest of the afternoon. Seriously, it makes my day. You have no idea the power of your praise or how much it means to me.

Sometimes, I find you incredibly intimidating, but I look at you with awe and you give me something greater to aspire to—although I may never reach your level of mastery because I am a mere human being and I am convinced that you yoga teachers are actually pixies. Come on. Every one of you looks exactly like Tinkerbell. So the next time you tell us to “float and fly” how about coming off a little of that pixie dust? Help a sister out over here in this crippled Bird of Paradise.

I worry that you judge me in class and that you think I’m a wuss, but the truth is that I’m just as accomplished in my field as you are in yours. In my life outside of class, I’m a Type A perfectionist, trapped in my ego, and I come here to work on that. Yoga is the one place where I’ve given myself permission to screw up, mess around and be imperfect, so when I fall over in Revolving Half Moon or chill out in Child’s Pose while the rest of you move through the Dancer’s Bridge flow, please know that I’m still present and focused and I’m still doing my work on the mat even when it looks like I’m lazy.

Each time you say “Flip your dog” I feel like you’re asking us to do something totally x-rated.

I think my third eye needs a contact lens.

After class, when I hear you bitching about how fat and bloated you are or how you have cellulite on your thighs and how you need to do some cleanse where you drink nothing but jalapeno juice for a week, I feel really disappointed. It ruins all that stuff you tell us in class about self-love and self-acceptance and it makes me feel really badly about myself because— oh my God— you are a will ‘o’ the wisp flitting around on the bamboo, whereas I lumber into class like a Triceratops.

I’ve got at least 30 pounds on you and girl, if you want to see some cellulite, let me just turn around and give you a look at some real cottage cheese. If you think you are fat, then what must you think of me stuffed into these yoga shorts, proudly showing off my toe-ing Camel pose?

You don’t poop do you? I know you fart glitter.

Several times a week, you torture me: you make me push my boundaries and often I’m cursing your skinny ass under my breath, but you are helping to make me a better, healthier and stronger person.

I came to you weak and needing to be healed and you helped me, even though you don’t even know my name.

There are times when I come to class just because the things you say are the only positive words I hear all day. I desperately need to hear something hopeful and encouraging to get me through tomorrow and for that?

Thank you.


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Assistant Ed: Miciah Bennett/Ed: Bryonie Wise

Waylon with the funny Michelle…

An honest discussion…

…and a sweet one:


About Victoria Fedden

Victoria Fedden received her MFA in creative writing from Florida Atlantic University. Her blog was voted 2011’s Best Humor Blog by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, and her personal essays have been anthologized in I Still Just Want to Pee Alone, Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and My Other Ex. She also regularly contributes to elephant journal, Scary Mommy, Babble, and Your Tango, among many other blogs and websites. Her memoir THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE will be published by Picador USA in June 2016. She lives with her family in Fort Lauderdale and online at her website. Please visit her Facebook page for updates and inspiration.


25 Responses to “Things Yoga Students are Dying to Tell Their Teachers (But Never Will). ~ Victoria Fedden”

  1. Jen says:

    So True! Lol

  2. kerry says:

    Love it!

  3. West says:

    Some my fellow Yoga Teachers look like Tinkerbell and fart glitter. I resemble Shrek and yes I do poop. Namaste (burp!)

  4. Missy says:

    I've only been thinking about trying yoga, but now I'm sacared, lol. You made me laugh till I cried – laughter like that has got to be better for you than yoga cause I think I pulled a muscle.

  5. krislyndillard says:

    Aww…micro-tears for this yoga teacher by the end of this article. Thank you for this. I will encourage my students EVEN MORE! Give positive words EVEN MORE! And push your boundaries…but remind you to listen to your body! I never ever think anyone is a wuss for using childs pose. I am proud of them!

  6. Bonnie says:

    Love this. Thanks for keeping us real xxx

  7. practicewith says:

    i laughed out loud, nodded along in agreement, and yes, like @krislyndillard even got a lil choked up. as a teacher who has only been teaching for a couple of years, and as a fellow human, i too need to hear something encouraging every now and then and for this? thank you.

  8. Amanda says:

    "Every time you make us do frog pose, somewhere, a hawk swoops down and carries off a kitten; and it is all your fault."
    You had me at this line. Brilliant. Loved it all!

  9. Pat Sandford says:

    Then there's that Reverse Swan Dive. Has anyone ever seen a swan one of those? 😉

  10. Pat Sandford says:

    Frog Pose. That's when I go to the washroom! 😉

  11. ehassman says:

    That line… I'm *actually* going to say to one of my yoga teachers. 😀

  12. ehassman says:

    "I came to you weak and needing to be healed and you helped me, even though you don’t even know my name.

    There are times when I come to class just because the things you say are the only positive words I hear all day. I desperately need to hear something hopeful and encouraging to get me through tomorrow and for that?

    Thank you."

    ^^This, a million times, this. <3

  13. kirstan says:

    Yep, Type A. Perfectionist. Used to winning. Used to getting where I want when I want. Not with yoga. Thank you to all of you who are patient enough to teach. Seriously.

  14. Ready2Go says:

    I think you need a new yoga class!

  15. Liz Dion says:

    I think that this was wonderful to hear (from a newer yoga teacher). A reminder of the student perspective (even though we are all always students, even if we become teachers). It was a great reminder of what a yoga class is really about. Thanks for writing this!

  16. Rachel says:

    Hmm. I am a yoga teacher- mainly Prenatal and Family yoga- first of all, I think it would be GREAT to hear those words of gratitude. With the other stuff- I want you all to know that we are all with our own insecurities- I am just a person who has found great learning and inspiration from yoga, to the point where i took it to the next level of wanting to teach- it has been a very long journey, and I used to be awkward, insecure, and very uncomfortable in my own body (and still working on it). Just a plug to remind everyone that we all have our own fears, and that there is a scared little girl in all of us! It is a big deal for me to get up and teach, EVERY time I do it, and am sometimes wondering if/am convinced that people are hating me/class! Just remember, those of us teaching yoga are on our own paths and have our own struggles, and for some, teaching yoga is part of our spiritual practice in being able to offer ourselves and risking being seen and judged, too!

  17. Erica says:

    From a yoga teacher: thank you for this. You made me laugh and reminded me what is important while I am teaching.

  18. livetstrae says:

    Just wonderful <3

  19. Brittney says:

    This was beautifully written and, as a yoga teacher myself, very well received! Thank You! I will be more mindful as a teacher in complimenting my students more – by name. 🙂
    Peace and Love!

  20. Annina says:

    How come nobody mentions "lady farts???" No one talks about when you "let your left leg fly, then meet in Warrior 1," immediately expelling a loud air gust from your lady bits! What do we do about that??

  21. Totally in line….. Namaste!! #yoga teachers #gratitude

  22. Dee says:

    I absolutely loved your story. It made me laugh so hard but allowed me to understand that we are all vulnerable to all kinds of thoughts about ourselves. I would also like to note that during such hard times for so many we really have to be sensitive to everyone out there. You just never know what is happing to a person. The littlest thing you say could be huge for them. I leave your story with a huge grin on my face!

  23. jma says:

    I have a good friend who chooses to wear a tampon to absorb any "queefs". Her fear of a very natural occurrence is shared by many. As a teacher I try to talk over audible "releases." It happens so just let it go!! Both the ego and the air!

  24. dee says:

    JMA it is hard to just go with that flow. We are taught that any noise coming from that area is embarrassing as hell. We can't pretend no one heard it and it never occurs to us that the entire world does this nearly every single day. We just can't seem to rise above what is perfectly normal. I love you attitude! I wish I had it!

  25. alie says:

    Wonderfully put Victoria, same with choir….only bit of social sanity in my week!