Help! My Yoga Class Just Got Hi-Jacked

February 17, 2014
Katherine Austin Wooley


You come in to teach your regular weekly class.  You see the usual lineup: familiar students, new students and some teachers on staff laying their mats down for another beautiful time together as a "yoga family."  You can't wait to be together again.

You've planned out in your mind what you hope to share. music and yoga.  You begin to "tune in" your class with your favorite mantra, allow the sound current from your iPad to start its transformational magic and finally, the sacred teachings of yoga begin to flow through you, out into the classroom.

Maybe you're a quarter of the way way into the class when suddenly your class gets highjacked! What? The last thing you knew, you were teaching and then you started to hear voices. You turn around and discover some of the teachers,  there for their own practice, helping or instructing students as you try to teach.

Helping others is beautiful.  But there's a time to be a teacher and a time to be a student. And students don't teach the class.

As yoga teachers, we all struggle with this boundary at one time or another.  Believe me, I write from personal experience. When you know these wonderful teachings, it's hard not to share them.

You signed up for a teacher training because your soul felt the call to be of more service off your mat. When you receive the blessing to become of service, you don't stop being a student. It is from our own mat and meditation cushion, how we receive, embody and transmit the sacred teachings of yoga, to others.

As yoga teachers, it's important to protect your sadhana time. This is your daily time to purify and clear, so you can be the clearest channel when you come in  to teach.  Our boundaries get blurry and so will we if we confuse our practice time with teaching time. Let your practice time be just for you: Self loving, Self clearing, Self healing and Self nurturing.

This will also help you off the mat.  Students will learn to respect your time, email and cell phone if you don't send the signal, "I'm always available." Healthy boundaries are important, for this is the path of coming back into balance anyway, right?

So if your practice time today looks like one in a public class vs. at home alone, allow your Self the gift of taking care of just you.  The studio hired a teacher to guide the class you're attending, so sit back and relax knowing all is well.  Let go and enjoy your practice.

We are helpers because we are healers.  This is why we were drawn to this path of yoga. But even healers need to be "healthy" healers and allow others the dignity of walking their own yoga, awakening on their own timeline, not ours.

And to allow the yoga teacher on duty the dignity of being of service to his/her students.  It may not be how we would teach or take care of those students today, but it's just as it should be. Everything is always in divine alignment for learning and growing.

If we get in the way and try to rescue or fix something that's not our business or responsibility, then we can actually get in the way of the soul's journey: the teacher's and the student's.  The teacher on hand needs to learn what they could have done differently and the students need to learn to grow by experience; not to be always hand-held, fixed or rescued.

Co-dependent yoga teachers help no one.

If it's hard for you to "turn off" teacher/employee mode when taking a class or just hanging around the studio, then it's a perfect opportunity to look at what's going on with and triggering you.  It's a great exercise to reveal and heal another karmic piece for ourselves.

Ask yourself,  "What's bothering me right now?  What am I feeling that makes me want to not feel it and fix, rescue or focus on someone else right now?" Yup! even as yoga teachers, trust me, our stuff still comes up.  We are human and still doing our work too.

And this goes for the teacher on the schedule as well.  When teaching, we need to command the space.  We may not be vibrating confidence so that makes it easier for someone, teachers and students, to penetrate your auric field in the room and step into somewhere they don't belong; make sense?

Bottom line your students love practicing with you and love seeing you on the mat as the student.  Modeling healthy student etiquette is the best gift you can give yourself and your students!

So sit back, buckle up, trust, allow, accept, let go and enjoy the ride!


Read More

We Made it to India

February 25, 2014
We traveled from our humble Detroit roots across the rocky ocean waters to Amsterdam Schipol airport, where, having not slept much at all on the first...

Mantras in the Mainstream

February 21, 2014
Several years ago I was in Rishikesh, India attending the International Yoga Festival. I had a life-changing opportunity to spend a week receiving a rapid...

Chuck Gaidica's Big Move - bRight Alignment

February 17, 2014
"God picked me up by the collar and put me on this track…..sell your house, give up your job and go this way…" That's how Chuck Gaidica described...