Have you ever avoided going to class because there was a different teacher on the schedule? Maybe a new teacher took over your usual class. Or maybe there was a sub. Something outside of your usual routine. If you answered “yes” to my question, you’re certainly not alone. But have you ever thought about why?
Simply put, many of us are creatures of routine.
We come to the same classes every week with the same teacher. Maybe we even set our mat up in the very same spot. There is nothing wrong with this routine! In fact, for the most part, it’s a good thing. Routine is what gets many of us in the door for practice. If we didn’t have it, we’d be scrambling to get here or maybe we wouldn’t come at all.
When you come to your usual class, to some extent, you know what you’re getting. You know our style, how we move around the room. In some of our classes you even know that we will follow a certain sequence. This can be comforting and eliminates a lot of anxiety.
But too much routine can be harmful to our practice.
Maybe you avoid practicing every time there is a sub. Or maybe you do come to class when there is a different teacher but you are too anxious to enjoy yourself. Maybe you tried a class with a different teacher and decided after only 1 class that it wasn’t for you. Oops!
Now, you might expect the next thing I say to be “don’t be anxious about new teachers! They’re all great!” But let’s be realistic, me telling you not to be anxious is not going to change anything. Instead, I invite you to look at practicing with different teachers as an opportunity to get something different. Here are a few helpful hints for getting used to a little change in routine:
Change your expectations.
Don’t come to class with a different teacher and expect it to be exactly the same as someone else’s. You WILL be disappointed. Part of the reason that we have different teachers on the schedule is because each one of them brings something different and amazing to our team. If you’re in class with someone new, try to notice something that you love that they do differently than your “usual”. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you notice.
Look at it as an opportunity to grow your practice.
Maybe you are having a little trouble keeping up or understanding a new teacher’s cues. This is a great time to work on your YOGA. Remember, yoga is the attempt to still the fluctuations of the mind!!! Instead of internally freaking out, challenge yourself to let go of doing “the moves” perfectly and focus on the breath! (Check out my recent post on transitions in your yoga practice for more insight on this one). Remember, if you’re breathing, you’re doing it right.
“But I’m really, really unhappy with this teacher’s class…”.
Maybe you just don’t click with a certain teacher’s style. That is okay. Not every teacher and student will vibe well together. But we think if you practice with an open mind, MOST of the time you’ll end up enjoying yourself.***
Have you tried any of these ideas? Let us know in the comments below! We’d also love to hear of any positive experiences you have had trying out some of our new teachers here at Yoga in ME. Thanks for practicing with us!
***Sometimes students may encounter issues that need to be brought to our attention. If there is something you think we need to be aware of, please don’t hesitate to let us know in person, call, email, or give us feedback through the suggestion box on our website. We welcome your feedback and we hope that you will notice it consistently being applied to our practices and protocols here at the studio!
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