Thursday, March 26, 2009

Finally...a decent practice

Yesterday, I went to a Mysore session that shall remain nameless (EXCEPT to say that it was not the Good Doc), and it was so bad, so so so bad, so horrifically bad that I just wanted to SCREAM. But I kept my counsel. Let me just say that the teacher in question is a very angry and hostile person at this point, and really needs to not be teaching (now, how could that be the Good Doc, who is a master at getting students to do the practice exactly the way he wants it done without ever making it unfun?)

TODAY, however...ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. I went to Val's and it was EXACTLY what I needed and wanted. Friendly faces, a nice warm room, no buzz-kill mentality, no hostility coming off teacher's skin like a stench, and wonderfully delightfully superior assists in Marichyasana D, Supta Kurmasana and Kapotasan. Then, 15 minutes of meditation. Heaven.

Looks like I am going to be checking in weekly for now at Val's and mixing up my Ashtanga with a bit of goal is to get four Ashtanga practices in per week, and on the other three days to just stay active and get at least 40-50 minutes of movement in, which will be really easy now that gardening season is upon me. Yesteray, I spent two and a half hours digging a new path from our basement (which is almost finished...with wood floor for yoga - yay!) walk-out to the front yard. I will post pics, but when I finished working at it yesterday, the light was no longer good. And today, it's rainy and grey out. I think the pics will be fun because they are very very much "before" pics and will hopefully, eventually be followed by some much nicer "after" pics.



cody said...

Dick Cheney is teaching mysore these days?

Anonymous said...

bad session in nyc? floundering myself right now-not happy with options

Yoga Chickie said...

I wish there were a way to privacy protect this one post because I would love to say who the teacher was and what went down without any possibility of hurting anyone's feelings. Unfortunately, blogger doesn't allow that, to my knowledge.

And I can't email you if you don't identify yourself.

SO, I will just say this. It was in the nyc area because that is where I live. And it sucked the joy out of the yoga for me, and left me with the anger that apparently belongs to the teacher. And this isn't like the hot yoga class that I took that sucked. This was Mysore style Ashtanga...and it takes a LOT to make that suck, especially on a drop-in class! I mean, this isn't my teacher. This teacher does not know me or my practice. This teacher has no "power" to give or take away poses. So, really, how bad could it have been??


As I said, the vibe was angry and judgemental and steal-your-joy. I was told not to do "this" because even though it might feel good, it is not going to "help" me. Really?


And I was left waiting in Kurmasana, squashed flat like a bug under my own legs while this teacher chatted with a student, then did dropbacks with someone else, then squashed that someone else in Paschimotannasana. Then this teacher refused to help me bind, instead bullying me into doing it myself, which isn't possible for me right now. Then when this teacher half-heartedly flung my hands towards each other, and I craned my mouth out from the floor and said, "I need my hands tighter in order to do my ankles", this teacher told me, "I can't do that for you. I am not strong enough."

Really??? Because my 9-year old is strong enough. And my 12-year old has been doing it for me since two years ago. And even my husband can do it, and he has no attention span for my instructions.

Eventually, somehow, this teacher found the "strength" to bind me properly, and then forced me to cross my ankles myself...

Then this teacher scrutinized my backbends, which were destroyed by 10 minutes of leg-behind-head turtle-shelling of my back.

Bloody hell.

If you send me an email, I can tell you where you can find this delightful teacher. Otherwise, you'll have to make the same mistake I did...

And, no, Cody, it was not Dick Cheney!!! LOL...

hyla said...

too funny

at least they didn't 'adjust' you into a too-deep-for-a-novice hamstring popping marychiasana b that crippled u for 2 years...

Anonymous said...

I will email you tonight. I was thinking of doing that anyway, even though I don't know you personally. I am the 2nd (anonymous) poster.

sounds awful, I'm sorry. Might not be exactly who I thought, from your description but I'd be interested in knowing.

Anonymous said...


interesting post. I think a teacher would categorize your mysore practice that day as a "drop in" because this was not your consistent teacher. I would assume that an experienced drop in does not expect much, like maybe a little help here and there but I watch advanced mysore teachers barely touch drop ins. What did you expect as a drop in? Does binding matter? Especially when you have a consistent practice like yourself? Or was it that this teacher knows you and had some knowledge of your practice, hence making you expect more from that teacher?

bhaktiyogin said...

That's awful, Yoga Chickie...I feel your pain.
I've only had a couple experiences where a yoga instructors energy and/or dangerous assisting left me angry and confused wondering what karmic energy I must have been projecting to have warranted that behavior. Bottom line, teachers can have bad days, and to be sure, there are really bad yoga teachers out there. Caveat emptor.

Once upon a time I wanted to try a class of the Jivamukti persuasion. I had explained to the instructor that I was healing from a hamstring injuy. Nonetheless she figured that the best way to "help" me heal was to climb on top of my back in paschimottanasa and try to squash my chest and knees together. When I couldn't dissuade her with my grunts of "NO" and words to get off of me....I ended up literally rolling to the side and almost throwing her to the floor. A great yoga experience.

The other noteworthy all-time worst class was in Reno, Nevada...a Vinyasa style class at an alleged Ashtanga studio. As I was a visitor, they wouldn't let me take the primary series class...go figure? The teacher of the vinyasa class literally wouldn't leave me alone. It felt like she wanted to fix every pose, finally knocking me out of Uttita hasta D by poking me between the shoulder blades repeatedly admonishing me to stand up straight. I left there pissed off that I had stayed and not demanded my money back.

These days unless I know the instructor we only take led practices as R&D or for entertainment value. Or as my girlfriend refers to it: "snark" value.


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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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