Essay: Yoga Teacher

May 22, 2020

When I walk into my yoga class, I notice that there’s a different teacher and I’m immediately upset.  Where is our regular instructor?  Who is this substitute?  Why weren’t we told?  Maybe I should just leave.



The new instructor introduces herself as Laura and offers no explanation.  Instead, she invites us to sit cross-legged on our mats and center ourselves.  Center myself?  Impossible!  I’m churning with irritation.

Laura guides us through a set of opening postures completely unlike those we’re used to and I struggle to maintain my focus.  Are others struggling too?  I can’t tell and Laura is completely calm, each statement ending with a slight question.  “Now place your right hand on your sacrum, like this?”

One of the new postures I’m surprised to find I quite enjoy.  Why hasn’t anyone offered this before?  And we’re moving at a more relaxed pace than usual which I appreciate.  By the end of the class I really like this teacher—the way her slight questions offer encouragement.  

The person I don’t like is me.  Watching myself deal with this change is embarrassing—so much fear and hostility—until I finally let go and let Laura teach me something.  

Clearly, I need to be a lot more flexible and yoga is the right place to learn it.