Teachers, gurus, students and everything in between, we all have something to offer. Sometimes, especially in a larger class, it is not always easy for the teacher to ensure each student has 100% of their poses 100% of the time. Ever been to a class and felt like you are just not grasping what you should be doing? Look around you. I had a student during my class this morning, before I even had a chance to adjust, he looked around and made the adjustment himself.
As I teacher, and I hope many of you feel the same, I continue to learn every day and that includes from my students. They teach things too! As students, while your teacher is doing their best, they may be adjusting someone else and you are in pain or confused. Take a step back and look around the room. One of two things can come of this. Either you will see the entire class is just as lost, in which case, hopefully the teacher notices and aids in direction. Or you will see most of the students mirroring the pose, allowing you to take the visual direction.
You may also, look around and see everyone is perhaps deeper in their pose than you. You round your back or crunch your side trying to mirror them. It begins to effect your breathing or becomes painful. Back off. You have learned that you need to modify this pose, get a prop, perhaps this is a more advanced pose. You can see where practice can bring you however, you are not quite there and that is ok because this is your practice. But take in their alignment perhaps.
Like I said before in The Importance of a Home Yoga Practice, practicing what feels good to your body will also help in these situations. In a class, you should not be in pain, uncomfortable maybe but not grit your teeth pain. The last thing your teacher wants is to cause you injury. Taking a look around, learning from the other yoga students, and correcting to see if that feels good may just be what you need.
Honestly, no teacher is perfect. We (should) all practice constantly and continue to learn as well. Teachers adjust teachers. It’s beautiful. In the end we are all students, learning and growing together and we can all learn from each other. I believe this is reflective in life as well. What have you learned recently?