Typically, when I walk into a class to begin teaching, I check in with the people sitting in front of me. I want to know how you are feeling in that moment. Are you tired? Is your low back sore? Have you gotten a recent injury? I get nods and answers as feedback, its lovely.
But then I ask the biggie: What are you looking for in class today?
(Cue crickets chirping.)
So I move on to introducing the theme of class, something we are focusing on or building up too.
After talking to a few friends who also teach Yoga, I find this is all too common. Sure, as teachers we are generally prepared with a sequence in mind, but we are able to add in a pose or two. This interaction is an amazing opportunity, for you, the class, and the instructor.
If you shoulders are stiff, if you love core strengthening poses or hip openers, if you are working on the challenges of balance postures, letting your teacher know will help her know what you are open too and also give you a more rewarding practice.
So on your way to class, if you say to yourself, "I really hope we do pigeon/tree/warrior sequences today," share those thoughts with your teacher. Likewise if your thoughts gravitate to the poses you dread. Your teacher could offer a solution as simple as a prop or modification. S/he will be grateful, as will your body and yoga practice.
If you aren't into sharing with the class, come in a few minutes early. Pull your teacher aside and quietly share. Another option is using email a day or so before to give a suggestion. I promise your teacher will not mind.
Do you share your thoughts with your teacher before class?
What is your body currently looking for most in a yoga practice?