I've been considering a question lately...
What makes a good yoga class?
I've attended many yoga classes in my 5+ years of being a yogi. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each yoga instructor has their own way, their own words, their own styles, and of course, their own strengths and weaknesses.
I sometimes find myself wishing some classes could go on longer, and during others I watch the clock wishing it would end. And yet, no one class has ever turned me off of yoga.
As an instructor, the question I ask myself most often is, "Was this class good for my students? Did they leave with a better understanding of a pose, an interest in a new pose, or just a better idea of what suits them?"
I welcome and encourage feedback, although many students are afraid to give it. Just as they are afraid to speak up during class. I often let my instructors know when a class inspires me by commenting about a pose, asking question, offering a thank you, or even a "hey that was a good class". I know how good it feels for someone to tell you that you have connected with them, either with your style or with the pace and pose selection.
I once second guessed myself as a class ended. Was the class too slow, was it a little too easy? And surprisingly one of my regular students stopped and told me he loved the stretching and asked if we could please do more of it next time. Wow! You just never know what will strike a chord in someone. I love feedback.
So part of my overall plan as an instructor is to mix things up. I'd like to think that there is a no repeat rule in yoga class. Each time someone steps onto their mat, it will be a unique experience. Which also means, if you take a yoga class and don't connect with the instructor, try another one. Don't give up on yoga simply because an instructor's style didn't match up to yours. If nothing else, try one more class from that same person to see if a different flow, or a different mix of poses appeals to you more.
So, what does make a good yoga class?
As both an instructor and a student, I conclude....any yoga class is a good class.