I teach a beginning yoga class. An actual for beginners never stepped onto a yoga mat class. I’ve done the comps. I’m the only beginning yoga class for miles. A lot of yoga class descriptions say, “We welcome all levels of students.” It’s bullshit.
Many of my beginning yoga clients have experienced the unspoken rejection of their newbie presence. It takes a while, but some of them finally work up the courage to try yoga again. When they do they discover my beginning class.
“I’ve tried yoga several different times at different studios. You’re the first teacher to actually help me do yoga.”
To be honest with you most yoga classes are for yoga people. It’s like they sprouted their hippy hoodoo asses up out of the ground knowing how to do yoga. I have all kinds of issues with the type of yoga these folks are teaching. Not this month’s topic but the lack of help for beginners is a whole different topic.
Here’s the deal, after a masters degree in Education and ten years in the classroom, it’s good practice to adapt your instruction to the lowest twenty percent of students. This is particularly good advice in a yoga class, and it should be required in a beginning yoga class.
“I’ve seen this pose on the cover of that magazine. I never thought I’d be able to do it! You are amazing!”
I have clients who come to my beginning class because it is at eight a.m. They need to start their day. Because my classes are drop-in, I never know who is going to be on the mat. If I have an eighty-year-old newbie (and it has happened), then we’re all moving as fast as an eighty-year-old. And you know what?
My peeps are okay with it.
I spend my time walking around the room and helping folks find the right alignment for their body. I can demonstrate all day and it doesn’t mean my clients will understand how to move. Like my regular Charlie said the other day, “I’ve been coming to your yoga classes for over a year now and I’m pretty sure you’ve said so and so at least a hundred times. Today is the first time it made sense to me.”
THAT’S F*cking Yoga.