18 September 2007 by Published in: in my life No comments yet

Today’s list is five reasons why the yoga class I went to last week was the worst one I’ve ever been to.

  • No down dog. Down dog is a fundamental pose. It should be done, or offered, in every class. Yes, I’m aware that I’m being dogmatic.
  • Bridge vinyasas. I’ve always thought this was a little dangerous, and most of the teachers I have had avoid this in favor of sustained bridge with a slow release. After the sequence, even though my back is strong and flexible, I felt it twinge in a way I did not like.
  • This studio is finicky about blanket folding. I’m fine with that. But this particular teacher, after demonstrating proper blanket folding technique, gave the reason for folding the blankets uniformly and placing them a certain way on the shelf as: “to promote the energy flow between blankets”. Guh. This is exactly the kind of kookery most people stereotype yoga as having, and which I rarely find. So irritating. Had to clap my hands over my eyes to keep them from rolling right out of my head.
  • A disdain for people who can do poses with proficiency, particularly people with flexibility. I completely understand staying on your own mat, not competing, not giving yourself grief over not doing a pose to some ideal…but to suggest that those who may succeed for one pose or another (or for a single breath inside a pose!) in achieving solid alignment or great posture are doing something wrong, perverse, or just to show off? “You’ll never get enlightenment by having your leg reach the floor,” says she. Not cool. There is (or should be) a goal to improve your poses, otherwise the practice is pointless.
  • No adjustments. Not just for me, for anyone. I can’t promise that I didn’t miss any, she may have made some, but certainly fewer than I expected. I don’t demand to be touched every class, or even often, but if I want a teacher to just talk at me a guided video class will do fine thanks. Of course, since this teacher apparently doesn’t believe in doing poses better (see above), maybe that’s why she doesn’t bother with adjustments.

Still, I have to say the worst yoga class I’ve ever had is still better than no yoga class. I go again today. I wonder whether I’ll get the real teacher or the dreadful sub again. I wonder if, in the event I do get the sub, she’ll be less dreadful this time around. I remain optimistic.


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