Starting my day with yoga is usually a very uplifting experience. But, today’s class did not energize me as much as usual and the main reason was because of the instructor. I really feel that the yog or yogini can make or break your yoga experience. Some may argue this point, but I’ll give you a first-hand example.
Me, working on my yoga balance in my backyard.
I am use to a very centered, down-to-earth instructor who is quite challenging but also helps you as much as you need during each session. My usual yogini, we’ll call her Kate, always has a positive attitude, a smile on her face, and seems to really love teaching yoga classes. Her positive energy really flows to the class too. This is obvious when you see the many relationships she’s built with her students and her class is always full. So, each week when I attend class, I know that I am going to leave feeling even better than I did when I walked in the door.
At last week’s class, “Kate” mentioned that she would not be teaching the class today and that she would arrange a fill-in yoga instructor, we’ll call her “Lori”. So, I headed into class today, still very sleepy, but ready for a super-charged class. The class was unusually bare, only about 4 people in there other than myself. When 8 AM rolled around and there was no instructor to be seen, I began to wonder if there would even be class today. But then, in walks “Lori”. I took one look at her and my heart sunk. She was the yoga instructor I had about 5 years ago when I first started practicing yoga. She is not at all upbeat and seems to always be distracted and in a bad mood.
How I wish my yoga class looked !
Today, she looked even more rushed and distracted than I had remembered. She said that she was finishing up with another client (apparently she had a personal training session right before class) and that she’d be a few minutes late, then walked out of the room. I debated on whether I should walk out right after her but began talking to a fellow classmate and couldn’t make my tactful escape.
“Lori” finally started class at 8:05 AM and took us through a series of basic sun salutations, not very challenging, yet somehow her pattern seemed disjointed. She would leave us in poses for what seemed like forever, while she fiddled with the music or looked out the window. And, not once did she come over to me or anyone else in the class to help with poses, which really seemed odd to me. I stuck with it through the entire class, making myself do extra deep stretches and take extra deep breaths. After 50 minutes of sneaking peaks at the clock, class was finally wrapping up. We all went into savasana and Lori promptly left the room! I assume she had more important things to do. She came back in, literally, five minutes later to sit and say Namaste.
Now I know that every yoga class can’t be an out-of-body experience, but I expect a little more from my yogini than what I got today. I am debating whether I want to let my usual yogi know that her temporary replacement was less than professional. But, after I thought about it, one of the principles of yoga is that you should always think positive and keep a positive attitude. So, I think I will keep my negativity to myself for the time being. But, if “Lori” walks into my Saturday class again, I’m walking to the nearest exit.