Teaching Yoga as an Extrovert

Alright, so the other day I posted a link to this funny video about what it’s like to be an extrovert. After my husband watched it, he agreed that I share some of those qualities. Like not having an inner monologue, and talking during movies or football games on TV. (Ooops!)

An extrovert is someone who gets their energy from being around other people. They’re seen as outgoing and social. They can be impulsive. On the other hand, introverts get their energy internally. They enjoy being alone, or with a small group of people. They can get stuck in their heads. (For more on the distinctions, read here.)

One of my favorite classes that I have taught, to a giant room full at the Muhammad Ali Center

I hadn’t thought much about being an introvert vs. extrovert until recently, when I’ve started to think about it within the context of being a yoga instructor. Here are a few things I’ve identified about my teaching style that indicate that I’m extroverted:

  • I prefer to teach to large groups. I am much less intimidated to teach a room full of 50 yogis than I am to teach a small group. The only private lesson I taught put me out of my comfort zone. I get my energy from others, and the more people in the room, the more energy I can draw on and get fired up to lead a great class.
  • The style of yoga I practice and teach puts emphasis on community. Before my first Baptiste practice, I had always thought students needed to be silent before, during, and after class. In some styles of yoga, that is true. However, I personally love walking into class and catching up with my friends, meeting new people, and being encouraged to laugh.
  • Human to human contact is my favorite part of teaching yoga. My first job out of college required me to communicate with others via phone and email. It was awful. I crave face-to-face, human-to-human contact. I get to speak words and watch them land in people’s bodies and hearts. That’s powerful to me.

In the end, being an extrovert or introvert isn’t just one or the other. It’s like a scale…you’re usually more one than the other. Therefore, while I have found that I am an extrovert, I still need space. I like going for runs on my own. I like to spend time in the afternoon reading on the couch with only the cats as company. I do these things to conserve some of my energy, so that when I’m around others, I can be fully me.

I’d love to hear from some of you about how being an introvert or extrovert affects your job or passions.


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