Friday, April 23, 2010

Not very yogic.

This week was a break from my regular teaching schedule where I had a Thursday night off.  I love this as I normally attend my favorite yoga class with Kat.  Last night was no different a free Thursday and off I went.  The class was peppered with yoga teachers from my teacher training and some of their friends as well.

In walked another yoga teacher as the class was filling up and it was getting packed.  She asked a group of women to move their mats over a few inches so that she could fit in.  They refused and said "let the teacher handle it".  Their attitude was a bit harsh as well.  I mean obviously there was not much room left in the class and there were more people coming.  I thought are you five years old and need an adult to tell you what to do.  What the heck...?  The woman looking for more space gave up and went somewhere else.  Sure enough the room got fuller, Kat returned, and these women had to move. 

I was thinking where is the lesson here?  Aparigraha maybe?  Perhaps these women were so very attached to the spot that they picked and with being beside each other, that the thought of moving was scary?  Tapas?  Maybe they had a burning desire to be in the very spot that they had chosen so that moving inches would throw their practice off completely?  Who knows, all I saw was three very rude women who were probably only into the asana part of yoga and weren't beyond that yet.

I also thought back to some of the things I have heard other yoga teachers talk about, like for instance the fact that yoga mats are a fairly new phenomenon (if you can call it a phenomenon).  Historically people would practice in a place and that personal space was all that mattered.  I wonder what would happen if a teacher asked all the students to roll up their mats and practice on the floor?  Anarchy in the yoga studio I am sure!  I sometimes practice at home without a mat under me and I do find it freeing.  I am not confined to the four corners of my mat.  I return to the front of my space instead of my mat.  I practice all around my room and am not concerned with where I was last time or where I am now, I just am.

I wonder if these three women read my blog.  If not they should and maybe they might try practicing in their own space and not be overly concerned with the placement of their mat.

Hari Om,


  1. Great post! And notice and relax and know that we have no idea what was going on for the person who seemed to be attached to their spot. Sometimes having something really regular can support someone in their practice and can be the difference between them coming or not.

    And it's great for you to think about mats and placement and what if we got rid of the mats for a night? Whoohoo! That'd be like going braless or something radical. No space structures and everything falling all over the place. Could be a lot of fun!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Jamine - if you have a "no mats class" I would come!