Ever since my dear friend and freshman year roommate became a yoga instructor as one of her many side hustles, I’ve kept a scrappy and mildly inconsistent yoga practice up. As much of my fitness, I am somewhere in between a beginner and an intermediate. I can’t say that I have 1-2 years of consistent practice, nor can I do arm balances and full inversions (the latter mainly out of fear of breaking my neck), and have struggled to find a good studio (RE: affordable) to go to. While my buddy was around, she taught free community yoga classes about 2 blocks from my apartment, and while there are other instructors who continue the practice after she went to traipse across SE Asia for three months, I honestly did not like them as much.
Not knowing too much about local yoga studios, and just wanting to find a place to go once a week for cheap, I bought a Livingsocial deal for 12 classes for $12 at a studio about a 25 min walk away (or two metro stops if I’m lazy). At first, I enjoyed it – decent location, crowd, and instructors, but lately, it has been a little frustrating. The studio has these Groupon/Amazonlocal/Livingsocial deals fairly frequently and thus barely any classes are open. I try to register online weeks in advance for a class I want to attend, and they are all booked. I keep checking everyday to see if there are any last minute cancellations, but if there are, they are swooped up by someone else. I can’t even book the classes I want! I usually go to an all levels vinyasa flow since I know beyond what a beginner’s yoga class would cover (and I get annoyed if my workout isn’t what I expected), but I’m not quite ready for intermediate classes yet (no arm balances and full inversions for this one, though the latter is due to the fear of snapping my neck if I fell). Though I did sign up for two intermediate level classes for next week at awful times in the evening as they were the only ones open! Now I can’t walk to/from the studio since it will be dark and the neighborhoods are not safe.
I managed to snag a hot yoga class last week. As it was my first time, I googled what I needed to wear – consensus on the internet was to wear tight fitting yoga tank and booty shorts, and bring a towel. I immediately felt self conscious walking into the class, as most people had pants and long sleeves on!! Do they not sweat???
Anyway, I really wanted to like this class, and I enjoyed the actual time we spent practicing yoga, but there was a couple things that bothered me.
1) 5-7 minutes at the beginning of an hour class spent lecturing on hippie yogi stuff. I enjoy a line or two about intention and joy here and there, but save the frou frou and just start the practice!
2) Way too long of a savasana! Like I said, it is an hour class, so it’s pretty short already – I feel cheated if savasana is 15 minutes, and plus the indoctrination at the beginning, there was only around 40 minutes of actual practice. A couple participants were even snoring – I felt like I was in kindergarden nap time again and everyone was asleep while I was fidgeting and wondering what I was doing there.
3) Very hands off instructor. It’s fine if the instructor doesn’t demo most of the poses, or physically help people into them, but I expect to be corrected when I’m doing something wrong. The girl next to me was pushing herself too hard, to the point of contorting her back in a very unnatural way trying to reach her hand to the ground in side angle, instead of using a block. Instructor said nothing, despite us being in the front row.
4) I didn’t even sweat as much as a regular vinyasa class I took at the same studio.
I’d honestly rather save the metro fare (which is more than the pack of classes ha) and do a free Fiji McAlpine class in my living room. I go because I want to be corrected and I believe yoga isn’t something you can “teach yourself” in your living room without that guidance and community. I hope that I’ll find both the challenge and the growth I am looking for in the more intermediate level classes next week.