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What to Do When a Student Goes Rogue in Your Class

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

By Allison Ray Jeraci

Photo by Andrea Killam

Yoga International

Teaching yoga sometimes comes with challenges that can be difficult for teachers to address. One possible challenge is the rogue yoga student, a student who practices not just variations of the poses you’re teaching but very different poses. When I first started to teach yoga, I was confused by these students who would practice on their own while I was teaching. It took time and experience to understand that, when a student goes off the path of my class, it usually has little to do with me and what I am teaching.  

My rogue yogi experiences go something like this: I’ve worked a few hours on creating what I think is an amazing class: nailing down my sequencing, finessing my verbal cues, and determining exactly which props I’ll be using for class. Excited about the class I’m about to present, I head into the studio with my sequence, mat, props, and music. The students come in, and I begin to lead them through their practice; their bones settle, their muscles soften, and they get in touch with their breath. Everything is right in the world.  

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