Registration… and Resignation

June 27, 2008 at 6:56 am | Posted in learning and growing, poses and asana, questions and conundrums | 2 Comments

First, the “registration” part:

I’m officially registered with Yoga Alliance. In the big picture, I’m not entirely sure what that gets me, exactly, except a cool sticker like the one you see here. I also know I can get decent (and cheap) liability insurance through the alliance, and it’s something fun to put on my resume and business cards, but beyond that, I’m not sure what else it’s good for.

Now, on to the “resignation” part.

I was going to try to keep this an entirely positive place – to not use this space to vent or complain – but when I thought about it, I realized that the Universe craves balance and that, sometimes, a little venting is a healthy thing. Here, then, is my current frustration which I am trying, with varying degrees of success, to resign myself to:

I taught three yoga classes yesterday for three different colleagues at my health club. It started with a class at 5:45 (which, despite the obscenity of the hour, was actually kind of fun), continued through a 9:30 a.m. class, then finished up with a 5:30 class that I’ve subbed several times before. Well, in the evening class, there was someone I’ve not yet encountered, and he frustrated the CRAP out of me.

I don’t mind working with people who are totally “into” yoga. I like their dedication and I think it’s fun to compare notes about our respective practices.

What I DON’T like, however, are people who are SO into yoga that they think they know more than the instructor – especially when they don’t.

Here’s the thing – if I’m giving a corrective cue, PLEASE assume I’m talking to YOU, especially if I keep giving the SAME corrective cue over and over.

Dude over by the windows kept putting himself in the ugliest lunges I’ve seen in a long time. I reminded everyone – over and over again – to make sure their hips were under their shoulders (“don’t hang out over your front knee”) and that their knees were BEHIND their toes. Dude kept leaning out over his knee, which was WELL forward of his toes. Exactly what he thought he was stretching, I do not know, but I do know that he was putting that knee at pretty substantial risk by leaving it out there.

Don’t even get me STARTED on his upward dog.

When I started wandering around the room, offering adjustments, he yanked himself right out of the pose we were doing, so it was pretty obvious he didn’t want my help.

It took me a while to disengage from this. Part of me – the teacher part who cares about the well-being and success of my students – wanted to get right into it with this guy and explain to him that I wasn’t just talking to hear my own voice. There are a lot of good reasons why I’m instructing the class to do these poses in this particular way. The other part of me – the yogini part who understands that I can’t walk anyone else’s path for them – wanted to honor Dude’s right to (ab)use his body in whatever way he saw fit.

I’ll tell you what, though – teacher and yogini? They can really duke it out sometimes.



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  1. The cool thing about being a martial arts instructor is that I can smack Dude-that-don’t-listen. =)

  2. This is too funny. I totally can relate to your “cuing” frustrations.

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