Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bad Yoga Date

Last night was a first. I walked out of a class. It was not because I hated it, it was a good class but my body decided not to show up and my head preferred to start throbbing and to distort my the middle of class! I lasted an hour before I just couldn't anymore. I was getting angry and my teacher was being especially touchy feely with me. Very bad timing on her part but how was she to know? Which leads me to ask, how do you handle it when an instructor is doing an adjustment you're just not getting what they're doing? You feel nothing except tugging and pulling and you wanna say "That's not working! My bone doesn't move that way."

I hope to take another class tomorrow. I'm feeling better today but I thought I'd take it easy. The summer sucks so much energy out of me. Especially in the city where the humidity is just disgusting.

The latest YJ has an article about home practices. I, like many folks, have difficulty practing at home so I read this with great interest. I really want to try it. I understand that I don't have to mimick my teachers and sure, it's ok if I only want to do poses that I really like and avoid the ones I really dislike coughsuptavirasanacough. Gypsy Girl also wrote the most loveliest entry on her blog about discoving your home practice. Go read!


Linda (Sama) said...

9 times out of 10 I never let an unknown yoga teacher adjust me, ESPECIALLY if I get the vibe that their mindset is that everyone has to look the same way in a pose (so you can assume that I don't go to too many traditional Iyengar classes!) they don't know me and they don't know my body.

"adjustments" are an art, as far as I'm concerned, and I've been cranked on too much over the years to allow an unknown teacher to touch my body.

as a teacher, I rarely do adjustments, and if so, they are very light, using my first two fingers to guide. If my students can't "feel" their way into a pose, only then do I adjust.

Total Health Yoga - Kris said...

Whenever I adjust someone, I usually ask "does that feel better?" or "how does that feel?". I, also, ask new folks if it's okay to touch them. I find verbal cues are more educational, but some folks ask for physical adjustments. Thanks for the post, it has reminded me to instead of "usually" asking to "always" ask or make a blanket statement at the beginning of a class.
I really appreciated your posts. Thanks!

Regina Clare Jane said...

Oops- I wrote this whole comment and it disappeared! Shucks!
Anyhoo- I am so sorry, Marilyn, you had such an uncomfortable time in class. You know how I feel about adjustments anyway- and that was from a relatively (at least in his sphere) famous teacher!
I love my home practice- it's how I started out and it suits me just where I'm at on any given day. With a home practice, you can also get really playful and creative!
Hope your next class goes better!

rand(om) bites said...

Oh yeah, I've had this happen and I was filthy! I wasn't prepared mentally and "thought" way too much about what was going on. I should have left but stuck with it. We're not always going to have an inspiring practice but I hope you feel better now hon.

I actually like having a home practice but I don't push myself as hard as I do in a class. It's a totally different practice and I tend to follow the Shiva Rea and Cyndi Lee DVDs. I wish I could afford to go to classes everyday but then my home practice allows for a bit more introspection and meditation which I need too.

I think it's important to kinda have a space to do your yoga also. Do you have somewhere you can set up as your "yoga space" or even an area where you have some kind of alter/devotional space (if you're into that thing)? I reckon that will help.

Thanks for giving us the link to Gypsy Girl. I'll check her out a little later.

Anonymous said...

I've been lucky with my teachers. Either they adjusted verbally or very mildly, much like what Linda described.

My home practice grew out of necessity. I started when my kids were babies, and it was all I could do to find an hour to unroll my mat. Now I've come to love practicing at home. I enjoy the class atmosphere, but my favorite spot to practice is in my bedroom. Creating a "yoga space" is great advice.

By the way, You're It! :oD Come visit my link and see if you want to play.

shinyyoga said...

ohhh I know how you're feeling. I have walked out of a class as well, and been tempted a number of other times.

Just like as teachers we always tell our students to listen to their body and their mind, to take it easy if they need to, well.. that rule goes for us too!

Kris' post below also raised a good point for me - I do adjust in most classes, just small things here and there to help students, but have gotten out of the habit of always telling my students to tell me if they don't feel comfortable or don't want to be touched.

Thanks for a very thought provoking post! x

Gypsy Girl said...

Thanks for the kind words about my blog.
The one thing I do miss about going to yoga practice is the adjustments. I had one teacher who had a "butterfly" touch. she barely touched your body in the area to adjust and moved her hands slightly the way she wanted you to move and it was magical, you responded by moving deeper in the pose. I don't know where she learned it, but everyone loved her adjustments.