What Not To Do When Subbing Yoga Classes


November 9, 2021

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Although I’ve been teaching for a little over a year now, getting to this place didn’t come overnight. When I first started subbing yoga classes, I was scared, intimidated, and quite honestly, impressionable.

It’s an easy mistake to make when you are new to something and you just want to improve, so instead of following your instincts, you’ll take advice from a more experienced instructor – even though you shouldn’t always do that….

The first few times I started subbing yoga classes, experienced teachers from the studio attended the class (which was an entirely different ball of nerves to tackle!). After one of the classes, a fellow teacher gave me feedback about my teaching and told me that I should try and teach how the regularly scheduled teacher teaches. This person suggested I change the way I teach in order to make it consistent for the students. So, being the impressionable, newbie teacher I was, I did it – even to the point of changing the music. Big mistake. The next class I taught was SUPER awkward, it didn’t flow well, the music wasn’t my style, and the students were visibly frustrated. They didn’t understand my cues and the sequence was just…a MESS.

It was after this class that I realized if I was going to teach, I would have to do it in my own way. I needed to teach poses that I was extremely familiar with, play music that fit my pace and style of teaching, and teach asanas that I knew inside and out. SURPRISE! It worked. The feedback I got from students was great! Did the classes go perfectly? Of course not! But most of the students really enjoyed it. I even received compliments from some of the students after the class.

Subbing Yoga Classes: Stay True To Yourself

So the main take away when subbing yoga classes? Don’t follow the path of another teacher and emulate his/her style. If you are subbing a yoga class from someone who teaches with hip-hop music and you prefer more calming music, go with that. If you are subbing a yoga class that is heavy on vinyasa and you tend to hold the poses longer, go with that. As long as you are comfortable teaching, the process will go a lot more smoothly. And bonus, the students will also get to try a new style, and that never hurts anyone!

What mistakes have you made when subbing yoga classes? How did you overcome those mistakes?