It’s all very well being next door to a Bikram place, but what if getting hot and sweaty just doesn’t rock your boat? Likewise, Restorative sessions might not be the ticket for the most active among us. Or you might just like more variety in your yoga diet.
And, oh goodness, even with my limited experience, there are classes I’ve been to which scared the heeby-jeebies out of me. I don’t want to paint a tragic self portrait, but I’m, frankly, not your model type yoga practitioner.
My legs do not come up to here and stretch out around my ears. I don’t have a washboard stomach or sculpted muscles. I don’t have smooth pale Snow White skin or the bronzed beauty of a Goa beach bum. My hair does not ripple over my back like an ebony sea or hang in Rapunzel’s golden rope. I passed my twenties some (many) years ago.
I can’t handstand. Can’t often headstand. Can’t always crow. My hips aren’t that open and my balance imperfect. Sometimes in inhale when I should exhale. Goodness, even my down dog isn’t beyond reproach.
One place I went to, everyone else, it seemed, had just stepped out of a catalogue. And they practiced as if handstand to chaturanga were the easiest thing in the world. It was like going to a spinning class only to find myself on the Tour de France.
That kind of thing does not increase one’s self-confidence, I find. Look, I know we all need to expand our comfort zone, but come on. There are limits.
It’s just as bad the other way, of course – to feel that you’re practice is constrained in a class that doesn’t test you enough.
This is not to suggest that actually GOING to yoga can’t be good. Frankly, the right classes are the best way to practice. The right level of challenge; the right support; adjustments and guidance.
My teacher, Ness, at home in my provincial town, fits my bill perfectly. But I can only get to one of her classes a week. I do manage a trip to Indaba now and then with a yoga buddy who loves the vibe there. That, though, is as good as it gets without turning my timetable inside out and my life upside down.
As good as it gets got a good deal better with my MML subscription. I’m spoiled for choice and loving it!