Is My Yoga Teacher Hitting on Me?

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You may have heard the saying “opposites attract” once or twice over the course of your life, but the truth is: we tend to gravitate toward those with similar interests as us. The good thing about this is that it makes it easier to find someone to date if you’re in the market. All you have to do is go about your daily routine and be open to interacting with others throughout the day. These interactions may take place at your favorite health food grocery store, your book club, or perhaps even your yoga studio.

Yes, that’s right…flirtatious engagement happens in yoga studios all the time and can even be initiated by your yoga teacher. In today’s article, we’ll talk all about what to do if your yoga teacher is flirting with you as well as ways that you can appropriately make a move on your yoga teacher.

To Be Touched or Not Touched in Yoga

If you have ever taken a yoga class, I am sure you are aware that yoga is meant to be a relaxing, mindful experience for the body. Most yoga instructors strive to make sure that you are getting the most out of your class. In yoga teacher training, they are taught to offer hands-on adjustments during class to make sure that students are executing the poses correctly.

While this might not seem like a big deal to some people, others could feel violated if they are approached during class with unwanted touch. This is an encounter that is sure to be awkward for both parties, no matter how innocent the intentions are. Your yoga studio should be safe place for your mind, spirit, and body. To make sure that this happens, everyone’s feelings should be considered beforehand.

Normally, at the beginning of a class, your yoga teacher will introduce themselves before announcing that they offer hands-on adjustments. At this time, the yoga instructor will usually stand at the front of the room and instruct those who do not want to be touched to make a simple hand signal so that they are made aware of which students need that extra personal space. It can then be assumed that those who do not answer with a hand signal are okay with the hands-on adjustments.

Keep in mind that while this is common practice in a lot of yoga studios, your instructor might forget to ask this at the beginning of the class. If the conversation doesn’t happen, just know that it is absolutely okay to set your boundaries on your own and speak up about what is comfortable for you.

Is My Yoga Teacher Attracted to Me?

With a dimly lit room, flexible poses and sweaty flow, yoga has the potential to be somewhat of a sensual activity. Especially if your yoga teacher has ever approached you with hands-on adjustments, there may have been moments when you felt like your yoga teacher is attracted to you. So, how can you tell if they are? And what should you do about it?

First and foremost, if you’re truly pondering this, you should take a moment to check in with yourself and decide if you are comfortable with the answer. Are you feeling uncomfortable around your teacher or are you hoping that he or she is attracted to you?

 If you think that your yoga teacher is attracted to you and you feel uncomfortable, you have a few options:

  1. You can address the issue straightforward. Talk about it with them and make them aware of exactly what it is they are doing to make you uncomfortable. 
  2. Stop taking the class with that yoga teacher and start taking a different yoga class with a different instructor.
  3. Start taking classes at a different yoga studio!

If you really love your yoga studio, try to find an alternative solution so you don’t have to take extreme measures and switch.

So, what if your yoga teacher seems to be attracted to you but you are kind of into it? Due to the calm, relaxing nature of the class, it’s definitely a possibility. Yoga classes tend to draw in healthy, athletic people who are actively trying to raise their vibration. That said, it’s probably not hard to spot someone attractive in the room, especially if you’re attending multiple classes per week.

What has your yoga teacher done to make you feel as though he or she is attracted to you? Perhaps her gaze has lingered a little longer than normal. Maybe his hands-on adjustments have felt charged with romantic energy. It could also be that she pays extra attention to you out of the rest of the class, smiles more, or even finds excuses to strike up a conversation with you.

Whatever the case may be, attraction is a normal part of the human experience and it’s something that we cannot deny. We can’t help who we are attracted to and if you find that you and your yoga teacher share a mutual attraction, you have a few options moving forward.

You can try to get to know them better by striking up a conversation, asking them out for coffee, or perhaps expressing your interest in another cool, low-pressure way.  However, if you do decide to pursue a relationship, or even just a casual coffee date with your yoga teacher, be prepared for any outcome. If things go well, then great! But if things don’t go so well, you may have just created an awkward situation for yourself.

In a nutshell, if you’re going to try to date your yoga instructor, be ready to switch yoga studios if things go south. If that isn’t a risk you’re willing to take, then you may want to think twice.

Is it Appropriate to Date Your Yoga Instructor?

If you’re reading this, it’s possible that at some point, you have asked yourself “Is it okay to date my yoga instructor?” While it might be a knee-jerk reaction for us to scoff and cry out “Never!” from the top of our lungs, we must first recognize that things aren’t always this black and white. The truth is that this is a situation that occurs more often than you would expect, regardless of how complicated things can become.

Ever since the rape allegations against Bikram Cho have stormed the yoga community, it seems crucial to address that no form of sexual harassment or sexual assault should ever be tolerated. Unfortunately, these disturbing and horrific transgressions are just one example of an occasional problem that occurs within the yoga community, creating a fine line between what kind of touch and direction is acceptable and what is not. 

Alas, there are also plenty of consensual, sexual relationships that occur between a yoga teacher and student.

One of the reasons why there is so much confusion when it comes to the ethics of yoga student-teacher affairs is that there are no official guidelines or laws for how to navigate such a relationship. It is common knowledge in most yoga teacher trainings that a yoga teacher should have an “appropriate working relationship” with their students. But even still, physical conduct is not usually outrightly banned.

It’s very easy to see how attraction can blossom between a yoga teacher and a student during classes. First of all, it’s more than likely that most of the people in the room share common values such as healthy living, self-improvement, yoga philosophy, etc. This is especially true if you notice that the same core practitioners are coming in at the same days and times each week.

There is also that physical pull that draws yogis toward one another during class. A yoga class is essentially a room full of beautiful bodies bending, stretching and sweating all around one another. The yoga teacher will periodically walk by and touch your lower back or arms to help improve your poses. This is the perfect storm for attractions to form in a yoga class.

How to Date Your Yoga Teacher

Teacher or student, yoga can actually be an excellent place to meet new, like-minded people to date. Yoga classes tend to be filled with beautiful souls, healthy bodies, and confident minds. Many relationships have budded out of a teacher-student connection, so if you feel like shooting your shot, don’t sell yourself short!

When you do finally decide to ask your yoga teacher out on a date, here’s how to do it.

1.     Get yourself to class as often as possible.

“Thank yourself for showing up to your mat today,” is a common phrase you will hear your yoga teacher say at the beginning or end of a yoga class. If there is one thing yoga teachers love to see, it’s the same group of people showing up at the same times each week. Why? Because for one, it makes them feel good and two, they love to watch your growth. If you can, try to show your dedication and commitment to the practice by showing up consistently. This not only shows that you are interested in getting better at yoga, but it also says a lot about the kind of person you are by reflecting your ability to make commitments and stick to them.

2.     Bond over yoga, not yoga bodies.

Let’s be real: yoga attire can be flattering, stylish, and maybe even a little revealing. It can sometimes be hard to not ogle at your teacher or the person next to you who is built like a statue! But if you’re trying to make a good impression, it’s best to keep the conversation classy. Do not make comments about your yoga teacher’s body and try not to flash them inappropriate looks. This will likely just make your yoga teacher feel very uncomfortable and can be counterproductive to your goal.

If your goal is to form a connection with your yoga teacher and possibly lay the foundation for a relationship, try to bond with them over common interests. I can give you a hint on what might be the easiest one to start with! Ask genuine questions about yoga and express genuine interest about their area of expertise.  A little thoughtful banter can go a long way if executed properly.

3.     Do NOT ask for a private lesson.

While you might think you are one step ahead of the game by asking for a private lesson with your yoga teacher, this is actually kind of a bad idea. Most people will schedule a private lesson hoping that it will somehow turn into a date. In most cases, if you pay for a private lesson, you are going to get exactly that. It’s also not the best idea to assume that your yoga teacher does not conduct their business like a professional. If they find out that you only scheduled the lesson to try to make it a date, they might feel offended, insulted, and/or caught off guard. You might want to avoid making any jokes about this as well—you’re trying to win them over, not creep them out!

4.     Stay after class and ask questions!

This tip goes hand and hand with tip #2 about bonding over yoga. If there is a pose that you would like extra help with or perhaps you want to understand the proper alignment of, wait until the end of the class and ask your teacher. A good teacher is always happy to share their knowledge with you, so don’t be shy! Waiting until after class to ask your question secures you a one-on-one exchange with your instructor. This allows your yoga teacher to put a face to a name so that next time, he or she knows who you are and what the two of you worked on last. This is a step in the right direction toward building a relationship with your yoga instructor.

5.     Ask them out!

Once you have had a few conversations, shared information about yourself, and asked him or her thoughtful questions, it’s about time to take the plunge. This might sound obvious but you should make sure that your yoga instructor is single before making those dinner reservations. The key here is to pop the question after the two of you have had enough facetime with one another that it wouldn’t be completely awkward. Keep it simple, don’t over think it. After class, ask to speak with him or her for a minute and then casually ask them out for drinks or coffee. If your yoga teacher says yes, then congratulations! If she says no, it’s okay to feel bummed, but shrug it off. And most importantly, don’t feel like you can’t show up to classes anymore because of it. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This is a complicated subject, but here are some of the most common questions people have about dating a yoga teacher, being attracted to a yoga teacher, and everything in between.

I’m in love with my yoga teacher, how do I take it forward?

As with any relationship, move forward with care. There is a fine line between flirting and being disrespectful. If you want to show your yoga teacher that you respect him or her, start by showing genuine interest in their area of expertise…yoga! Be respectful during class and ask a lot of questions. Stay after class and ask your yoga teacher for advice on how to improve your poses. Last but certainly not least, when you feel that the timing is right, ask them out for coffee! You will never know until you try.

Is it unethical for a yoga teacher to date a student?

There is not a right or wrong answer to this question as everyone’s situation is different. One yoga teacher may make the choice early on in their career to never date a student, whereas another teacher might not think of it as a big deal. If you are a teacher and you think that one of your students is into you, then you should let them know your stance on the topic ASAP. If you are a student and you are attracted to your yoga teacher, then you need to be aware of signals. If he or she seems into it, then progress slowly and with caution. However, if your yoga teacher is giving you signs that he or she does not appreciate your flirtatious advancements, then it’s time to take a hint. Always be respectful that they are a teacher and you are a student. Boundaries must be considered and behavior must be appropriate. Both students and teachers should always feel comfortable and safe in class.

Do male teachers find their female students attractive?

While it surely happens, it’s not to say that it happens 100% of the time. Everyone is different. Just because your yoga teacher is a male does not mean that he finds you attractive. In fact, there is no guarantee that he is even attracted to the opposite sex in the first place. On the flip side, is there a chance that your male teacher finds his female students attractive? Absolutely. Attraction is normal and can happen anywhere, any time. It’s important to note that even if your yoga teacher does find you attractive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will act on it. A lot of yoga teachers set personal rules and boundaries for themselves and do not allow themselves to date their students.

Is it bad that I’m attracted to my yoga teacher?

Attraction is a part of human nature. It’s not “bad” to be attracted to your yoga teacher. We can’t really help who we are attracted to, but we can manage how we choose to act on it. If you think it is inappropriate to hit on your yoga teacher, then you should refrain.

Is it normal for a male yoga teacher to assist you in a butterfly pose by squatting behind you, putting his knees on your inner thighs and as a result having his middle/upper body against your back?

This type of assist isn’t necessarily required all the time but could apply to certain situations. Therefore, this assist is not entirely normal or abnormal. It’s an unlikely assist but can be very helpful if both parties are comfortable with it. These types of assists should be practiced with mutual care and respect. It is best done when the student and teacher have built a good rapport and sense of trust with one another over a span of time.