Saturday, August 6 11am & 1pm
Ok guys, I hate to do this, but I’m gonna get a little gossipy and a LOT snarky with you for a sec…
It’s ok, right? I mean we’re all friends here. And what’s a little yoga venting and all-around snarky-ness amongst friends, right? Right?!
Ok, well if you’re easily offended by snark or just don’t want to hear me rant and rave and blow off steam, you can click here to be re-directed to something much happier... If you’re curious as to what’s got my hot pants in such a bunch, read on…
Still with me? Ok, good. So here’s the deal. There’s this teacher in our area…
Oh yes, I TOLD you it was going to be gossipy!
He doesn’t teach at our studio too often, but he teaches around town a good deal. He has a reputation for being super intense, and keeping the room super hot. I can attest to both of these things; he taught the third class I ever took. It was packed to capacity and—I found out later—the thermostat reached 120 degrees. In other words, for this Bikram newbie it was hell on earth.
HEY, WELCOME TO BIKRAM YOGA, RIGHT?!?
Anyway, this teacher is widely respected and has a bit of a cult-like following. For me, I find him a SMIDGE on the too-serious side.
Yeah, that’s right, I like my yoga with a side of comedy, please and thank you very much!
This teacher dude is very impressive to everyone, including the other teachers. And when HE takes THEIR classes, they… well, they change. Just a little. It’s very subtle. But I take a lot of classes, so I notice. And really, I don’t get it. Maybe they feel like they have to impress him? Or they want his approval? Or they feel like it’s an honor that he’s there and they don’t want to disappoint him? I don’t know. It’s VERY weird.
So lately this teacher dude has been taking Favorite Teacher’s class, and—funny thing!—whenever he does, her class is always mysteriously: a) approximately 20% harder b) approximately 35% more intense, and c) at least 5-10 degrees hotter than it is when he’s NOT there.
(I’m thinking of making an excel spreadsheet correlating all these variables with his presence. WHAT? No YOU’RE a nerd!)
Anyway—OOOH, here comes the snark!—this drives me. Fucking. INSANE.
YOU GUYS. Why, why, WHY does class have to change just because of ONE person? I mean, I don’t mind a hard class. Or a hot class. Or a hot AND hard class! But it drives me freaking BANANAS when I go in expecting class to be one way, you know, based on the way the teacher NORMALLY teaches, and it ends up being ANOTHER way, just based on ONE FREAKING PERSON who JUST HAPPENS TO BE TAKING CLASS. I mean HELLO! There are other people in this room too! Who are STUDENTS. Who take this class ALL THE TIME. Who are NOT super intense teachers that like the room face-meltingly hot!
I know. I shouldn’t get upset over ridiculousness like this, I mean it’s just YOGA. It’s just a CLASS, right? And it’s not even that different, it’s just a little harder and a little hotter! What’s the big deal?
Well, the big deal is, I like to be prepared. I like to know what’s coming. This is probably why I enjoy Bikram yoga and not something less predictable, like beach volleyball or bungee jumping. I like to know HOW HOT the room will be, and HOW HARD the class will be and EXACTLY WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO, and even OMMIGOD WHAT I’M GOING TO EAT FOR DINNER AFTER CLASS!
Yes! I like things settled and sorted and organized and planned in advance. Surprises? Not so much for me, thanks.
So when I find myself—as I did today—in Favorite Teacher’s class, surprised by the presences of one particular yoga dude and the corresponding increase in difficulty level, intensity and heat, I get ANNOYED. In fact, I spend most of the class being annoyed. Yes, I am SO good at being annoyed that I will take the energy I SHOULD be putting into doing the poses and divert it into BEING ANNOYED!
I stand in my little back corner and silently fume for 90 minutes and try not to give the teacher dirty looks but really in my mind all I can think is OMMIGOD STOP PLAYING FAVORITES AND OPEN THE GODDAM WINDOW FOR GOD’S SAKE JESUS FREAKING CHRIST ON THE CROSS VIRGIN MARY AND JOSEPH!!!
I’m SUCH a good yogi, right? SIGH.
You guys, here’s the deal: the problem in this scenario? It isn’t really the heat. Or the difficulty of the class. Or this random yoga dude who shows up to class. Or the teachers who get weird about it. The problem, of course, is me. More precisely, me and my inability to just GET THE FUCK OVER IT. Which is really what yoga is all about.
And yoga can be funny. Sometimes it teaches you things within the poses themselves. But the more you practice, the more you realize that OH SHIT!, maybe yoga is trying to teach you things ALL THE TIME. So the fact that this class isn’t what I expect isn’t a DETRIMENT to my practice, it IS my practice. It’s a practice in how to deal with the unexpected, how to release expectations, and how to keep the peace in my mind even when my natural instinct is to be SO FREAKING ANNOYED I CAN’T SEE STRAIGHT.
Of course it’s not easy. But neither is executing a proper Standing Bow. And hey, neither is LIFE. But that’s why we PRACTICE.
WOW you guys. This yoga stuff be CRAZY, ammiright?