10 Things A Yoga Teacher Learns About You Within The First 5 Minutes Of Class

We have the inside scoop on instructors' intuition.

November 19, 2015
yoga people
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PHOTOGRAPH BY JACK RADCLIFFE/GETTY

Have you ever wondered what is running through your yoga teacher’s mind during class? Is she eyeing you up and down, calling out in her head everything that’s wrong with your health? What exactly does she know just by looking at you and your practice? (Repair more than just your body: join us for our online 21-day New Year, New You meditation challenge!) 

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And what other intel are instructors privy to? We tapped some of our yoga teacher friends to find out just what they can say about you and your health based on your practice. Click through the slideshow to see what they said. 

SPORTS
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1. What Other Sports You Play
PHOTOGRAPH BY JUSTIN STEELE

For example, runners often have tight ankles and struggle with postures that involve sitting on their knees, such as Bikram’s Fixed Firm and Child’s Pose.

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knee injury
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2. If You’ve Had Knee Injuries
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARGARET SKROVANEK

The signs? You’re hesitant to put all your weight on one leg, you struggle with balancing postures, and you’re reluctant to straighten your knees.

back bends
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3. You Might Have A Weak Lower Back

If you go off into a corner to start Savasana early while everyone else is doing backbends, you probably consider the area above your sacrum a trouble spot. 

Related: The Best Kind Of Yoga For Your Personality

Pro tip: Teachers say that more back injuries actually occur from forward bends. 

type a
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4. You’re Type A
PHOTOGRAPH BY MITCH MANDEL

Being overly ambitious and pushing through poses beyond your current ability—a telltale sign that you’re a Type A personality—will likely end up hurting more than helping. But remember: Some of the most beneficial poses aren’t necessarily the acrobatic ones. In some traditions, Savasana offers the most benefits to body and mind. 

COFFEE
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5. You’ve Had Too Much Caffeine
PHOTOGRAPH BY RODALE IMAGES

If you’re fidgety, falling out of balancing poses, and constantly looking around you, too many cups of morning coffee might be the culprit of your lack of focus.

hungover
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6. You Are Hungover
PHOTOGRAPH BY LIVESTOCK IMAGES/GETTY

If you’re extra slow to get into postures, can’t keep up with the flow, and are taking frequent breaks, you’re likely suffering from a late night out. (The other telltale sign is the smell of booze that oozes from your skin.)

bad day
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7. You’re Having A Bad Day
PHOTOGRAPH BY 123DUCU/GETTY

Teachers say that not looking in the studio mirror at all throughout class is a sign that you might be feeling a little down in the dumps. 

Toilet sign
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8. You Need To Poop
PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEX BRAMWELL/GETTY

Wind-removing poses (lying on your back, hugging knees to chest) and inversions (Shoulderstand and Plow) are the most likely triggers for passing gas in class. 

practice
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9. How Often You Practice
PHOTOGRAPH BY JONATHAN FIFE/GETTY

Are you eager to hit the mat when you get to the studio? Do you move through postures with ease? Do you geek out about yoga in the lobby after class instead of planning post-yoga drinks? If you answered yes, then you’re likely a frequent yogi.

real yogi
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10. You’ve Got A Big Head
PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEX GRABCHILEV/EVGENIYA BAKANOVA/GETTY

If you move too quickly through poses, constantly look in the mirror, and appear to be in competition with the people around you, you might be guilty of being egotistical.

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