My regular (and favorite) yoga instructor wasn’t there Sunday and in her place was a teacher I try to avoid. Why? Because the one time I had her as a sub she went too quickly through the poses and insisted on running us through downward facing dog to plank sequences ad nauseam. Not only did I not feel like I was getting the proper instruction but I also felt like she was trying too hard to be a yogi.
Sunday’s class wasn’t any different.
She started by dissecting the OM. Or as she likes to say, Ah. Om. Mmm. She kept sounding it out like that over and over throughout class. As we readied ourselves to chant the three oms that begin each class she whipped out a harmonium. Oh yes, she did. And she played it while we chanted and then sang the Anusara invocation. It was horribly distracting because it sounded awful. There is something magical in the group chant- the voices ringing out in a singular, communal sound- but with the harmonium, the beauty of the voices was drowned out.
And that was just the beginning.
As class went on, she kept the air conditioning off but the lone door propped open with a singular box fan. In a packed room of at least 40 yoga students with temperatures reaching the 90s outside, she ran us through the first 20 minutes of class without any AC. WTF? Does she think this is Bikram? Finally, God bless her, a fellow student requested that the air be turned back on. BUT! The teacher never closed the door to the outside thus making the AC only partially effective.
For those who have taken yoga, you know that proper instruction is key to being successful in class. You’re bending your body in unlikely positions so you need a teacher who can both encourage and thoroughly describe how to pose your limbs. This teacher is not that person. Her instructions go something like:
Lift with your inner thighs! Point your pelvis towards the windows! Lower your seat! Use your inner feet to root up while your heart lifts, lifts, lifts. Feel the “ahhhh” and the “ohhhh”. Good! Now reach back with your heart but push forward with your hand. Keep your eyes soft, soft, soft. That’s the “mmmmm”.
And that was all for just one pose. Said in rapid-fire speak.
During a pause in the action, I look at Supple and said something like, “I want you to lift your vagina but push back with your butt.” She tried not to laugh too loudly. Then she was all, “I want you to take your breasts and reach them through your armpits towards your shoulder blades.” Then I was all, “Take your butt cheeks and make them expansive and soft. Lift with your big toe and feel the stretch.”
At least we had a laugh over it.
Don’t get me wrong- I love yoga. A good yoga class is akin to church to me. But this teacher is not my guru or my cup of tea. Not with her harmonium and her rambling, esoteric instructions. I’ll be skipping any class she is teaching from here on out.