Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guest Teacher

Before heading to yoga last night, I checked to see who was teaching the class.  I saw a new name as a sub for the teacher I mentioned in the previous post.  There was no bio on the site for the sub, so I searched for any info on him.  He apparently ran Bikram studio in Nepal; that studio is closed now according to the site.  I was pretty curious as to how the students would respond to an Indian male teacher; the male teachers thus far have been Asian.  With a good number of the students being Indian, I thought they might step up their game a bit...complete speculation on my part.  

The speculation turned out to be pretty dead on.  In most classes, there are a few Indian guys who get all flummoxed and sit out some postures.  A few Indian women also leave the room with some frequency.  Some of the people who normally sit out postures or leave the room were in the class, but no one was sitting down or leaving the class.  It also helped that the owner of the studio practiced with us, which hasn't happened in the three months I've been practicing there.

But let me get to the real reason for this post.  With any activity you do, there are certain considerations made, like putting a towel down when using a machine at the gym or waiting until someone finishes gathering his/her things before claiming a treadmill.  Yoga has its own set of considerations, like where to put your mat or how to stagger your position when the class is crowded.

Mat position is pretty important to me because I like to see myself in the mirror without having other people clutter my gaze.  Because this is important to me, I get to class about 15 minutes ahead of time, and I put my mat in the front row. Having that kind of consistency lets me focus on my practice rather than on the things around me, like the person in front of me who is sitting out a posture.  

When putting your mat down, there is another consideration, the seams in the front mirror.  I don't want to look forward for an entire class with half of my body in one mirror and half in the other; it's unsettling and distracting.  For last night's class, I purposely put my mat as close to the seam as possible without actually being on it; the seam was to my right.  This allows people behind me to avoid the seam as well as the class would have to be uber-crowded for someone behind me to have to be on the seam.  

There was a spoken guideline in the Longwood studio that the people in the front row don't have to adjust their mats to allow the people behind them to see themselves.  If you are in the back row, you adjust not the other way around.  I'm not sure if this is a Bikram thing, but knowing his "my way or the highway" attitude, I'm guessing it's a Bikram thing.

So in last night's class, there was one latecomer who arrived about 10 minutes late; we were already in Half Moon.  She comes to the empty area in the second row behind me.  Keep in mind that she chose that spot.

After about 30 minutes (beginning of Standing Head to Knee), the Latecomer walks up to me and starts talking to me.  This is totally not cool on so many levels.  She asks me if I'll move to the right so that she can see more of herself in the mirror.  Shouldn't she have figured all that out when she put her mat down in the first place?  

Moving right would put me dead on the seam I purposefully avoided.  I told her no...I don't want to be on the seam.  Based on our configuration when she arrived, she could see herself; plus she could have stood a little to the left on her mat and had a better view without bothering me.  This was not apparently an option for her.  She had to interrupt class and my practice to ask me to move.  I think she was stunned by my response as she went back to her mat for a few seconds.  Then she turned to the Asian Lady behind her and asked her to move to her left.  Obviously, all this chatter disrupted the class.  The teacher asked if everything was ok over there.  The Asian Lady was pissed but moves anyway.

So after the disruptions, she now has what she wants.  You would think that seeing herself was the key to having a kick ass practice.  Uh no...she was all over the place, going into and out of postures at her own pace, and huffing and puffing while rubbing her stomach.  Too much drama! 

Aside from noticing that bit of drama, I had a great class.  I was not about to let her steal my peace.  If you let someone steal your peace, you are the loser.

Conery asked if she was waiting for me in the parking lot for a post-yoga rumble.  Alas, there was no such confrontation.  For the record, I totally could have taken her.


  1. It seems like you really take it seriously as opposed to others. Honestly, it's very impressive.

  2. The "unspoken rules" are kinda what freak me out about any organized exercise activity.

  3. Nice job grasshopper. What I'm hearing is you could have kicked her halfmoon into a lotus position. Gwon...snatch that pebble sista!

  4. Oh man! You shoulda had a throw-down!!! She was disrespectin' you!! ; )