6 reasons i don’t teach yoga

- - Lifestyle

yoga teacher humor
If there’s one question I receive on the regular, it’s:

“Do you teach yoga?”

Or some variant thereof. (i.e., Where do you teach? Are you teaching yet? Why aren’t you teaching?)

My answer has become pull-string. “Well, I’ve completed 200 hours of teacher training and have been practicing since age 15, but I never had any intention of teaching. I did YTT for me, for the journey.”

That’s the short answer. This is the long, FUN, REALEST one.

6 Reasons I Don’t Teach Yoga:

  1. “Fuck” makes guest appearances with fervent frequency and most gleeful intonation in my verbal voyages. It is localized color that would not be appreciated in your run-of-the-mill class.
  2. I have ZERO patience for the following personalities: show-offs, drama kings and queens, selfish bitches, and self-important cockadoos. Life is too short to expend the massive energy required for douchebag tolerance.
  3. I take neat-freakiness and organization to a whole ‘notha level. A typical class would include 30 minutes of mat-straightening, mat/student alignment, and studio/hand/foot sanitizing. There would also be a lecture portion covering yoga etiquette.
  4. I’d want to have (mis)adventures with students. Laugh. Dance around. Talk shit + smack. Turn ’em out with some sick sequencing. I wouldn’t want to: give adjustments, worry they’ll hurt themselves, or be expected to listen to tales of woeful injuries and physical ailments. Perhaps this makes me sound like a cold bitch, but you aren’t here for snuggles and binkies. You’re here for truth.
  5. There’s no way I could walk around a room for 90 minutes without hip-hop or 70s rock to fuel me…and it is my personal experience that yoga is best served without music. So you can hear your breath. Conundrum.
  6. I’m not a touchy-feely broad. Never will be. Please don’t make me touch people.


Et tu? If you could teach, but don’t, what are your reasons for not doing so? And if you already teach, where do the “fuck”‘s go? Do you bottle them up for usage at home? And what about all the annoying people crammed into one room? The feeeeelings? The only logical answer is your patience is akin to that of Mother Teresa. Unlimited. Bless you, teachers.

Keepin’ it realio on the YTT-lio.

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soothsayer. illusion slayer. intj/mastermind. writer + artist + strategist + innovator. california born, city of angels bred. gypset world traveler. la face with an oakland booty. queen of the jungle who doesn't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

39 Comments to 6 reasons i don’t teach yoga

  1. I’m going to be honest and say that the reason I’ve decided NOT To get my YTT, (even after a studio invited me to enroll), was that I am not a ‘teacher’. And I think that is the essential role a Yoga Teacher must be… a Teacher. It’s not exactly a skill you get magically by taking the YTT program.

    Also, I say Fuck a lot. lol

  2. I so want to hug your non touchy-feely self!

    I feel like tbe same person as I teach and “on the streets”, just without the swearing :-) I was meant to teach, I think.


  3. Lo! LOVE your blog. My favorite yoga teacher here in NJ has dropped the F Bomb, dances around class while we’re all working like dogs, and plays everything from the Dead to Pearl Jam…not to try to persuade you to try teaching or anything :) Namaste xxoo

  4. You are so funny! Thanks for a morning smile:)!
    As with all things we do there is something good and bad about teaching yoga. I learned some amazing lessons since I started teaching. One of them was to make things completely about another person/people. Once you get in front of the class, it stops being about you. It is not an exercise of showing off or boosting confidence but instead being a conductor of knowledge and helping others. It is a very powerful experience, if you let it happen. On a more selfish note, explaining smth takes your own understanding on a new level :)

  5. I get asked ALL the time why I don’t want to be a yoga teacher.

    I typically reply that I just do yoga for me, but really there are more layers.

    One, namely, is that I was a ballet dancer before I was a yoga student, so I came to yoga with a lot of body awareness, alignment, flexibility and ability to “mimic” poses. In that sense, I was never really a beginner and honestly don’t know (and thus, can’t share with others) HOW I get into many poses.

    Also, like EcoYogini said, I’m not a “teacher” type. I’m so much happier writing about yoga! It’s a shame that the yoga community believes the pinnacle of the yoga experience is teaching. Why do we have such a limited view??

  6. Last year I took a “Yoga Studies” class at my local studio which was intended to be a prep course for YTT. 3 of the 5 who completed the class went on to do YTT. I’ve been asked why I didn’t. I’m not sure that teaching yoga is my dharma nor do I feel comfortable enough with my own practice to be teaching. I may eventually do YTT for myself.

  7. I’ve toyed around with the idea of teaching, never knowing if I was right for it. I’m missing the zen/calm thing. I make a fantastic spastic yogini and will most likely start rapping during savasana. That’s okay, right?

  8. Basically, I’m too selfish. I’ve heard from too many of my instructor friends that once you go through YTT you lose a lot of the personal benefit of yoga. You can’t just take a class…you’re constantly thinking of how to work it into your own. You don’t get as many classes in yourself where you actually practice rather than teach. Along that same line, (unless you’re teaching level specific classes) in class you’re teaching to the lowest common denominator most of the time and the challenging poses go by the wayside and you’re walking around more than demoing anyway. Finally, one of the things that I enjoy most about going to classes vs rolling my own at home is that I can focus on my breathing, my postures, etc rather than thinking about what comes next.

    Long story short, I’m selfish. Yoga is ME TIME. I’m a better person for it and the people around me I’m sure are grateful for the time I take to make myself right with the world. :) So, I guess…if you look at it that way I’m NOT being selfish…I’m thinking of the people in my world that would suffer if I did less yoga for ME. :)

    Whew, that was long.

  9. you know, I did YTT for Kundalini just for shits and giggles and out of 33 students only 4 were there intending to teach. we all just wanted the immersion, the spa-yoga experience and to know more about it. also, one of my favorite LA teachers, Bryan Kest, swears so much I feel right at home. ;) still, I’m with you, no desire to touch sweaty douchebags when all I’d be thinking about it wanting to grab their mats to straighten them out.

  10. ha! love it! you’ve described me to a T in reason #2…and my students love me for that!

    I’ve been teaching too long and I’m too old to give a shit anymore whether people resonate with my teaching. as a former boss used to tell, F ’em if they can’t take a joke….. ;)

  11. These 6 reasons would probably make you my favourite yoga teacher! Love the honesty here… I am certified, but don’t teach either. I would like to teach a class here or there someday, but it would have to be fun loving and free like you describe. No room for stuck up yoga with me. Oh yeah, and I gotta work on the “fucks” too. ;)

  12. Mere – I’d let you hug me. ;)

    Fierce Diva – thank you!!!

    Nadya – there’s no better way to learn something than to teach it! you are so right. i’m glad i kicked your day off with a smile. :D

    Leah – a fellow dancer! i have the same experience. i came to yoga with gumby body in tow.

    Rick – i can’t wait for you to dive in to your first YTT. we can talk about it whenever you like. doing TT for me was the best money i’ve ever spent. legit.

    Laura – fantastic spastic! i think your classes would rock. ;)

    YG – Exactly! We’re the same. I’m in my head so much, I need a break from that spinning. On another note, long is good. :D

    Maddy – Sup, girl?! :) We need to chat about your Kunda experience — that’s my next TT. Also, I LOVE Bryan. He was a huge part of my early practice and he kills me with his humor and his ability to be exactly who he is, no apologies.

    Linda – Ooooh, girl, I missed you while you were in India! Glad to have you back! I often wish I could hit up your classes regularly. I’d feel at home there.

    Darla – This is why I call you “D-Money.” You are just so goddamn awesome. I fucking died at this comment. I’m STILL LAUGHING. :D :D :D

  13. from one sailor mouth to ‘notha… the fucks go where every they want! Often “keep your eyes on your own fucking mat” or “who gives a fuck how pretty your pose is.. how does it feel?” really it has it’s own life, it goes where it wants.. and as a person who hug strangers (Free Hugs!), i have to remind me-self to not go crazy, but use my words…

    the germs.. well you have a valid point (and i nearly yelled at a teacher for her inconsiderate need to walk over the back of my mat.. BP, keep your funky feet off my yogi toe towel!) xoxoxo you’re the best love!

  14. I loved this! The # question I get when I say I own and operate a Yoga Studio is…Do you teach Yoga? and When I say “no, I really want to focus running the studio well”‘ I completely lose the persons interest. Not everyone is meant to be a teacher. I believe I make a beautiful difference in the Yoga community in my town. I’m living and sharing my Yoga my own way and so are you!

  15. I do teach yoga, at a homeless shelter, where everything is necessarily spontaneous and chaotic, and nobody really has any ideas about what a yoga class is *supposed* to be like. Beyond that, I know I got in a lot of trouble in my teacher training, for not doing what I was supposed to, so whether anybody will *let* me teach yoga in a more conventional setting, I really don’t know…

  16. yoginibunny

    Lo, you are one funny and clever “mo f’ing yogini”, hands down! And I was one of those who asked if you teach. Loved the answers- these are very good points. I can understand why you don’t want to teach :-)

  17. Lizzie – sometimes, you gotta let those hos know.

    Teresa – you are doing brilliant work serving your community. and you make an excellent point — it takes a village: the studio owner, the teachers, the front desk staff, the cleaning crew, and more. everyone is important. :)

    Dr. Jay – i didn’t know this about you! amazing work. also, getting in trouble in YTT is part of the rebel code. ;) conventionality can take a hike.

    Bunny – girl, where have you been? GOOD to see you! i don’t mind being asked about teaching, i always find it flattering. i have an endless amount of respect for yoga teachers and teachers, in general. for the reasons above and more, i just feel like teaching isn’t my path. but i will admit that i sometimes think about how fun it would be to teach MY kind of class to a group of really cool students. on occasion. :)

  18. This is great….yes we are all the teacher and the student at the same time. Unfortunately in some countries you can not ‘assist’-‘teach’ someone without the paperwork.
    I love your blog and your honesty and how breezy and simple you keep everything. Keep going! Namaste

  19. Jennifer Breseman

    I don’t think teaching yoga is that different from most jobs in the swearing at work department. If that’s a requirement you have, then it might not be the best job for you. There might be settings where that would work, but not too many.

  20. OMGosh this post made my day! Exactly why I don’t teach either – I much prefer the role of student. No one gets upset when I drop an f-bomb.

  21. The fucks do a good job hiding themselves during class time. I think they hide in the bathroom. I used to feel at odds about not being “yogic enough” in everything I did but I’m over it now. My twitter account can keep its f*s.

  22. The fucks do a good job hiding themselves during class time. I think they hide in the bathroom. I used to feel at odds about not being “yogic enough” in everything I did but I’m over it now. My twitter account can keep its f*s.

  23. The fucks do a good job hiding themselves during class time. I think they hide in the bathroom. I used to feel at odds about not being “yogic enough” in everything I did but I’m over it now. My twitter account can keep its f*s.

  24. Love this post and love a spunky, feisty lass in touch with her soul’s personality and purpose. Rock on.

  25. Vision_Quest2

    So, now I don’t feel so bad that I’d never gotten to be a step aerobics instructor before my feet went bad …

    Step aerobics to me was like yoga is to you guys … plus I’ve more the temperament for that; and could cuss if I feel like it …

    No way do I have the hip flexibility to even teach Zumba! (But, thanks to yoga-pilates fusion I am working on it …)

  26. My all time favorite post!! I luuurve it! This prolific cusser has a hard time toning it down in class.

  27. Even though I’ve been known to drop the f-bomb regularly, and could burp half the alphabet in my beer-drinking days, neither of those habits has made an appearance in my classes in the past 26 years. It’s not that I want to misrepresent myself; I readily admit my imperfections in class. But not everyone appreciates salty language or stellar belches.

    As for dealing with the not-so-pleasant student types, I’ve had my share of those over the years, but since the yoga boom started, those folks have sought out the trendy classes and have blessedly not shown up to mine. I’m fortunate that grown-ups seem to be attracted to my classes.

  28. Vision_Quest2

    Hey, *I’m* no grown up.

    Just very stiff and very laid back.

    Still and all, *I* would be attracted to your class … I am still an INJURED (beyond any foot problems) advanced beginner after 5 years of regular practice …

    I literally know what “Beginner’s Mind” MEANS!

  29. I had never thought of myself as being capable of teaching anything to anyone, but have found that I LOVE teaching yoga; yeah, about those f–ks, well, sometimes they burble up and I swallow ’em back down. Sometimes its only my life-saving sense of humour that keeps it all from being too-much-weirdness-in-my-face. But I feel blessed to be teaching and hope my students feel blessed to be in the room with me, well, most of the time anyway!

  30. I have been asked a few times to be a teacher and the #1 reason is honestly I can’t commit to complete the YTT. I hate being told what to do by anyone, and would rather do yoga when my energy is up to it, not because I have to. I’m unyogic a lot of the time but am conscious of it, so it’s all yoga right? I say f, a$$, $hit, more often than most and couldn’t promise not to let a few slip in my own practice let alone teaching others. Also, I believe we are all already teachers, whether we know it or not. Being in class letting our neighbors watch something they don’t know how to do(don’t touch me and we’re cool) then taking that peaceful feeling home with us. So, we’re all teaching yoga, one way or another. Who else can say fuck with flavor while in a shoulder stand but us=)

  31. Haha! This is hilarious! I love teaching. I don’t swear. But I do laugh, dance around a bit, fall over, say crazy things (like, “extend your left head towards the floor – ha!!!! you figure out what to do with the right one!!), get my left and right mixed up, tell people to smile, and have them stick their tongues out. And when adjusting all those sweaty yogis, I just use a towel. :)

  32. Well the irony is that there are a whole group of people that would love your style and approach to teaching yoga. So for the exact reasons you don’t want to teach, you could throw that in the list why you should teach yoga!

  33. When I started teaching, I had to force myself to keep all the fucks and force myself to be all zen like and shit… then I discovered that “hey! i’m the fucking teacher, I will teach the class however I fucking want. I will play any kind of music my ears want to hear and if you don’t like it, then you can fucking leave.” I love to teach!! :)

  34. I’m so glad I stumbled across this because I get told all the time: ‘you should teach. why don’t you teach?’ I actually gave it a try but disliked it very much. It took the joy out of my own personal practice. So F**k that.
    Also, I’m too unsympathetic and impatient with complete beginners…or people who have aches and pains because basically they are lazy couch-potatoes and now the doctor has sent them to yoga…
    Not everyone who lives yoga is meant to be a teacher.