This is a weird post to make because it should be a good thing, but it really just kind of pisses me off.
Timely jokes. I bring all the funny.
The lead-up to today’s yoga class had a lot of classic markers for “things are gonna suck.” It had been almost a month (4 weeks, to be specific) since I’d gone to a yoga class and 3 weeks since I’d done yoga at all. In the interim, I’d been very inactive because of rogue neck pain and the holidays (a different pain in the neck).
A long layoff from ashtanga and yoga in general isn’t good, but that wasn’t even the main problem. What was? Leg day.
When I lift, there’s no true leg day because I don’t go often enough for only one area of work. Every lifting day is leg day. This one just happened to include squats after a long break from them. Nothing crazy, but my legs were dead this morning.
Legs are shot? Shoulders are tired? Long break from class? All in all, this is a recipe for disaster. My expectations for class were pretty clear:
And forever my favorite thing about this video will be the person who clicked play in their office with the speakers on.
I’m getting off topic.
But yeah, I was expecting to ride the struggle bus in class. You can also add that there were flurries while I was driving in and class is heated to 90 degrees. Just a weird day.
And what happened? Nothing really. And that was the disappointing part.
My legs feel like crap. My shoulders aren’t feeling fantastic. And I did every vinyasa for class (including more than what the teacher had set out for us). And I feel fine. Bleh.
I was expecting to feel dead. And nothing.
Optimistically, it’s just me being in better shape. Despite being heavier than I should be, I’ve been lifting consistently and doing yoga just consistently enough that some progress should be expected.
But I’m not an optimistic person.
No, class was just a bit off.
Maybe it was the students.
When I got there, someone was waiting in their car even though it looked like the teacher was already there. That’s weird. And with it being so cold that polar bears noped out of that situation, I thought we might be the only two people in class, so I set up in the front so as to not awkwardly set up in the back for no apparent reason. After a quick restroom stop (nothing is worse than doing twists with a full bladder), I get back in the room to find that class is now as full as I’ve ever seen it. Guess some folks are starting early on the new year, new me business (all kidding aside, they seemed to all be in good shape, and I’m just angry my body isn’t dead-tired from class. I have issues).
So class was full and I was in a spot in the room I’m not used to, which messes with me more than it should, but you know, that wasn’t really the problem.
It was the teacher. It’s always the teacher.
I can take a crappy class with a good teacher, but I will avoid a bad one like the plague.
What’s handy is the studio has an up-to-date listing of classes with the teacher. This is how I see them cancel my class half the time less than 24 hours before it’s supposed to be taught. But the teacher listing only works if it’s accurate. This class lists the same teacher each time. Of the 7 times I’ve gone, that person has taught it once or twice.
In other words, the picky yogi goes in blind every week.
Luckily, the other two people who’ve taught it so far have been great (and I actually like them better than the listed person).
No such luck this week.
It was a new person. Not inherently bad because everyone is new to me here, but man did I get a bad vibe off her. Not like bad-person vibe but more a we-aren’t-going-to-get-along vibe. Wrong energy. For someone with a Ph.D., it feels really weird to type that, but that’s the only way to describe it.
I’m guessing you know what I mean. You meet someone, they seem like a nice person, and you know 100% they’re not someone you should be around.
But the nice thing about ashtanga is that it’s technically supposed to be the same thing every time, so the teacher difference gets mitigated. Now practically speaking, it isn’t. Each teacher focuses on their own thing (breathing, core, etc.) and each class only gets most of the practice because 90 minutes isn’t enough time unless everyone in the class knows what they’re doing and we’re not pausing for instructions. But all in all, you know what to expect from class.
Despite doing this same practice for two years, today still threw me off. There were the times she skipped poses. There was the time she added a non-ashtanga pose in. There was skipping the vinyasa between sides once we were seated (these are the bonus ones I did that I had to fly through for reasons to be explained).
All of that? I could live with. No, the thing that drove me insane was her version of counting.
Generally, yoga is done by breaths. In most classes, you won’t really notice it, but every ashtanga class I’ve done has been paced that way, whether the teacher emphasizes slow breathing or letting people go at their own pace.
It started weird. In the sun salutation series, we did three rounds that seemed fairly normal before she wanted us to slow down to a 4-count for each breath. Ok, that’s fine. You want us to slow down. That’s going to hurt, but I get it. So 3 regular, 2 slowdowns for A and B. Weird that we didn’t just do it the whole time, but maybe it’s to get us to used to the movement before focusing on breathing.
Things just got weirder. When we were doing the rest of the series, she was working off a 5-count. That gels with typical ashtanga. You do 5 breaths for each pose (mostly). Except her version of the 5-count was paced the same as a 4-count for each breath (i.e., 5 counts, not 5 breaths). This meant that we were in each pose about two-and-a-half breaths.
And this is why I had to rush vinyasas when we were switching sides in the seated part or I risked missing the pose.
There were other quirks, but they’re not worth mentioning. The counting system was… different.
I’ll avoid that teacher forever. Just kidding. I’ll have no effing idea when they’re teaching because I don’t know their name because they don’t update the online schedule and even if I knew their name, it wouldn’t matter because THEY DON’T UPDATE THE ONLINE SCHEDULE.
I’m gonna watch Netflix now. Happy New Year, party people. I swear I’m not actually that angry, just restless.