I have gotten into quite a little routine over at my Bikram yoga studio. I’ve shared parts of my life with certain teachers, and have gotten used to their style of leading the classes. While much of the class is scripted, the words sound different when different people’s energies say things like “bend beyond your flexibility,” or “struggle harder, don’t give up.” Two of my favorite instructors (one who happens to own the studio) have this subtle sense of humor that they infuse into the sessions, and I enjoy when they point out both things we’re doing well and things we can improve on while we’re doing our asanas.
So, much to my surprise, I showed up at my most recent class and there was a teacher I hadn’t yet met. Somewhat disappointed, I made her acquaintance, and headed on in to the studio. I figured, that just like all the other instructors I had experienced, that this class would be pleasantly challenging with a twist of humor.
But I was wrong. Sure I got used to it by the end of class, but her method of delivery was rapid-fire fast and more like a bootcamp drill seargent than a mild mannered yoga instructor. I had heard about bikram’s bent toward a more Crossfit/bootcamp/competition bent, but had yet to experience that in this studio. I’d always felt challenged, but not stupid. And while the instructor never called me out (either good or bad), it was the subtle comments like “party’s over” when we were supposed to be done with the first water break, or actually saying “no water now Amy,” to a woman who was taking a sip right before camel. Good intentions, and a warning I’ve heard before (because it can induce vomiting), but the delivery style felt grating and harsh and shaming.
I didn’t like it.
It’s not enough to keep me from going, though I’m praying that she won’t be scheduled as the regular Thursday Night instructor. While I’m sure I would learn something about myself, my body, perseverance, determination, etc., I’d prefer to do it in a room with a little more humor.