A Note to the Shy Student
I would like to start off this post with something that may surprise some of you who have met me at the studio: I have always considered myself a pretty shy person outside of Ahimsa. Shy in the sense that I don’t like to go up to people and start talking to them, even if I want to say something to them. I am not very outgoing and I’m not the life of the party.
When I opened Ahimsa something changed and now I try to talk to everyone who walks into the studio because I want that person to feel acknowledged and seen. I think that’s very important and one of the core values Ahimsa instills in it’s team. I also love hearing what people are thinking about the studio and making them feel comfortable.
In this post I am mostly speaking to the shy yoga students, because I am also a shy yoga student. I don’t like to speak to my yoga teachers after class, and if I start attending more than 1 of their classes I start to feel even shyer –now they might notice me! When they look me in the eyes I feel pretty uncomfortable, and small talk can be awkward for me, too. Did I say the right thing? Did my joke even make sense? Should I follow them on Instagram? Should I like their posts? Am I liking too many? Should I go on their retreat, or will they think I’m their stalker?
As a yoga teacher as well and as someone who knows many, many, yoga teachers, I want to let you know something: We. Don’t. Care. We don’t even notice. We love it when you tell us you loved class or when you come up to us to share something after class. Of course, there’s a fine line between sharing and overloading our time and leaching onto us, but hopefully you can distinguish between the two. Believe it or not, even if you are a bit quirky, we don’t harbor any ill will toward you. To be honest, we don’t think about it much. Teaching yoga gives us such incredibly good feelings, we probably just love seeing your face!
We don’t think you’re a “stalker” when you follow us on social media, like our Instagram posts, show up to class each week, or come on our retreat. We don’t think about you like, “Omg I can’t believe Sarah keeps coming to my classes, what a loser.” As much as we try to take the ego out of teaching, it is still there. We give so much and in return we receive (other than monetarily) the satisfaction of helping someone with something – whether it’s finding some stillness and peace in their day, healing, or teaching them a new variation on a handstand.
We haven’t seen you in a while? We’d love to see you again! Has it been a while like… high school? Even better! I am telling you – there’s nothing that gives a yoga teacher more satisfaction than hearing from students what they loved about class and seeing them back for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 20th time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KELLY MERYDITH
Kelly Merydith began practicing yoga regularly in 2008 when she had an internship at a financial company in downtown Chicago. During lunch and after work, she took classes with Vinnie Hunihan at Akal Yoga Studio in the Chicago Board of Trade Building. She discovered that yoga was a way to reduce stress and find mental clarity. While earning her degree in Finance and Marketing at Northeastern University, she realized she wanted to open a yoga studio in her hometown of Oak Park. In the summer of 2010, Kelly completed the 200-hour Teacher Training with YogaWorks in Santa Monica, CA with Kia Miller and Sonya Cottle. In 2012 she completed Moksha's 500-hr training program. Through yoga Kelly discovered her true passion - sharing the joys of yoga with others and creating a conscious, kind yoga community. She is the owner of Ahimsa's Oak Park location and co-owner of Ahimsa Berwyn, Elmhurst, and La Grange.