Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bad Yoga

Worst yoga class ever this morning? And I know it wasn't me, because about ten minutes into it, I started visualizing northern California in the spring, and my friend A who is in India, and since those are both happy places, as it were, I thought it boded well for a good class. Not.

This teacher (whom I've never had), she was just pretty much not so good. First of all, she kept referring to a little piece of paper on which she had apparently written out her plan. Have you ever seen such a thing? I haven't. Now, I have often marveled at how these yoga teachers just lead us through their elaborate patterns of poses, apparently straight out of their heads, and I have wondered whether they plan ahead or just kind of go improv, but it has always been a given that that is what yoga teachers do, however it is they do it. The cheat sheet? Not so much.

And then the poses were just kind of weird and pointless. Lots of pushing your elbows together for no good reason, and moving over to the side, and she kept using weird language (put your fingers in a basket? never did that before in a yoga class). She also didn't really have the beat down. Now, I always have problems keeping up with other people's expectations for breathing, like the whole inhale/exhale thing, but I am confident enough in my yoga at this point to go with my breathing rather than the instructions, once it's clear that the teacher has a different rhythm than I do. Only this chick didn't really have a rhythm. She'd tell us to inhale and do something, then she'd get distracted, and then like three breaths later she'd tell us to exhale, and what the hell?

Finally--yes, there's more--this studio--which generally I quite like--always has a pose of the month. This month it's lotus, which is fine with me because I've always been able to do lotus, no problem. So she said we were doing a lot of hip openers and shoulder openers because the pose of the month is lotus (which has what to do with shoulder openers? nothing, as far as I can tell) and then WE NEVER DID LOTUS! What's up with that?

So I just got itchier and more irritated, and then the true proof of my irritation was when all of a sudden, with no rhyme or reason, she said "Now lie down for shivasana." Now I don't know about your yoga classes, but most of the yoga classes I go to start however they start (usually either standing or on the floor), then do standing poses, sitting poses, floor poses, back bends, and inversions (though sometimes they leave out back bends and inversions), and then shivasana, so you're not usually SURPRISED by shivasana. But this was kneeling poses, then wacko standing poses, then a bit of sitting, then BANG shivasana. And for the first time in my life, I couldn't do shivasana. I mean, the whole point of yoga class is to be rewarded with shivasana! But I was just like, this was ridiculous, this class didn't even happen, how does she expect me to do shivasana? Plus she was clumping around and whispering with someone in the back (really, she just sucked). So I sat up and did lotus. And watched her put on her socks. And noticed that lots of people do shivasana however the hell they want, like with ankles crossed and what-have-you, and the person in front of me was doing shoulder stand (oh yeah, I forgot that when she said we should get into position for shivasana, she also said that if we wanted to do another pose, we should--talk about abdicating responsibility!). And then I didn't om when she told us to at the end. So there!

And that is the story of the worst yoga class ever. Luckily, she was a sub.


jackie said...

I have never been to a yoga class, but this post made me laugh out loud.

Kelly said...

it cracked me up, too... I've been taking Saturday am classes that my friend Cheril is teaching as part of her teacher training. She's only been doing it for a couple of months, and no, she does not use notes. She plans it out early in the week before and practices it at home. She still misses some of the breath transitions, but I'm confident enough in my own rhythm at this point and she usually comes back in on the proper in or out breath.

While each class is somewhat different and targets some part more than others, there's always a similar flow. I think I would have had to get up and leave a class like what you describe. Yuck. She's not long for the yoga, methinks.

Debbie said...

Given your sense of humor, I think you'd like my new book, "Fear and Yoga in New Jersey."

If you contact me through my blog, I'll have my publisher send you a review copy.