The Voice of Hot Yoga
I used to joke about how military it can sound when you listen to the instructions of a Hot Yoga teacher. It sure is different from normal yoga, and you may well think it is unnecessarily military.
You may also think it is a fixed script. Well in many places it may well be, but know that there will be good reason for this.
I say this because I have learnt there is a priority list in most poses. For example, a straight solid leg is priority in the balancing series (a set of postures all requiring balance) but the equal level of the shoulders (specifically in the Tree pose) is also important. One is more important and higher priority than the other. For beginners especially, achieving both at the same time may not be possible, so one priority has to be first. This can only be described by the teacher in their instruction, even if it is scripted.
Either way and in any Hot Yoga class, one thing is for sure, the teachers voice, tone, sound is so much more important than you can imagine. Actually, there a lots of articles on the subject that I had no idea about!
Up till this point, I only ever thought the skill of a hot yoga teacher needs to look something like this:
Knowing the scripted dialogue – even if some teachers add to this (which I am glad to see)
Knowing which pose comes when (order of class)
How to get into the pose and stay there (correct and safe technique)
What it is doing to your body (many teachers describe this during the pose and this helps students “work it”)
Being able to count time (as each pose is held for a fixed amount of time)
The ability to speak loudly
Naturally, the experience required to be able to teach hot yoga.
It took that 90 minute class with the low volume / overly calm teacher for me to realise… wait….there is a lot more to say for that military voice I joked about.
I found myself asking “did I really burn less than half the calories I normally burn just because of this voice?”
The answer is yes, the Voice has a lot to do with it and I am not alone having spoken with many others in that very class.
Where I go (HotYogaHouse.co.uk), each teacher has a different style, voice (of course), choice of words, tone and volume. I call it an art. It is a skill that is an art.
That teacher with the low toned, slow speaking and somewhat low level pitch… she knew everything and is extremely advanced. She knew her stuff, this is for sure. But it showed how the Voice alone can change everything.
We yogis that attend this place in Eastcote are lucky – all of the teachers here are superb with all aspects and the different styles, words used, the reasons for the pose, all complement and enhance your performance. There tends to be a slight difference between them all, with each of them using their own words at times. After all, if it were all the same every time, you might get bored. You have the same 26 postures in every class, and there are many articles that refer to the “script” suggesting that is appears to lack authenticity. This could become tedious if it were not for the specific teachers and their qualities. The quality is in the skills of these teachers, all the skills required to deliver well, with the one important one, Voice.
I do listen intently as the instruction is very full with many things to remember and try each time. The Voice can start carrying you through and be a powerful source of energy. After all, it can affect your entire workout.
Worth trying and testing!