Cautions to keep in mind during yoga classes

Some of the following may seem obvious but yoga classes are a place where we try to let go of thinking too much, so reminders about the basics may be necessary.

For everyone:

Get out of the way when someone kicks their legs up.
The issues are in your tissues.
Ask yourself continually “what do I need next?”
Ride your intelligent edge.
Bodies change, each moment is different.
Listen to your body as a teacher.

For students:

If a teacher doesn’t practice due diligence by constantly reminding students to listen to their bodies, s/he may not be a good person to learn from.
Beginners need to be told detailed cautions because they may not be used to using their bodies.
Take it only to the sweet stretch.
Go to a place of comfort at a place of injury and then back off.
Go to a place of comfort and then breathe into it. Perhaps you will then be able to expand into the stretch further.
Pain in NOT gain in yoga.
Pain is NOT necessary in yoga.
The effort in yoga is learning to let go.

For teachers:

Explore the student’s pain with them. Know their history.
Monitor student feedback. Consider your teaching a process.
Keep asking: “How is that?” “How is that now?”
Yoga triggers emotional holding patterns. Remind them it is natural for the body to impart messages during a class.
Capitalize on their strengths and perhaps adapt your lesson plan accordingly.
Understand the difference between physical pain and tension, between pain and tight muscles.