Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What sustains you from the inside...

An observation on my yoga practice:

When I first moved from Boston to the (unnamed!) town where I live now, I hated the yoga studio here. It suffered SO badly in comparison to my old studio. In my opinion, Boston just has phenomenal Bikram yoga studios, by-the-book, dialogue driven, brilliant teachers, beautiful practice rooms, huge community - I really had it all there. I was close to all the instructors, especially the studio owners, and I think I kinda broke their hearts when I told them I was leaving cause they'd had visions of me going to teacher training and coming back to teach for them full time. Anyway... my new studio drove me NUTS. I thought the instructors were TERRIBLE. I thought their dialogue was ALL WRONG. I basically couldn't focus on my own practice for months cause I would get so distracted by my own back seat driving, spending half of the class thinking about all the things I thought the teacher should be doing/saying differently and leaving in a lousy mood.

I knew I had to get over this.

What I just realized is that I pretty much HAVE gotten over it.

I realized this after class last night when a yoga acquaintance of mine from out of town came and took class with me. It was fun. I had a great practice. I loved the teacher, I appreciated a ton of the things that she said, and I pretty much just tuned out the few technical points that I didn't agree with, because that's not my problem. Was totally happy with the class. After the class, my visiting yoga buddy wrote to me saying it was one of the worst classes he'd ever taken and he was never coming back.


Back in September, that might have been my reaction too.

So what's changed? Have I (*gasp!*) lost my standards?

No. That's not it at all. I just gradually, finally, let it go. I still hear when things are off, I still notice the problems, and I still would like to do something about them, but now it flows off me and around. Like oil off a duck!! Hah. But seriously. Not all the time, but most of the time, I am unperturbed. Unperturable. Nobody steals my peace. My practice is my practice, and sometimes it's great, and sometimes it's a hot mess, and sometimes it's just ok, but it's MINE.



hannahjustbreathe said...

Ummmm, HELLO????!!!! Isn't this how we got to being such good blog/Facebook buddies?! YOU convincing ME that the Boston studios were just as good as my DC studio?! Sooo interesting to read your own experience, because as you know, I was there, too. Fully.

And you're right--it all comes down to learning to let go, recognizing your practice is yours (regardless of teacher, location, studio), and accepting what you have to work with rather than pining for what's lost or simply unavailable.

We all get there. Just in our own good time. :)

thedancingj said...

Hahaha... YES, I know! "Tonight, on VH1's behind the music... the OTHER side of the story... *cue dramatic music* " Love the parallel lives...

The Missus said...

This is my fear for when I move to Toronto... That the teachers will be nothing like what I am used to.

When in Amsterdam last month, class was ridiculously easy. It wasn't hot, and they purposely did poses differently. (Who tells a student NOT to use their towel for Rabbit pose?)

I, like you, will have to get over it if the Toronto Bloor studio is completely different than BYB. But I LOVE that the teachers in Boston stick strictly with the dialogue.

thedancingj said...

Ah - well, fingers crossed for Toronto! I feel like I know a lot of good Bikram yogis from that area, so hopefully you will get some solid instruction up there! I know that you pretty much already know what you're doing at this point, but it is always nice when the instructors work WITH you... :-/

miss m. said...

i know this an old post, but it's such a true idea: unhappiness does come from comparisons, from the ongoing war with reality. i spent an entire year miserable in a really beautiful, nice city, because it wasn't where i wanted to be. you bikram people are so wise!

thedancingj said...

Good thing I get email notifications on all my comments. ;) It's funny to re-read this post; I really was still finding my feet as a writer here, but the idea is right! Thank you for reading (everything)!

Meanwhile, I can't believe you just said "unhappiness comes from comparisons," since that is PRECISELY what I am gearing up to write about this weekend. We are on the same vibration...