Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Going to Yoga is Tricky

You know, going to a yoga class can be a bit tricky. If you've never gone to a yoga class, sheesh, that's crazy-ticky! But even if you've gone before there are certain things that are variables and how you deal with them is well, it's how you deal with them.

I never really know who's coming to my drop in classes at Rama Lotus, which I've been teaching for 6 years as of today, pretty much. I still don't know how many people are coming, I still don't know who is coming, who's not coming, I just don't know.

So sometimes people ask me, "when's a good time to come when it's not packed?" They think Tuesday nights are always packed. Let me tell you, the best time to come if you don't want to go to a packed class is the week following the class that was packed. People get scared off. They don't come back for a bit. And then there's room! And that's not always true either. But there seems to be a pattern.

Another night that's not generally packed in my class is if there's bad weather or a hockey game's on. Come to class, you'll have lots of room.

And then there's the case of the good old teacher-switch. I usually warn people when I'm not going to be there a few weeks in advance but if you haven't come to class in a bit, you won't have heard me tell you that, so you won't know and you'll come all surprised that I'm not there! That happens sometimes, but not often, as teaching yoga is my livelihood, so I don't skip classes because I have something better to do or I don't feel like it. Teaching yoga is my number one thing.

Now, if you're doing a class like Bikram or Ashtanga or even Hot Yoga, you pretty much are going to get whatever it is that's gotten in those classes no matter who's teaching it. In other styles of classes it is often more teacher-dependent as to what's going to happen in the class. So going to a new teacher can be tricky, because you don't know what you're going to get. Some yoga teachers ask you to do some pretty strange things. There's this one teacher who has you do this energy stuff with your hands and she calls it "prana," weird. (That's me. We do that in the intermediate class a lot.)

Laurie subbed for me while I was away in NYC for my Landmark Education Introduction Leaders Program (which I'll be away for again December 15-16 and February 1-2 btw) and she found out that we warm up a lot more in my class than in her class. So teaching someone else's class can be a bit tricky too. I know when I'm subbing I feel a bit strange and I try to get a sense from the group how I'm doing and I can't always tell and people in Ottawa don't exactly always speak up and help you out as a teacher. And sometimes they do and I really appreciate it when you do!

So anyways, I strive for quality control in my classes and without knowing who's coming I'm always left with this unknown variable - YOU - and I do my best to make it a safe, predictable, count-on-able experience every time, and sometimes you're going to be too close to someone or you may touch someone by accident, and things may happen near you in your space that I didn't count on. And I'm sorry about those things - I want you to have a good time! And I can't tell if it's going to be packed or not. Keep coming and maybe you can figure out the pattern and then you can tell me. I'd like to know too!


Psychgrad said...

I'm not sure if you posted about this before...I am wondering about what type of yoga you would suggest for someone who has very limited yoga experience and very low flexibility?

Jamine said...

Took me awhile to see your comment! Well I certainly recommend my beginning hatha yoga classes! It doesn't really matter how flexible you are...if you're in otherwise good health it would be good to just start in a beginners class. With other mobility or health issues, doing a one on one or a Recovery yoga class like they do at Metta Massage would be what I'd recommend.