I went to a yoga class at a studio in my area that I’ve never been to. I really needed to use my body, to feel like I was strong, to focus on the way my body works and the way my muscles hold me up — it was a stressful afternoon. I couldn’t wait till my Wednesday class.
And… the teacher was just awful, and I feel more negative now that I did before the class. It was billed as an all-level vinyasa class, and we did great poses like warrior 3, half-moon, triangle… but each time we switched, the teacher gave a very long build-up about how difficult the next pose was and how she didn’t expect any of us new students to be able to do them, and at one point she made a big deal about how I only had one block to use and ran around finding me another one, even though I told her it wasn’t a problem… and in the end I didn’t need either of them, despite her constant reminders to use the blocks for support. In every pose, she insisted that we stay at the “easier” version — unless we were “accomplished” or “advanced” yoginis who were “feeling daring.”
If everyone’s practice is their own… and you keep repeating to “be aware of our bodies without judgement…” why spend the whole class labeling how difficult or easy everything is?! Why not just describe the variations on each pose, or use phrases like “for a deeper stretch in your ___, do ___,” or something?! I never want to feel like I’m “showing off” in a yoga class just because I can hit and hold a pose, and I really felt that way.
GAH. I know my body really well, and I love yoga classes because they feel like a really safe space to both challenge my body and let it tell me its limits. But I hope I never take a class like that one ever again.