Yoga Rant #541

I love yoga. I love it so much, but I have this uncanny ability to be critical (hopefully constructively) even when I love something and want it all to be sunshine, rainbows, and puppies… or kittens, I guess.

Here’s the yoga hill I’ll die on today. Or maybe I have two.

No group work. I talk to people all day every day, and part of the reason yoga has been so great for me is that I can go to a class full of 40 other people and talk to no one. Yoga is my opportunity to look completely inward. Something I’ve learned well, is that no one cares about the person next to them in yoga. I’m introverted, I’m shy, and I’m extremely self-conscious around new people, and knowing that no one, or at least most people are paying no attention to me, is incredibly comforting. Maybe I’m being a baby. Yoga has helped me gain a lot of confidence, but when the teacher says, “Partner up and find a wall, so we can work on our handstands,” I hear, “Partner up, so the skinny blonde next to you can see how much you suck it this.” I want to run away and never come back.

On that note, circus tricks do not belong in a level 1-2 class. Ok listen, I will accept that some of my complaints are 100% founded in my own fear of failure, and I should be more willing to try things and test my own strength. I completely own that. However, I’m also sensitive to the fact that I was once a newbie with a ton of anxieties who felt I did not belong there. I firmly believe that yoga is for everyone, and a level 1-2 class typically contains a variety of different needs and skill levels. It’s one thing to create the option for a more advanced pose when queuing a comfortable and more accessible pose for those less experienced or simply not in the damn mood that day. I’ve heard a ton of teachers do this and create an environment truly inclusive for all levels. It is possible to push people while still providing a level of comfort. That is yoga.

I criticize because I care. Thanks for reading and Namasté.

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