how to prepare for your yoga class

Arrive on time, and prepared to practice.

Please arrive with time to spare so that you can settle on your mat, silence your phone, and be ready to practice with the rest of the class.

Wear comfortable clothes – and dress in layers.

There is no yoga “uniform”. Wear what feels comfortable to you. I see a lot of leggings and tank tops on Instagram/TikTok but remember those are yoga influencers. As practitioners, we wear clean clothes that are comfortable to move in! Maybe leggings, maybe tank tops, maybe not. Wear something cozy – that’s it.

I like to advise wearing layers as it’s impossible to find the perfect temperature that pleases everyone! You may get warm during practice and want to remove a layer; then while we rest at the end of class, you may want to cozy up. My personal recommendation? Very warm socks, for savasana.

In general, we practice barefoot. But if you want to keep your shoes on or wear socks, just be mindful during any balance or wide-legged standing poses.

If you can, buy yourself a mat.

I have mats at the studio you are welcome to use! But I highly advise getting your own. This is for three reasons:

1. to invest in yourself and your practice – to show your commitment to quality props and materials for your own use.

2. the studio mats are great for padding – but paying for a more upscale mat provides more access to poses. I personally like Jade, and Manduka mats. They are positively no-slip! When I practice on a lower-quality mat, I always feel a bit impeded.

3. if you have a mat you bring to and from class, you may start practicing at home, too! It’s nice to get used to your mat. You come to have a fond feeling about it!

Now – mats can be expensive. It may take time to save up. But I have found the expense of a better-quality mat, is far outweighed by the health benefits that regular practice delivers!

Let the instructor know of any special needs or requests you have.

A group class cannot tailor to one individual at the expense of the group; however, your instructor is trained and qualified to help you with anything you need. Many times your requests can be accommodated – so don’t be shy!

Some examples of special needs or requests you may have:

1. Let your instructor know if you are experiencing pain or soreness. The instructor can then help you be as comfortable as possible during class, with suggestions and/or props.

2. Let your instructor know if you are new or newish to yoga! They will tailor the class with more helpful explanation than they might otherwise.

3. Let your instructor know if you are sensitive to sound or scent. Each class is listed with a full explanation of sensory and adaptive information. But your instructor will accommodate you as much as possible!

Make sure you are neither too hungry or too full.

Life is busy and sometimes we make mistakes – I once taught two classes back-to-back after consuming a huge lunch of spicy nachos! Oof!

While we can’t expect perfection here, it’s worth noting that going to class while too hungry will be distracting and even cranky-inducing; going to class while too full can foment discomfort.

Ask yourself *why* you practice!

This may be the scariest suggestion on this list!

Ask yourself WHY you practice. You can do this on your way to class, after class – or during an introspective moment in class.

Don’t feel like you need to come up with an answer right away. Don’t pressure yourself either! Just ask yourself. I’ll tell you, I practiced for YEARS and asked myself and many days the answer was, “I don’t know!” And that’s okay. Because over time, this regular check-in helped me really solidify the fact that I was finding practice beneficial. I’m glad I didn’t just go to class on autopilot – because I’d have quit by now!

I hope you’ve found this post helpful!

We’d love to practice with you. Click here to book a class!

profit & loss, little switch yoga 2023

I am so proud to say – and so glad to UNIQUELY say it! – that I am sharing my Profit & Loss report for little switch yoga here at year end.

To be honest, I have never seen another yoga teacher or studio do this.

As usual, I’m a bit of a trailblazer!

Now.

I am not sharing this to receive business or financial advice.

I am sharing this, to give you further insights as to what I’m building!

Little Switch will turn one year old, in about a month and a half.

Even though I’m not yet making a living wage, I am very happy with how it’s going.

Please do read on, as this will orient you well to my vision!

***

2023

REVENUE for little switch yoga:
$2,674.00

YOGA EXPENSES
Rent, props (including a large investment for blankets and blocks), insurance, registration, print materials, and professional development:
$1,850.96

TIPS
$117.00

NET PROFIT BEFORE TAXES (my wages including tips): $940.04

# of classes taught for little switch (57)
+
# admin hours (85.5)
=

hours worked: 142.5
number of student-hours served: 250

—————

$ per hour: $6.60


(I did not include gas, my yoga clothes, tea and food in my Expenses this year)

I know what some of you might be thinking.

“If you aren’t yet making a living wage yet, why are you offering free yoga*?”

First you should know: in my work for Ompractice, I DO in fact get paid a living wage. The numbers above, are reflective of my LOCAL yoga group. What this means is, my total yoga earnings are helping keep my spirits up as I try to build something self-sustaining here in the Harbor.

But it’s true, when it comes to my local practice I’m not paying myself first. 

Not yet!

I am giving yoga scholarships, and it is also true that I am purchasing props as well (rather than paying myself).

You may have also noticed I am not purchasing the cheapest props out there.

For instance, instead of buying polyester blankets (like you’ll find in most studios), I bought 100% cotton. I am using cloths I made myself, instead of disposable wipes. That kind of thing.

THIS IS ALL BY DESIGN, BY INTENTION.

I am creating a sustainable, joyful community.

It takes money and time but it really, REALLY takes a lot of thinking, designing, and polling of my students, that kind of thing.

I’m proud of myself (and grateful to my partner) for keeping these records through 2023.

And I am REALLY proud of what I’ve built for the funds I’ve had.

In fact, most entrepreneurs don’t make ANY hourly wage in their first year!

I’ve done this WHILE building something fantastic. You only have to come to class – or share tea afterwards – to see what I mean.

I have a stellar reputation, a wonderful community, and in 2023 I always have had at least one student in my class (whew!) – 

and I have carefully created an amazing prop library, WHILE paying rent to a local, independent business owner!

That said –

It’s time to move into 2024!

How you can help:

At this time, I don’t need advice on how to market, or how to price, or what types of yoga to host and when.

I could use THREE things from you – and all three will help me a great deal!

1. Please sign up for my emails (and make sure to opt in)! This is one of the best ways you can help me. (Make sure to READ your emails, too!)

2. Share about me to local press and in local Facebook groups!

3. keep your eye out for a space for me to rent. I am looking for a large room (NOT looking to build a whole studio). I love the space I am in, but the hours available to me are very limited.

***

Thank you – so much – for reading!

And thank you for supporting Little Switch Yoga!

***

* Just so you know – I call classes either no-cost, or scholarship. I do not like the use of “free” because unfortunately, this tends to devalue the practitioner and the expertise. Nothing against anyone who uses that word “free” – it certainly is far, far more eye-catching! – but I just don’t. Thank you for understanding!

“I don’t need props” – a different perspective

I believe in using props for yoga asana practice.

If you are starting a home practice, the supplies I recommend are (in relative order):

Comfortable, clean clothing
A yoga mat
Two yoga blocks (standard size of 4″ by 4″ by 9″), preferably foam
A yoga blanket (or two) – any firm, throw-sized blanket will work
A strap (non-stretch)
A bolster (firm)

If you have the above, you are well on the way to creating a safe, joyful practice!

If you are short on funds and/or time resources, or you cannot find a friend to loan you these items – please know that really, any nonslip surface (including your carpeted floor) will work for yoga.

But I want you to think about something.

By even considering making yoga a part of your life, you are investing your most valuable resource – time.

If you are willing to invest time, finding some funding is a way to respect that commitment. It is worth the time – and saving pennies, even – to invest in a mat and blocks.

You can find both for under $25.

Don’t worry if they’re not “top of the line”. I didn’t start with “top of the line” stuff – and by the way, I still mostly wear t-shirts and sweatpants to practice.

***

Don’t get too over-worried about props. There are loads of accoutrement for yoga! So if you’ve made a start on the basics above, you’re doing well.

Yoga has been around about 5,000 years! Unfortunately in America, yoga is often looked at as a workout, a fitness regime, or an extreme flexibility practice. Due to the Western colonization of yoga we’ve developed a distinctly white-washed, classist, fatphobic, culturally appropriative, ableist, Capitalist and FITSPO concept of yoga.

I have a lot more to say about the above at some other time!

But for now I will say: all of the above are problems. But when it comes to “I don’t need props” – fitspo is probably the biggest obstacle.

Fitspo transforms the practice of yoga into another workout in which we want to:

demonstrate impressive-looking results to the class (or instructor),

and/or achieve a certain look, physique, or series of abilities, 

and/or compete with other students.

Fitspo focusses on results like weight loss, or getting “smaller” – but fitspo may also focus on making your poses (called asana) LOOK good.

And that’s where people will refuse props, telling me they “don’t need them”.

I see this all the time. I’ll help lead a class into their version of a split – hanumanasana. I’ll encourage them to use blocks under their front extended leg – as many blocks as they need to feel stable. I’ll further encourage them to use blocks under their hands as well, so they can “rest” in a split – feeling a wonderful sensation without pain – and let gravity help them find ease and exhilaration in the asana.

Inevitably, the student who told me they “don’t need props” will be struggling to get their pelvis as low to the ground as possible, propping the weight of their body on their arms, and not only looking shaky but risking a very real injury – a hamstring or groin strain or tear.

If you’ve been that student – if you’ve ever hurt yourself while trying to “keep up” or look good –

Well, so have I!

Welcome to the club!

So: no one should feel bad about this!

It can take a long time – sometimes even years! – to start listening to the instructor’s cues, and (far more importantly) to begin listening to our body’s signals.

It can also take a lot of time – and hard work – to feel confident about using props, instead of being worried what other students (or the instructor) will think. It takes courage or self-confidence to stop while the other students are practicing, and walk over to collect more props to assist you in the pose.

But that is exactly what I invite you to do.

Students who behave this way – who listen to their bodies with care – show me they are invested in the journey, and they’re going to learn to love the practice.

***

One more point:

Props don’t just help you stay safe.

They can help you achieve an alignment, posture, or relaxation which allows you to more fully experience the benefits of the pose.

Here is one example.

If you are not able to comfortably bring your forehead to the mat in child’s pose (balasana), even with your knees apart, the use of props to provide support to your forehead, chest, belly, knees or arms – may make all the difference in the world! Instead of feeling pain, strain or uncertainty – and trying to mask your ragged breath – you’ll relax into this restorative pose and access your pranayama (breath-energy) all the better.

***

I invite you to stop seeing props as a challenge to your ego.

If nothing else: please trust me that if you make yourself miserable on the mat, you won’t want to come back.

So if you’re planning on making yourself hate practice – well, why start in the first place?

You began your practice of yoga because you believed in it – or at least, you were willing to approach with an open mind.

So let props help your body.

You’ll come to love them as much as I do!

***

I did not include links in this post for two reasons: I am not trying to sell anything (or get a kickback for link sales), and also – these things are pretty simple to find. If you have any questions, schedule a private session or come to class!

My every aim is to be helpful.

Here’s a pretty good article breaking fitspo down. If the link doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll update this post with a new one!

End of content

No more pages to load