On Teaching My Own Class!

Wednesday morning I taught my very own yoga class.  Next week I’ll be teaching it again, and the week after that, and after that and well you get the idea.  It’s my class to teach each week!

I was pretty nervous about teaching on Wednesday.  It was the first time I’ve taught since teacher training ended in January and only the second time I’ve taught an hour and 15 minute class. I was afraid no one would come, that I’d mess up, that it wouldn’t be my best class and so much more.

Truth is I did mess up and it wasn’t my best class.  People did come, in fact two of the girls from the Athleta Burlington store where I am sponsored athlete came to surprise me! And you know what? I loved every second of teaching, learned so much and I can’t wait to teach again.

The Athleta girls and I after my first class!

The Athleta girls and I after my first class!


The Athleta girls and I after my first class!

I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and reflections…

  • I did mess up, but you know what? Only I knew that.  I completely forgot Sun C’s.  Literally, could not tell them what to do.  I fumbled my way through a combo Sun A/Sun C type salutation, brought them back to the front of the mat and just did a few more Sun A’s.  No one knew, and they all still raved about my class at the end. And I remembered Sun C’s clear as day about half way through the practice.  Nervous, much?
  • I struggled to mirror…you know when I say right but do left?!  I can barely keep my lefts and rights straight at 5pm let alone at 6:30am.  I know I did it wrong, and even did a little dance shifting between right and left legs when their backs were to me.  Nobody knew.  I did learn that I need to always wear a ring only on one hand to help me identify left and right quickly.  And I learned another good trick to help me mirror…put an R in the left hand corner of my mat and a L in the right hand corner of my mat.  LOVE that.
  • I learned that planning a class when you know you have week after week ahead of you is so fun! You can pick a theme and run with it. And if you are like me think of a million good ideas while you are writing the sequence, you can just jot them down and use them the next week.
  • Planing a playlist is just as fun…I made a great playlist and then just changed it up slightly for next week! And to think, I’ll actually get to use all those awesome yoga songs at some point?! So fun!
  • I realized that next week, I want to find a reading to use in savasana because I just LOVE when the reading speaks to me and I want my students to experience that.
  • It feels incredible to lead a class through a practice you love, to share poses you love and sequences you love and see your students enjoy it as much as you do.
  • And lastly, it’s just down right cool to finally get paid to do something you love! Sorry…I couldn’t resist.  It was the first time I made money as a yoga teacher!

The biggest take away for me really was to get this first class under my belt.  I proved to myself that I can be a great yoga teacher and that I do know so much and it has a way of flowing out when I teach.  Wednesday’s class gave me confidence, which is exactly what I needed as yoga teacher.

Roots Class

What was your first class as an instructor like? What is your favorite part of a yoga class?


18 thoughts on “On Teaching My Own Class!

  1. David Low says:

    Sounds like a great class… you couldn’t relate everything, but one thing I often find lacking in explanations of the practice is the spiritually-related origin of the postures. As I understand it, hatha yoga originated when some ancient sages in India noticed that, in deep meditation, their bodies wanted to move into different positions. When they allowed this to happen, their meditation deepened still further. So their followers sketched our all the asanas and they come down to us today. If you don’t already, say something along those line, and you’ll inspire more people to meditate as well.


  2. Christine says:

    This is so awesome Whitney! Congrats on teaching your first class. It’s so great to see how far you’ve come and so many lessons from this experience. It’s funny – we are usually the only ones who notice all the little mistakes because everyone else – the students in your class or whoever – don’t know what your original plan may or may not have entailed. Congrats and can’t wait to hear more.


  3. Jess Sutera says:

    yay yay YAY on teaching your first class. It is actually probably even harder than teaching while still in training mode — because now the pressure feels more real, its YOUR CLASS, yours to prove yourself, to show clients that you deserve to be at the front mat. And you know what? You DID IT and you did it proudly and as humanly as possible — um hi, we ALL screw up when we teach, even now, almost a year later and I still mess up sometimes. But hey, nobody knows but you, which is the best part. That and that killer ‘high’ after class ends, NOTHING compares!! I totally want to come to one of these soon!!


  4. emadore says:

    Wow Whitney! It’s so cool to remember when you first announced that you were signing up for Yoga Teacher Training and how far you’ve come. Congratulations sweetie. I can’t wait to take your class!!! ❤


  5. Athena @ Fitness & Feta says:

    Hey Whitney!

    First, congrats on teaching your first class – so exciting! I remember teaching my very first group exercise class back in college, I was so mortified that I didn’t practice instructing as loud as I would in the studio ahead of time. I had to stop for about 5 extra water breaks because I was so out of breath (it was a step class too!). You are going to LOVE seeing your regulars progress, coming up with themes, and working with all the ideas you have floating around in there.

    Also, I live less than 30 minutes from where you teach now! I would love to try one of your classes sometime, but Wednesday mornings are TOUGH since I do my double “Two A Day Tuesday” on Tuesday nights. I hope to take a class of yours though!

    Stay warm through the snow 🙂


  6. Jolene says:

    I LOVED reading this!! I was SO SO SO nervous teaching my first class!! For me, it was weird to see myself talking in the mirror, I have no idea why, but it threw me off. I was just most worried about flying through stuff too quickly out of nerves and having too much time left at the end. But ya know what? Even when I found myself slightly ahead of pace, I improvised and as you say, only I knew that! That’s the beauty, right? And I also love planning my classes and my playlists! it’s so much fun!! I’d love to come to a class sometime 🙂 (I teach at 6 am on Wednesdays or else I would now!)


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