whispering into a mic, does not a yoga instructor make

I’ve been practicing yoga with relative consistency for the last six years and I’ve gotten pretty good. I mean, not super good, but decent.

I’m more flexible than I am strong and so I really enjoy working my way into challenging pretzel-like poses. I usually practice intermediate level vinyasa yoga, enjoy bikram yoga, and recently tried a more vigorous ashtanga yoga in New Orleans at this charming studio called Swan River Yoga.

Anyway, I went to a yoga class at my gym tonight and was supremely disappointed. Okay, that’s a little harsh, but it was just not challenging or exciting. You can take a slow class and make it more fun by experiencing a “deeper” pose or trying a bind or balance variation, but when it’s totally different than what the rest of the class is doing, you feel a little weird.

I’ve taken my usual vinyasa class at many gyms and studios with a great variety of teachers and in all of those experiences, we’ve 99% of the time worked through the warrior series. But in tonight’s class… no warrior series. It was a lot of chair/utkatasana pose which for me isn’t super fun. The instructor never offered the more challenging option which made me wonder how legit she was.

The other thing that tipped me off was how she led the class from pose to pose. It didn’t flow and it was kinda unsafe… She was like, “just put your leg here” or “move your foot here” there was no easing into anything. For a pro like me, it’s no problem. But for the novices out there and for the sake of safe practice can you lead us safely please?

After the class the “instructor” came up to me and said, “I noticed you were doing a bind.” — umm, noticed? I’m one of 10 people in the class and the ONLY one, including you, who knows what they’re doing.

“I’m not very flexible, so I don’t do those poses” she says.

Excuse me? Not that flexible? I understand that there are degrees of flexibility, but if you are a yoga instructor shouldn’t your starting point be more limber-ous than the average Joe?

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One thought on “whispering into a mic, does not a yoga instructor make

  1. I agree. Besides, I’ve seen yoga teachers instructing postures in a very clear and detailed manner, even though they’re working on these things as well at the moment. If your instructions are crystal clear, you don’t need to demonstrate. And if you teach 10+ classes a week, demonstrating every single posture and doing your own practice on top of that seems a bit steep.

Thoughts?

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