Why Yoga Teachers Need to Ask for Feedback After Their Class

Let me guess, your palms are sweating at the thought of asking for feedback after your next yoga class? Trust me, I get it. It can be scary!

And also, it will undoubtedly improve your teaching and confidence by….a lot. 

I’ve led multiple yoga teacher trainings, and mentored hundreds of yoga teachers over the years. Whenever I make the suggestion of asking for feedback after class, the look on their face is sheer panic. Which is why I’m assuming you, the reader, might also be having the same reaction. 

Typically, the reason it’s so scary to ask for feedback is because the yoga classes we offer are from the heart. Which means our yoga classes are often vulnerable. Putting your heart out there, and then asking for feedback is terrifying! 

Plus, you’ve probably become a teacher, because the yoga practice has transformed your life in some way. And now, as a teacher, you can pay it forward and offer that same gift to your own students. Again, these are matters close to the heart. 

Our nerves are there, because we care

And, that’s certainly not a bad thing. 

Fear not. I have some handy dandy tools for you when it comes to feedback. We’ll dive into the importance of feedback, both giving and receiving feedback as a yoga teacher, and the benefits we’ll receive in asking for feedback from our students. 

Let’s dive into it, shall we?

Why is asking for feedback important?

Asking for feedback after your yoga class is important, because your students’ needs matter. Plain and simple. 

When we’re teaching, we are in service. As we know, we can’t pour outward when our own tank is depleted. Which means, of course, teaching is also about being in service to ourselves in order to stay full enough to overflow. 

The same way that we need to maintain our own self practice in order to evolve as a teacher, we also need to teach from a place of our unique voice, style, and desires. In addition to teaching from our authentic self, it’s also imperative to check in with your students to make sure what you’re offering is actually of value to them. 

Asking for feedback from our students after our yoga class will ensure you’re able to more seamlessly blend who you are and what you want to teach, with your students’ needs. 

Remember, students are also customers! So, like any customer service, we want to keep them happy, right? People feel seen and heard when we check in with them. This builds trust. Which also builds clientele. 

When you’re newer to accepting feedback, remember to prioritize the feedback that actually contributes to the overall safety of the class. Don’t forget, safety includes all parts of self- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. 

Opinion Based Feedback

One of the most important components to keep in mind as you get comfortable accepting feedback after your classes is the notion of opinion based feedback, versus constructive feedback. 

Opinion based feedback means this is one person’s opinion, but it might not actually be all that constructive in helping you fine tune your yoga classes. 

A really common example I hear is:

“I don’t like the sound of your voice.”

Clearly you’re not going to change your voice to cater to one person’s needs. At least I hope not. This is their opinion, rather than something more concrete and factual. 

This is also easy to ignore, because it doesn’t contribute to the overall safety of the class. If they listen to a teacher’s voice that they don’t like for an hour it’s probably irritating for them. But it’s not taking away from the safety of their experience. 

Don’t forget to check in with the integrity of your own feedback that you offer to others. Like if you’re in a yoga teacher training, or you go to write a review online. Notice if what you’re saying is opinion based feedback or not. Will it actually help this person to know? Does this feedback contribute to the overall safety of the class? 

This way, you can get more discerning with the feedback you offer to others, as well. 

Constructive Based Feedback

Constructive based feedback is actually just that….constructive. These will be statements, suggestions, or comments that will contribute to the overall safety of the class. Or, just areas that you can improve as a teacher. 

Continuing to piggyback off that last example of voice. This would be constructive based feedback to consider:

“You said ‘like’ while you were teaching, and I found it distracting.”

As a yoga teacher, you’re also a public speaker. Which is why your yoga pose cues are so important! When someone points out a filler word or phrase, this is valuable information for you, so that you can fill the space with useful words, instead. 

When we consider offering feedback to our fellow teachers, it’s vital that we are sharing constructive based feedback, rather than opinion based feedback. This will ensure that the teacher in need will actually benefit from the words you’re saying, and will- in turn- improve as a teacher. 

Top 3 Tips When Accepting Feedback

Although constructive based feedback is helpful for you to know, it doesn’t mean it’s always easy for you to hear. Which is why these next few tips are important to keep in mind. 

Differentiate between constructive and opinion feedback

Now you know the difference between the two, so it’ll make it easier to know what feedback you want to carry with you in your tool belt, and which feedback you’d like to leave behind. You don’t even need to consider the opinion based feedback, which will feel a little less overwhelming to receive- especially when you’re receiving a lot of feedback at once. 

You can’t please everyone

I’m sure we have a lot of recovering people pleasers in the crowd, which can make feedback tricky sometimes. People pleasers tend to ask for too much feedback, and then get lost about who they are and what they actually want. If you’re a people pleaser, remember this:

You can’t please everyone. And when you try to please everyone, you please no one. 

An example in relation to teaching yoga: 

As a yoga teacher for Alo Moves for several years, I would get tens of thousands of reviews on my classes. They were all online, so I could just scroll through and look at them all (which I mostly do, because it helps me as a teacher). 

Sometimes it was comical, because there would be comments like these back to back:

“I think you should talk less.”

“I love that you cue heavily in your classes!”

“I would appreciate more silence.”

“Your cues have changed my experience of yoga, thank you!”

You’ll see that one person likes the talking, the other person doesn’t, so on and so forth. So what do I do?

Well, I know that heavy cues are a part of my particular style. That feels like the most authentic and true form of teaching to me. Which means the people who don’t like it, will probably just not like my style class. 

And that’s okay. 

Don’t be afraid to direct your students elsewhere

I swear the relationship with yoga teachers is kind of like the relationship with therapists. Anyone else relate?

You start with one person, and you grow together for awhile- usually years. But then as you change, your needs change, and you move on to someone else. It’s not because the guide was bad, or anything wrong happened- your needs simply changed, your interests changed, YOU changed. And you want that to be reflected. 

In your teaching career, you’ll get some die-hard fans. Promise. They’ll show up to all of your classes, so stoked on all of your offerings. And maybe they’ll stick around for months, or years. But sometimes- not always- their needs change. 

Say you’ve been teaching pretty classic Hatha Yoga for years, and then your students start asking for spinal roll, intuitive movement. If you know that this isn’t your personal style, interest, or desire of teaching- then direct them to someone who does fit into that category!

There’s this really funny thing that happens in the yoga world, where teachers don’t like to share their students. The thing is, it’s only scary to “give your students away” if you think that’s all you’ll ever get. 

Abundance mindset, baby!

Clearing out those who aren’t the best fit anymore, will only make more space for the students who resonate with your voice and style to enter in. It’s just a little spring cleaning. 

Nothing scary about that. 

Let’s also not forget that being a yoga teacher is being in service. We want our students to experience the magic of yoga that we know and love. And sometimes, in order for them to experience that- they need the delivery from someone else. 

You’ve got this, my friends. 

Let me know how it goes!



Posted in

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top