I'm down on yoga instructors because I had gone to a class where one was really bitchy. I don't pretend to be great at yoga, I like the challenge and the benefits I get from the stretching, because I had taken up distance running and I have a couple of nagging injuries that yoga helps relieve. We were in triangle pose and she was ticked because my arm position wasn't straight up. I mean, really. I don't mind being corrected, but she snapped, "Do you have a shoulder injury or something?" Well, yes, in fact I have a compressed nerve in my left shoulder that is sometimes rather painful, but I prefer not to share that information with the 15 other people in the room. Geez.
There is a better (nicer) instructor who teaches on a different day, and I go to her class occasionally. I figure there is not much point to going to class if the instructor aggravates me.
I agree with you Columbia, MD. AJane, the instructor you worked with was definitely a bad one! I go to two great instructors, both who at the start of each class will ask if anyone is there for the first time, and encourage people either at the start of class or privately to let them know of any injuries or weak areas. They keep those in mind, so if we're doing a pose that could be tough on an injury, they'll mention that anyone who has neck problems for example, should not do it, but should do this modification instead. I have a friend in the class with back problems, and know the instructor even went to him one time when he was trying a pose she thought he shouldn't, and whipsered to him to modify it.
I have been teaching group exercise classes for over 20 years and in fact that is how I make my living... For some reason, I never could get into yoga...I get sooo stressed out! I am definitely a "type A" personality and I think that may have something to do with it. Years ago before yoga became so popular, I taught a class called "Release and Relaxation", it was the most stressful class I taught! At the time I was teaching that particular class, I had two very young children and while holding a stretch, I would be thinking of my son in daycare, car pool, grocery shopping...etc....I just could not let things go...
I find classes like step aerobics or dance type classes to be much more relaxing because I just don't have the time to think about all the things I have to get done....
I remember watching an episode of Jackie Warner's show "Workout" on Bravo where she took an outdoor yoga class, she got so distracted by the birds chirping and she could not relax. I totally related to her in that episode though I could never stand her...lol
I got a relaxation CD a couple of years ago that used "sounds of nature". You'd be listening to this relaxing music and then all of a sudden a cow would moo in your ear. :laugh It made me jump and laugh uncontrollably. The people producing that CD did NOT know what they were doing.
One type of yoga in particular, "yoga nidra," is really relaxing, and when you learn how to do it you go down several levels of consciousness, do not think you hear the instructor (but you do), and when she "commands" you to wake, you do.
Yoga and Pilates are 2 classes in which I focus so hard on the movements and what I'm doing, that I do totally block everything else out. I can't imagine being stressed in Yoga.
I do feel that a good teacher, however, is the key to it.
I want to share that I returned to my yoga class yesterday for the first time since my accident in October. How nice it was to be there and be able to do the poses again. There's nothing like it for me, anyhow!!
:yay I'm so glad you were able to do it! That must have felt great. Remember to take it easy at first. Are you sore?