How I Overcame The Biggest Struggle My Clients Have

Apr 11, 2022

 by Brian Friedman
It was about 20 years ago.
I was getting ready to teach my first yoga class at a new studio.
Prior to that, most of my students were young, fit, and fearless.
I could call out “advanced” yoga stuff and -for the most part- the entire class could do it. Headstand? No problem. Arm balance? No problem.
You get the idea.
This gave me a false sense of being a good teacher. I may have been a good instructor, but I wasn’t teaching anyone anything.
Back to our story -
There I was in a new studio, and the first person to walk in was an overweight woman in her 40s. Then a 74-year-old grandmother put her mat down. The next student shared with me they had zero yoga experience.
As this evolved, I was mentally deleting all my “go-to” class content because I knew not everyone would be able to participate safely.
So …
I stripped everything down to the basics and taught in a step-by-step manner. And guess what?
Everyone loved it!
All the students were able to participate and I was able to overcome their fears …
  • The fear of not being flexible.
  • The fear of being embarrassed.
  • The fear of being judged.
All of that went out the window and everyone loved feeling the well-known benefits of yoga for the first time in their lives.
That class was a game-changer for me. I learned how to be a teacher. In fact,
we still use the same method for all our online content.
We call it Functional Yoga Instruction and our motto is, “It’s how well you move; not how deep you stretch.”
Our approach truly sets us apart from other yoga providers because of our focus on alignment and movement vs. gravity and bendy poses.
Here are the words from satisfied clients ...
"This is what I love about your Functional Yoga method. The technique meets people where they are and everyone can benefit." - Margaret F.
"I’ve been to both types of classes - FYI and the other kind - and there is no comparison. You’re the best. I’ve learned more and have experienced improvements (my hip bursitis is gone) with Function Yoga." - Elizabeth L.
"I just started back doing some classes regularly last week. I had tweaked something in my lower back (prior to starting) and tried a lot of different things to relieve the pain. I did some gentle beginner classes and a few Yin classes (focusing on the back) and now the pain is gone. I’ve committed myself to doing several classes a week now. I know I’m starting over from scratch, but I remember how strong it made me feel when I used to attend the studio. And the fact that your functional yoga style is something I can actually do!" - Ruth T.