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Difficult Yoga Class

geekyMary2010-07-05 00:31:45 +0000 #1
I had an experience in class last week that's been bugging me. I hope you guys can help me get some perspective.

The short version is this: I took a class that was too hard for me, and I got frustrated. Really frustrated. Like I was crying in class.

Some background info:

- I haven't been to a formal Yoga class (besides prenatal or mommy and me) in about 2 years.

- this class was advertised as Level 1/2.

I was really nervous at the beginning of class. At first it was helpful when the teacher talked about Yoga as play, and not taking yourself too seriously. But then, it got bad. After the warmup, I was exhausted, and we had 45 minutes yet to go. Hearing, "hey, this is fun!" got really annoying when I was struggling to keep up.

I emailed the teacher about this last week, and haven't heard back yet.

I guess it's my ego in the way, but is it too much to ask that I enjoy the class? That I can keep up? I feel like I shouldn't be upset about this - that I should be able to let go of expectations and just do things at my own pace. But when I'm so far behind, it's really hard.

Am I just practicing to feed my ego? How do I let go of this? And the key question: should I go back to this studio?

InnerAthlete2010-07-05 00:46:01 +0000 #2
If this was a flow or vinyasa class then it might have been a bit much to go to a 1/2 class instead of a Level 1. Though pragmatically a class advertised as Level 1/2 should be appropriate for a Level 1 student.

In my experience there is a bit of teaching jargon that seems to get handed down in Vinyasa trainings. And most of that seems to center around lightening up a very physically intense practice. Of course we shouldn't take our asana practice (or ourselves) too seriously. But to have to constantly remind students of such things for 75-90 minutes has to make one wonder. Being playful with students during the practice is wonderful when it's authentic but annoying when it's regurgitated scripting.

I don't get a sense your Ego is the issue here. But if you outline the practice in greater detail (simply saying you went to a level 1/2 yoga class means very little to me) I might be able to lend more perspective.

Whether you go back or not is up to you. Presuming the teacher received your email, I find the lack of a reply to be distancing, aloof, and unresponsive and those are not qualities I desire in my yoga teacher.
Pandara2010-07-05 01:10:03 +0000 #3
Hi There,

I think there are two issues here: Firstly, does your teacher have the necessary sensitivity to adapt her programme to all participants in the class? It seems not. You have to ask yourself then if this is the right class for you, otherwise your frustration will persist. Perhaps change to a beginners class? I am not familiar with the level 1/2 in South Africa, so I am not sure how advanced or not this may be.

The second issue concerns youself, and that is, do you have the necessary patience with your own limitations at this stage to continue going, ignoring the teacher's flow and to just persist at your own pace doing what you can no matter what, without getting frustrated and bursting out in tears.

My other advise would be to find another class if this one is too frustrating to you. The lack of responsiveness from the teacher is unfortunately a red light for me.

Trust you will find your place somewhere, somehow.
geekyMary2010-07-05 01:43:10 +0000 #4

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete

But if you outline the practice in greater detail (simply saying you went to a level 1/2 yoga class means very little to me) I might be able to lend more perspective.

I've taken classes at this shala before and always found them challenging. It was, I believe, Anusara style yoga. I usually practice something closer to Ashtanga - I like knowing the poses and the sequence. This was very free form and most of the poses I had never seen before.

As I'm writing this, I'm really seeing that this class was difficult and probably too difficult for me. I think what was disappointing for me was that I got so attached to success in that class. That I didn't have the strength to just shrug my shoulders and do my own thing.

I'm always so sensitive to where I am in regards to other students in the class. If I'm further along, I'm always worried that I'm showing off, and feel guilty when I enjoy being just that much more flexibile. If I'm not as skilled as the rest of the class, I feel insecure.



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