The Yoga Teacher Guessing Game

I'm not proud to admit it, but I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out my students. The guessing game is hard to shut off when teaching public classes.

That person left early. He must not like my class.

Did I just get the evil eye? Or is she trying to clear the sweat from her eyes?

I'm pretty sure I'm only instructing one Chaturanga. Why are a handful of people adding Chaturangas? My class must not be hard enough. 

Does anyone actually want to be here?!?

The yoga teacher guessing game is a terrible thing. That little voice can eat away at my confidence, but it's hard to turn it off. 

Of course, my teacher came down with the knowledge hammer. Simply put he said, "Stop it." Trying to figure out why a student is in class does not benefit the student or me as the teacher. Pondering a student's motives is ridiculous. That student chose to be in that yoga class at that time. Whatever a student's motive is, it is legitimate. It's my job as the yoga teacher to guide students through the best practice that I can. Bottom line. That's it. 

There have been many situations in my teaching career when the guessing game has blown up in my face. A month or so ago a student I had never met before took my class. She told me prior to practice that she had to leave a little early. No big deal. Everyone has busy lives. During class I started to play the guessing game and thought she just wasn't into my class. Honestly, now that I reflect upon that class, I'm fairly certain there was nothing she did/didn't do that made me think she wasn't into my class. My mind, per usual, was just making stuff up. After class I went to the studio desk and was met with a sweet note from the very student I thought wasn't into practice:

I now carry this note in my sequencing notebook. I need this reminder to turn off the yoga teacher guessing game. It doesn't serve anyone. 

To my yoga teacher friends, the sooner you can turn off the inner chatter when you're teaching the better. Show up. Teach the best class that you can. And just remember, your students are there because they want to be.