At least every once in awhile, every long-time yoga student will stall on registering for a “regular weekly class.” And the newcomer or dabbler in yoga probably hesitates even more.
I know. I struggle with this, too.
There’s the putting aside time every week. Getting to the class with all the busy-ness in life, sometimes children or spouse or some other person’s care to consider. The money involved. The resistance to some of what is being offered by the teacher. Perhaps feeling inferior to other students. The opportunity cost: what we could be doing instead. And the popularity of yoga has meant that there has been a proliferation of opportunities from which to choose: so many that we may be paralyzed by the sheer immensity of choice.
The choice of which yoga class to attend is affected by a multitude of factors. We know that convenient location and time are paramount, but serious students may let themselves be significantly inconvenienced to spend time doing what is important to them. For some, the workout quotient is an important factor, while for others it is the relief of pain, the release of tension, the learning or mastering new material, the charisma of the teacher, the spirituality of the place, or the fit with the clientele, or some combination of these.
Some time ago I ceased to attend weekly yoga classes. Part of the decision was due to the shift in the way the more senior teachers with whom I wanted to spend my time were offering their talents: intensive workshops on a less frequent, periodic basis. Another reason was I thought that, surely, with decades of experience under my belt, I didn’t need to be spoon fed the material any longer.
I started to choose occasional events from a multitude of local and international trainings and retreats. That has been a good experience and has broadened my view in a number of ways. For instance, I can see how some styles of yoga suit some personalities and issues better than others, and I have been able to adopt tools and paradigms I wouldn’t otherwise have encountered.
Increasingly, though, I found teachers and people immersed in their special interests, some of which are discordant with my own situation.
I also discovered that I needed a grounding, integrative place for all of that somewhat random experience to come together. That’s were a regular class of some sort really has a role to play.
So, while I don’t attend a weekly class, I do attend periodic weekends with my primary teacher and I have tried to attend the regular weekly classes of another mentor when the timing works for me. For me, the cost isn’t really a factor (although some may think it should be – it adds up!). I choose these teachers’ options because I feel safe and at home with, and yet gently challenged by, them in the places where they practice and with the people who are attracted to what they are offering. And I am allowed to work on my own practice, too.
But the time away, the opportunity cost, and occasional resistance to being in a community are the growing edges against which I still flounder a little. A growing edge is uncomfortable but required for my evolution as a human. And so it is . . .
If you’re willing to butt up against your growing edge, take a look at the classes I am offering here.