Cue irritating rant…
After years of attending countless yoga classes in multiple cities I have come to the conclusion that most yoga instructors are full of crap. Reasons:
- They don’t actually have any conviction in what they are saying. It sounds like a script, something they were told to believe and repeat. Nothing that actually drives the way they think or act. You can hear it in their voice. It’s empty.
- Many of the things they say don’t ACTUALLY make any sense. Have you ever listened to the sentences that come out of their mouth while you’re trying your hardest to maintain balance in Warrior 3?
- They sing, they talk, they give an example of the full expression of a certain pose to a beginner’s class. I’m sure all the intimidated and wide-eyed students really love hearing you talk while holding your Bird of Paradise while they struggle to hold their extended side angle pose. I really, really think they do.
It’s ego. It’s not supposed to exist in yoga. Sometimes yoga is supposed to foster communal support and unity as well as an individual meditation and practice. We support each other. We respect others’ space. We give off our good and loving energy. I’ve never felt like yoga practice was an ideal time to show off, talk about nothingness that applies to no one, or share your newly mastered guitar solo of that one Creed song.
I’ve had yoga teachers tell me to get in downward dog and send my “pretty ass up in the air”. I’ve had them say stuff like, “Reach inside of yourself, look and see, the falling of the conscious mind and exploration of the primal soul will bring you up into the light. The light that is within and all around.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!!??!?! I’ve had yoga teachers that have insisted that doing the pose correctly doesn’t matter. Being in alignment is not as important asyour intention. That form is just a physical reality and that it’s the yoga of the mind that brings “awareness and light”. I’ve had yoga teachers who have little lapel microphones in a class of 25 and sing the words of the songs that are playing into the microphone as class is running.
To be fair, there are a lot of yoga instructors that care a great deal about their practice. They dedicate a lot of time to learning and gaining experience in helping teach people proper form and breathing. They contribute useful insights that help you understand yourself a bit better. The give encouragement to treat others kindly during your day. They are experts and you don’t know because they show off, you know because yoga is their life and they exude expertise without ever having to do a master sequence in front of you.
This is why I keep doing yoga. Because I see that sometimes, when you do it right, it brings out the best in you. I feel energized after. My muscles crave the release from the constant heavy lifting of CrossFit. It keeps me limber and connected to my breath. It’s encouraging. It helps me maintain a close relationship with my own body. The only body that God gave me. I want to take care of it. And yoga is part of the way that I take care of myself.
There are free yoga classes in a park close to my work in Hollywood. I’m going to start going before class because it’s the best of both worlds… it’s yoga AND it’s outdoors. Two things that I miss while I’m inside working.
So, ignore the silly yogis and pay attention to the good ones.
Thanks for listening to my rant.