Most yoga teacher training courses are full of good advice on what to do in your classroom, but they can be a little short on the don’ts. Not sure why. Maybe teacher trainers are reluctant to preempt new teachers’ creativity by setting limits. Or maybe they’re embarrassed to admit the dumb things they’ve done and had to learn the hard way. In that spirit, I’m offering a list of things I hope I’ll never do again when teaching. I hope it spares all teachers and students going forward!

  1. Never ask your students, “What would you guys like to do today?” Come with a plan. That’s your job.
  2. Never muscle through your plan when it’s clearly too hard/too easy/too intricate/too whatever for the students in the room. Adapt.
  3. Never underestimate a student’s intelligence. Lack of yoga experience is no gauge of IQ.
  4. Never assume that students share your views, your opinions, your likes and dislikes, or anything beyond a love of yoga.
  5. Never assume that students are going to like the way you teach yoga.
  6. Never take it personally if they don’t.
  7. Never turn your back on anyone when students are practicing handstand at the wall.
  8. Never assume that teachers who take your class have come to scrutinize or criticize how you teach. Usually they just want to take class.
  9. Never assume that teachers don’t want physical adjustments. We need them!
  10. Never share personal anecdotes, stories, information unless you can make it relevant to any student in your classroom.

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