Prior to a yoga class starting, your yoga teacher may ask the room or ask individuals privately what they're concerned about, any injuries they may have, and any special difficulties they are working on right now. So, what should you tell your yoga teacher? If you've had an injury - say you broke your ankle some time ago, or you had a bike accident - those are useful for her to know. If you're dealing with a health condition like arthritis, or lower back pain, for example, let her know. If you're having trouble sleeping or overstressed, that's useful too.
Here's why you should fess up to your teacher:
1. She can more easily provide modifications
When a student has offered up a special circumstance, it gives the teacher the opportunity to provide assistance and modifications during the class. In many cases, you'll notice that others in the room may also follow the modifications; perhaps because they were uncomfortable speaking up.
2. She will naturally adjust her sequence
I've been in many, many classes where the teacher made adjustments to her teaching based on what she learned by asking about injuries and special circumstances. And that's part of the art and wisdom of teaching yoga. In most cases, these are seamless shifts that help the student who spoke up but also provides insight for those who didn't.
3. She can help you use props more efficiently
Most yoga teachers love to see their students using props because it shows they are mindful about their body and accepting of the situation while they work toward getting better. Yoga works best if the student has healthy alignment and props can make a significant difference in that regard. Perhaps you didn't know you needed a prop, but because you shared your situation with your teacher, you gave her the ability to support you.
4. She can provide a healthy adjustment
When your yoga teacher provides an adjustment, it's a learning tool - for them and for you. By letting her know about your current challenges, she can be mindful about giving adjustments and teach through kinesthetic transmission.
If you feel uncomfortable discussing your injuries or health conditions where others can hear, it's a great idea to talk with your teacher privately before (or after, so they know in the future) that you're working on or around an injury. Your health is personal, for sure, but fessing up simply helps your teacher provide the support and information you need. It also helps her keep you safe. Some yoga poses are not recommended for certain conditions.